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  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    Default The issue of the articles - "the "

    1. He immediately called the police to inform about the accident and asked them to send ambulance to the accident scene .

    Is it correct to say " asked them to send ambulance to the accident scene " ? Should it be " asked them to send an ambulance to the accident scene " because the indefinite article " a " is necessary .

    2. Christina is now in a deep coma at the Kingston Hospital .

    Can I leave out the word "the " because Christina is admitted into a hospital for medical treatment ? Another possibility is that Kingston Hospital is located in the city of Kingston . So , there are other hospitals in Kingston .

    The rules of the articles ( the definite article "the " ) are that when one goes to hospital ( without any article ) to seek for medical treatment , the use of " the " is not necessary. For example , John has gone to Kingston General Hospital to consult a doctor . In this context , John has gone to Kingston Hospital to seek treatment . To explain further about this complex sentence structure , we can use "the Kingston General Hospital " if John were to visit someone who is being hospitalised there .

    I would appreciate it if the forum experts could explain further about the above sentences . It would be better if native speakers of English ( be English or Americans ) could take part in this interesting discussion .

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    It should be an ambulance because it is countable. Also, we don't use the definite article with hospital names, but we do when we just use the word alone.

  3. #3
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default A contribution from an AE speaker

    A contribution from an AE speaker.

    It should be an ambulance. In short, I agree with everything TDOL said.

    :wink:

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    It should be an ambulance because it is countable. Also, we don't use the definite article with hospital names, but we do when we just use the word alone.
    We can also say "He's gone to hospital" - perhaps we don't know which hospital, or perhaps it's not imporant to the speaker.

    Alternatively, we can also say "He's gone to the hospital". The listener might be able to infer which hospital the speaker means, for example: they regularly go to the same hospital; there's is a hospital nearby; or there is only one hospital. It depends on the circumstances.

    Iain

  5. #5
    RonBee's Avatar
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    In AE we would say He went to the hospital or He was taken to the hospital or He had to go to the hospital.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The issue of the articles - "the "

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarmizi

    The rules of the articles ( the definite article "the " ) are that when one goes to hospital ( without any article ) to seek for medical treatment , the use of " the " is not necessary. For example , John has gone to Kingston General Hospital to consult a doctor . In this context , John has gone to Kingston Hospital to seek treatment . To explain further about this complex sentence structure , we can use "the Kingston General Hospital " if John were to visit someone who is being hospitalised there .
    One use the indefinite article " a " when sth is unknown.
    For example: He is going to buy a bike.

    One use the definite article " the " when sure.
    For example: He is going to buy the bike that he saw at the bike shop yesterday.

    8)

  7. #7
    fen Guest

    Default Re: The issue of the articles - "the "

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarmizi
    ...

    Is it correct to say " asked them to send ambulance to the accident scene " ? Should it be " asked them to send an ambulance to the accident scene " because the indefinite article " a " is necessary .


    <font size=4>Yes, you are correct. (I think) in this case when using 'an ambulance', the object (ambulance) needs to be tagged together with 'an' if it is a singular noun, or an 's' needs to be added (as in 'ambulances') for the plural noun.

    </font>

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarmizi
    ...

    Can I leave out the word "the " because Christina is admitted into a hospital for medical treatment ?


    <font size=4>No, (I think) unless you say the name of the hospital, but yes if the usage of hospital is verbal (as in 'admited to hospital', or 'went to hospital', etc.). You can also leave out 'a' if your are using names (eg. 'Kingston General Hospital'). With regard to 'the', if the hospital is known, or can be guessed, then you can say 'the hospital'. The use of 'the' lets the other speaker become away that they should know which hospital is being talked about.



    So, I think these are good examples of the different uses of 'a' and 'the.'</font>

    :D

  8. #8
    fen Guest

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    Correction (too many late nights)!
    'become aware' instead of 'became away' and
    'verbal' meaning 'related to the verb tense', and not as in the 'spoken sense'.
    Good night!

  9. #9
    sanukeeeeeeeeeee Guest

    Lightbulb Re: The issue of the articles - "the "

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Also, we don't use the definite article with hospital names, but we do when we just use the word alone.

    Could you please explain what do you mean by "we do when we just use the word alone".

  10. #10
    sanukeeeeeeeeeee Guest

    Lightbulb Re: The issue of the articles - "the "

    Quote Originally Posted by henry
    One use the indefinite article " a " when sth is unknown.

    What is sth?

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