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  1. #1
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    Default in a hospital ? in hospital ? in the... ? help me... :-)

    Which one is correct :

    1/

    a) He was in hospital VS in a hospital VS in the hospital ?
    b) He was at university VS at a university VS at the university ?
    c) He was in prison VS in a prison VS in the prison ?

    What are the differences between the presented examples and which of them are completely wrong ?

    2/ Why is it so that in a sentence : "Did you read about it in a magazine or in the newspaper" there's IN THE newspaper ? couldn't it be "in a newspaper" ?

    3/ Can we say "I must buy a little rice" ? Because as far as I know we can say something like There's only a little water in the jug or "a little cheese"

    4/ Why do we have to say "to catch A cold" ? I mean, I know that "cold" is a countable noun but I've never seen anything like "colds" ? Can someone explain me that ? Why do we have to say "to catch flu" without anything before "flu" ?

    5/ I don't get the idea of "I was in the shower" and "I was in the garden" while in examples like "I was in prison" and "I was at university" there is no THE... Why, why... oh why :( do we put "the" in the examples above and why we omit it in the latter ones ?

    Best wishes,

  2. #2
    gio is offline Junior Member
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      • Native Language:
      • Greek
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      • Greece
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    Default Re: in a hospital ? in hospital ? in the... ? help me... :-)

    questions 1&2:
    'He was in the hospital' =he was a patient
    'He was at the hospital' = he went to visit someone who was ill,a patient.

    'He was in the hospital' = We know in which hospital, we mwntion it before
    'He was in a hospital' = we don't know in which one, he coule be in any hospital
    question 3 : I would say some rice.
    question 4 : it has nothing to do with countable/uncountable nouns. It's an expression.
    question 5: In prison it's a fixed phrase and we do say I was at the university.
    hope I helped

  3. #3
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    Default Re: in a hospital ? in hospital ? in the... ? help me... :-)

    ok, thanks :)

    anyone else would like to say a few words =) ? there are still some unasnwered things... what about in the garden and so on ?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: in a hospital ? in hospital ? in the... ? help me... :-)

    can anyone else have a look at my questions ;) ? thanks!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: in a hospital ? in hospital ? in the... ? help me... :-)

    is there anyone... any native spraker who could tell me whether it's possible to say :

    she is in a hospital
    she is in the hospital

    she is at a university
    she is at the university

    ???

  6. #6
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    Default Re: in a hospital ? in hospital ? in the... ? help me... :-)

    how come that there is no one who wants to answer those questions...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: in a hospital ? in hospital ? in the... ? help me... :-)

    Hello forum_mail-I'd love to help but I'm neither a native speaker nor a teacher of English.

    However,
    She is in hospital=she is a patient
    She is in a hospital= eg.she is in a hospital somewhere in Germany...you don't know exactly which hospital she's in
    She's at the hospital=she's visiting someone who is a patient there or she is a doctor or nurse -Where is Dr....,at home or at the hospital?

    She was in the hospital=she was in the military hospital when the bombing took place....hospital as a building


    He's at university=he's a student
    He's at the university='at the' shows the position or place of something or someonee.g.where is he now? He's at the university
    At a university...Where is he studying?-He's at a university somewhere in the States.....not specified



    That's it for now
    Hope I've been of some help

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