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Why is the definite article "the" used before some countries and not before some other countries?

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Answered Oct 18English
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Nicoleen Wong7+, 11+, 13+, English & Maths tutor—friendly, experienced, central London-based412 students helped

It’s ultimately a question of how usage of names have evolved. Most countries have longer, full names (e.g. Kingdom of the Netherlands) that have been abbreviated. “The” is usually used in front of countries that refer to groups of islands (“the Maldives”, “the ___lands”). It is also used in front of a county name that is a compound noun with an adjective (“United Kingdom”)