As I say in the video, this is a mistake that strikes deep down to my very core as an American! But it's a very understandable mistake that every Brazilian has made at some point in their English language learning career. And most of these types of mistakes are simple translation errors anyway, but this one is a little more insidious. Let me explain...
In Portuguese you say "Eu sou do Brasil." or "Eu fui para a França." So your brain makes the obvious assumption that in English "I am from the Brazil" or that "I went to the France." When you first start learning English, though, you have to memorize a rule that says you DON'T put "the" in front of country names. So you say "I am from Brazil." and "I went to France," with the "the" conspicuously absent. But, as is the rule for English, there are exceptions! And one that Brazilians forget so often is that you KEEP the "the" before "United States"!
So, what's the Fix? Simple, really. Just add the "the" before the "United" in "United States" and you've got it - THE United States! There are only a handful of exceptions to the remove-the-'the'-from-before-country-names rule. Here are some:
- The United States (or "The U.S.")
- The United Kingdom (or "The U.K.")
- The Netherlands (or just plain old "Holland")
- The British Isles
- The Philippines
- The West Indies
- The People's Republic of China (because of "Republic")
- The Czech Republic (because of "Republic")
- The Dominican Republic (because of "Republic")
- oh, yeah, The United States