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ABC company or the ABC company?

English translation: Depends on the company's official name

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:The definite article and the word "company"
English translation:Depends on the company's official name
Entered by: Fuad Yahya
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05:46 Aug 14, 2002
English to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial - Business/Commerce (general) / english grammar: use of "the"
English term or phrase: ABC company or the ABC company?
In many different contexts, I was twisting my brain at which way of putting it would be right: "artwork for ABC company" or "artwork for *the* ABC company"?

In some cases, though, like "I work at/in..." the question doesn't even come to mind: I work at ABC, or I work in the ABC company.

Is there any rule for this?

Then again, sometimes I get confused because, say, "the Pepsi-Cola company" sounds right to me, but "the Nike company" doesn't, it's just not right rhythmically.

Does the problem at all exist, or am I making it up?

Thanks in advance.
zmejka
Local time: 12:22
There are two questions here.
Explanation:
The first questions relates to the word "company."

If the word "company" is part of the official name of the company, as in "The Coca Cola Company," then it needs to be included, usually capitalized.

If the word "company" is not part of the official name, then using the word "company" after the official name technically makes the official name an adjective that serves to qualify the real noun, which is the word "company." In this case, you need the definite article, as in "I like working for the Cool_Dude.com company." I would rather say, "I like working for Cool_Dude.com," but I can imagine some situations where I want to clarify that I am talking about a company.

The second question relates to the definite article.

Again, if the definite article is part of the official name of the company, then it must be included.

In this case, capitalization must be treated with care.

Some companies realize that although the definite article is integral to the name, it does not have the same standing as the other elements; therefore, if the company name occurs in the middle of the sentence, it is OK for the definite article to take the lower case.

There are other companies that insist otherwise. They want the definite article capitalized even in the middle of a sentence. When I worked for M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, I was our department's "graphics representative," which meant that I had to learn all the rules of representing the hospital in formal settings. One of the rules was that the full name was The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. The definite article was deemed part of the name, and it was to be capitalized no matter where it appeared.

If the definite article is not part of the official name, then one would not usually use it, unless the sentence structure requires it, as in when you use the company name as an adjective, followed by a generic noun, like "company," "hospital," "drug store," or "restaurant." Example, "Mary Jo was my boss when I worked for the Chow-Chow restaurant."


Fuad
Selected response from:

Fuad Yahya
Grading comment
Fuad, thank you very much for such a marvellous explanation!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +8There are two questions here.Fuad Yahya
4 +5ABC
Edward L. Crosby III
4 +5ABC / the ABC company
Mary Worby


  

Answers


22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
ABC / the ABC company


Explanation:
I think it depends on the name of the company. If the company name includes the 'company' - like Pepsi Cola Company, then it sounds OK and you can put in the 'the'.

If the company name is just a standalone, it sounds odd to add the company. Artwork for Nike, Kodak, Microsoft.

HTH

Mary

Mary Worby
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:22
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sarah Ponting
7 mins

agree  Irene Chernenko: I think the confusion enters because in Russian one usually writes literally "company" or "firm" before the name as it requires a qualifier, whether the word is in the name or not.
42 mins
  -> I think that's the case in a lot of languages. You certainly get it in French and German as well ...

agree  Yelena.
1 hr

agree  John Kinory: You get it in Hebrew, too.
13 hrs

agree  Mary Rathle
22 hrs
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59 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
ABC


Explanation:
I don't think there's an established rule here, but to my ears company names sound better if the word "company" is omitted entirely -- unless "Company" happens to be part of the company's official name, and then I would always use the definite article "the".

Edward L. Crosby III
Local time: 02:22
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxR.J.Chadwick
8 mins
  -> Thanks, R.J.

agree  Piotr Kurek
16 mins
  -> Thanks, Piotr.

agree  Marijke Singer
1 hr
  -> Thanks!

agree  Libero_Lang_Lab: Yes. The if necessary you can qualify it e.g. ABC, a company specialising in....
4 hrs
  -> Thanks.

agree  John Kinory
12 hrs
  -> Thanks, John.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +8
There are two questions here.


Explanation:
The first questions relates to the word "company."

If the word "company" is part of the official name of the company, as in "The Coca Cola Company," then it needs to be included, usually capitalized.

If the word "company" is not part of the official name, then using the word "company" after the official name technically makes the official name an adjective that serves to qualify the real noun, which is the word "company." In this case, you need the definite article, as in "I like working for the Cool_Dude.com company." I would rather say, "I like working for Cool_Dude.com," but I can imagine some situations where I want to clarify that I am talking about a company.

The second question relates to the definite article.

Again, if the definite article is part of the official name of the company, then it must be included.

In this case, capitalization must be treated with care.

Some companies realize that although the definite article is integral to the name, it does not have the same standing as the other elements; therefore, if the company name occurs in the middle of the sentence, it is OK for the definite article to take the lower case.

There are other companies that insist otherwise. They want the definite article capitalized even in the middle of a sentence. When I worked for M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, I was our department's "graphics representative," which meant that I had to learn all the rules of representing the hospital in formal settings. One of the rules was that the full name was The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. The definite article was deemed part of the name, and it was to be capitalized no matter where it appeared.

If the definite article is not part of the official name, then one would not usually use it, unless the sentence structure requires it, as in when you use the company name as an adjective, followed by a generic noun, like "company," "hospital," "drug store," or "restaurant." Example, "Mary Jo was my boss when I worked for the Chow-Chow restaurant."


Fuad

Fuad Yahya
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 14
Grading comment
Fuad, thank you very much for such a marvellous explanation!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  vixen
9 mins

agree  Irene Chernenko: Very comprehensive.
1 hr

agree  Andrea Bullrich
2 hrs

agree  Libero_Lang_Lab
3 hrs

agree  Maria-Jose Pastor
5 hrs

agree  AhmedAMS
10 hrs

agree  John Kinory
11 hrs

agree  Herman Vilella: Excellent wording
3 days1 hr
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Changes made by editors
Jan 2, 2006 - Changes made by Fuad Yahya:
FieldOther » Bus/Financial
Field (specific)(none) » Business/Commerce (general)


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