Auch im weit entfernten Deutschland zogen die Ereignisse große Kreise. Nach vielzähligen Demonstrationen gegen die Nutzung von Kernenergie durch die neu erstartke Anti-Atomkraft-Bewegung gingen zum Beispiel mehrere hoffnungslos veraltete Kernkraftwerke in Deutschland vom Netz.

Why is it in the first part we use an article with Germany but not in the second?

After discussing with my friend, we think that this is somehow related to the presence of adjective. When we use an adjective, it somehow becomes more normal to use a definite article. For example, saying "The China" may sound weird in English to some, but saying "The modern China" sounds correct.

Is this is the correct explanation? If so, what is this phenomena called in German?


2 Answers 2


You may only drop the article from country and city names if there are no qualifiers.

  • Berlin but das heutige Berlin
  • Deutschland but das heutige Deutschland

For countries that are masculine or feminine, you can't drop the article at all.

  • der Iran, der heutige Iran
  • die Schweiz, die heutige Schweiz
  • 1
    The first part is true for other names, too: "Peter", but "der schöne Peter".
    – user24582
    Aug 19 at 6:27

English and German do have a common heritage, so there are often small similarities like this. A better example in English is "The United States"; you wouldn't say "I'm going to United States," but you could say "I'm going to England." I think the "rule" that you include an article when it's preceded by an adjective is more widely and consistently applied in German. It's usually best not to use English, or any other language, as a reference point for German. So instead of saying "These are the situations where you do it in English but not in German, and these are the ones where you do it in German but not in English," just say "These are the situations where you do it in German.


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