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    #1

    Determiners before name places of activity

    Dear teachers,

    I am given to understand that there are some nouns, such as hosptial and university, without a determiner in British English but with a determiner "the" in American English. Other than "hospital" and "university" (as far as American English is concerned), I would like to know if a determiner "the" is required before the places in the following sentences:

    • We go to church every Sunday.
    • Albert and his family were at church.
    • I have known Tina since we were at school together.
    • I go to school at the University of San Diego.
    Thank you.
    Last edited by Deepurple; 06-Oct-2010 at 04:31.

  1. kenkk2's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: Determiners before name places of activity

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepurple View Post
    Dear teachers,

    I am given to understand that there are some nouns, such as hosptial and university, without a determiner in British English but with a determiner "the" in American English. Other than "hospital" and "university" (as far as American English is concerned), I would like to know if a determiner "the" is required before the places in the following sentences:

    • We go to church every Sunday.
    • Albert and his family were at church.
    • I have known Tina since we were at school together.
    • I go to school at the University of San Diego.
    Thank you.
    Not a teacher.
    You go to church with a purpose: attending masses, praying..( you are ,say, a Catholic..).
    You are not a Catholic(supposed)(or even you are one, it does not matter), you go to THE church to meet someone there.(you have no intention to hear masses(there and on that day).
    So, it will be the same way to use THE with Hospital, school..!( You are at school because you are a student_ You are at THE school to wait for someone, to meet someone or to pick someone up...You do not study there at that time..).
    THE University of San Diego tells us what university, which has been defined by "of+noun", therefore it needs THE for clarity.
    Last edited by kenkk2; 06-Oct-2010 at 07:13.

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    #3

    Re: Determiners before name places of activity

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepurple View Post
    Dear teachers,

    I am given to understand that there are some nouns, such as hosptial and university, without a determiner in British English but with a determiner "the" in American English. Other than "hospital" and "university" (as far as American English is concerned), I would like to know if a determiner "the" is required before the places in the following sentences:

    • We go to church every Sunday.
    • Albert and his family were at church.
    • I have known Tina since we were at school together.
    • I go to school at the University of San Diego.
    Thank you.

    Those sentences are all fine to my ear. I would, however, use "the" when referring to the building. Meet me at the church. Go past the school and make a left.

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    #4

    Re: Determiners before name places of activity

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepurple View Post
    Dear teachers,

    I am given to understand that there are some nouns, such as hosptial and university, without a determiner in British English but with a determiner "the" in American English. Other than "hospital" and "university" (as far as American English is concerned), I would like to know if a determiner "the" is required before the places in the following sentences:

    • We go to church every Sunday.
    • Albert and his family were at church.
    • I have known Tina since we were at school together.
    • I go to school at the University of San Diego.
    Thank you.



    Thank you for the above posters. But what I would like to know is whether American people would say, as "in the hospital" even though its main purpose is concerned, which is contrary to the British counterparts "in hospital":
    • We go to the church every Sunday.
    • Albert and his family were at the church.
    • I have known Tina since we were at the school together.
    • I go to the school at the University of San Diego.
    Thank you again.

  2. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Determiners before name places of activity

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepurple View Post
    Thank you for the above posters. But what I would like to know is whether American people would say, as "in the hospital" even though its main purpose is concerned, which is contrary to the British counterparts "in hospital":
    • We go to the church every Sunday.
    • Albert and his family were at the church.
    • I have known Tina since we were at the school together.
    • I go to the school at the University of San Diego.

    Thank you again.
    Yes. In the US we say that someone is in the hospital, even though there may be several hospitals in the area and we havenīt specified which one. We also say that he goes to the university, but in this case it is generally clear that we are talking about a specific one. When we are not being specific, people frequently say that he goes to college. In the examples quoted above, only the second one is used in AmE, and it would imply that the family were at the church building rather than attending a reilgious service. If, in the first example, you mean that they go to church to pray on Sunday, you would not use the. In your final example you would use the if you were referring to a specific school at the U. of S.D., such as the School of Arts and Sciences at the U. of S.D.

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