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  1. #1
    Tedwonny is offline Member
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    Red face Are these really grammatical mistakes?

    I am studying a grammar book listing all the common mistakes made by learners of English and I am not so sure if the following is really what one calls "errors / mistakes" in English.

    1) Hospital is a place where sick people are cared for --> (hospital --> a hospital)

    I know hospital is countable but it has a generic reference here, so I thought the original sentence is alright?

    2) Isabel went to hospital for a pap smear --> a / the hospital

    I often hear people say go to hospital, so why is an article needed?

    3) I will be back after two weeks --> in two weeks

    4) Alright, I'll go with you to Betty's party. --> All right...

    I thought alright = all right [e.g. alright adjective/adverb/exclamation - definition in British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionary Online]

    Thank you all so much!
    Shouldn't ask too many questions in one post, I realize =)

  2. #2
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Are these really grammatical mistakes?

    1) A hospital is a place. You could perhaps say Hospital is the place where people get treated... or even better Hospital is the place for treatment... or the place to get treated, but in all these cases "The hospital is the place" is still better.

    2) Idiom.

    3) Idiom. Or you may say I will be back two weeks after my marriage, after I finish my diet, and so on, but you really need to specify after what. You may also say I will marry in July, and will be back two weeks thereafter, where thereafter = after that.

    4) From dictionary.reference.com:

    The form alright as a one-word spelling of the phrase all right in all of its senses probably arose by analogy with such words as already and altogether. Although alright is a common spelling in written dialogue and in other types of informal writing, all right is used in more formal, edited writing.
    Last edited by abaka; 28-Jun-2012 at 04:08. Reason: typo, sigh

  3. #3
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Are these really grammatical mistakes?

    There is a difference in American usage. We never say "he is in hospital" or "she went to hospital.". It's always with "the."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are these really grammatical mistakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedwonny View Post
    2) Isabel went to hospital for a pap smear --> a / the hospital
    This is correct British English

    3) I will be back after two weeks --> in two weeks
    This is not incorrect in some contexts.
    5

  5. #5
    Tedwonny is offline Member
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    Default Re: Are these really grammatical mistakes?

    Thank you all so much!

    Just to confirm:

    1) An article is definitely needed before 'hospital'
    2) It is possibly correct (e.g. in British English) but 'the' is needed in American English. In other words, the suggested change by the book is redundant.
    3) after two weeks is correct as well? in two weeks means you'll be back in a fortnight's time but after two weeks can be after a month or so?
    4) All right is more formal and alright is more informal; again, change unnecessary.

    A simple yes and no from you all will help a great deal!

    Thanks so much again

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Are these really grammatical mistakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedwonny View Post
    1) An article is definitely needed before 'hospital'. No, not definitely.

    2) It is possibly correct (e.g. in British English) but 'the' is needed in American English. In other words, the suggested change by the book is redundant. In Britain, yes. In the USA an editor would make the change.

    3) after two weeks is correct as well? in two weeks means you'll be back in a fortnight's time but after two weeks can be after a month or so? 'After two weeks' cannot be 'after a month', though it could refer to the same time as 'in a month'.

    4) All right is more formal and alright is more informal; again, change unnecessary. It depends how pedantic you want to be. Neither is more formal. It's just that some people consider 'all right' to be the only correct form. These days, not many people worry about it, in my opinion.
    5

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are these really grammatical mistakes?

    "I'll be sometime after two weeks' time" might mean "I'll be back in a month" but it would be a rather odd thing to say. If someone said "I'll be back after two weeks", I would think i) they will return in about 15 days and ii) I wonder why they didn't say "I'll be back in just over two weeks".
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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