Determining whether to use ‘in US’ or ‘in the US’ can be a little bit tricky. This is because both of them are correct, but they are used in completely different situations. Let’s explain how it works.
Is It ‘In US’ Or ‘In The US’?
You would use ‘in the US’ when you are using US as a noun, i.e., the country’s name, e.g., when you say something is located within the US. If you use US as an adjective, e.g., US Citizen, you would use ‘in US’.
Whenever you are stating the official name for the country, it should always be preceded by a ‘the’. This is part of the country’s name (The United States of America).
If you are using US as a descriptor, e.g., to describe something from the US, e.g., US law, US citizens, etc., then you very rarely need to include the ‘the’. there.
Here are some examples of when to use ‘in US’ and ‘in the US’. This way, you get a rough idea of how the sentences can potentially work:
- Correct: In US law, jaywalking is illegal in many states.
- Incorrect: In the US law, jaywalking is illegal.
- Correct: In the US, jaywalking is illegal in many states.
- Correct: In US schools, it isn’t uncommon for education to be underfunded.
- Correct: It isn’t uncommon for education to be underfunded in schools in the US.
- Correct: The Statue of Liberty is located in the US.
- Incorrect: The Statute of Liberty is located in US.
Is It ‘In USA’ Or ‘In The USA’?
If you are talking about the country’s name, then you should use ‘in the USA’. It should also be used to talk about something located within the country. If you describe something (i.e., using it as an adjective), you should use ‘in USA.’
The name of the country will always have a ‘the’ attached, e.g. The United States, The USA, The US. There is some debate as to whether you always need to capitalize the ‘the’, but this doesn’t matter too much. This means that when you are referring to the US as a whole, you should always say ‘in the USA’.
If you use ‘US’ as a description, i.e., to describe something that is American (a citizen, place, etc.), you will likely need to drop the ‘the’. That being said, if you are using ‘USA’ as a descriptor, then it is probably best to substitute it with ‘American’ or ‘US’. Both of those get a lot more use.
Here are a few examples. This way, you can see both correct and incorrect usage of ‘in USA’ and ‘in the USA’.
- Correct: In the USA, soccer isn’t popular.
- Incorrect: In USA, soccer isn’t popular.
- Correct: In USA citizens, football is the most popular sport.
- Incorrect: In the USA citizens, football is the most popular sport.
Is It ‘in United States’ or ‘In The United States’?
You should use ‘in the United States’ when you want to talk about the country, if you are saying something can be found in the country. If you use ‘in United States’, it is normally because you are using ‘United States’ as an adjective.
The phrase ‘in The United States’ means that you are talking about the country. This is because the official name for the country is ‘The United States’. When you use this phrase, you are talking about something located in the country. This could mean a place, or it could be a political philosophy.
‘In United States’ is only used when you are using ‘United States’ as an adjective. This means that you are describing something as being American.
Here are a few examples so you can see what we mean:
- Correct: Detroit is in the United States
- Incorrect: Detroit is in United States
- Correct: In United States citizens, science education is on the rise.
- Incorrect: In the United States citizens, science is on the rise.
When Is It Correct To Write ‘US’, ‘USA’, and ‘United States’ Without ‘The’?
You should only ever write ‘US’, ‘USA’, and ‘United States’ without the preceding ‘the’ if you are using any of these words as an adjective. If you mention the country’s name, then it should always have a ‘the’ before these words.
Is It ‘In America’ or ‘In The America’?
It is always ‘in America’. You should never say ‘the America’. This is because ‘America’ isn’t the name of the country. The term ‘America’ is a colloquial term to describe the region, normally limited to just the US. You could say “the Americas” if you wanted to describe the continent.
The reason why you don’t use ‘the’ before ‘America’ is because ‘the’ only needs to be used before ‘USA’, ‘US’, ‘United States’ for two reasons:
- It is the official name of the country
- The ‘United States’ is a plural
‘America’ is neither an official name for the country, nor is it a plural. This is why you can say “the Americas” when referring to the continent, but never “the America”.
Here is a correct and an incorrect example:
- Correct: New York is in America
- Incorrect: New York is in the America
Tip To Remember When To Use ‘The’ Before a Country’s Name
You use ‘the’ in front of the name when the country’s name is either a plural, or the word ‘kingdom’ is in the name. With ‘The United States’, you use the ‘the’ because the ‘States’ is plural. With ‘The UK’, you use ‘the’ as it is a Kingdom.
Here are some examples:
- The United States of America
- The Philippines
- The United Kingdom (but you would never say The England or ‘The Scotland’, just England or Scotland)
- The Kingdom of Norway (but you would never say ‘the Norway’. The ‘kingdom’ part must be there)
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