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    #1

    "The shops" but not "The work"

    Hi, I wrote a sentence today in class "I go to the shops" then I wrote "I go the the work too" but "the" is not correct in this second sentence and I don't know why. Can anyone please tell me?

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "The shops" but not "The work"

    To mean "the place where my job is" we don't use "the."
    I go to work every day at 7:30.

    When you go to school to study, you go to school, not to the school.
    When you go to church to worship, you go to church, not to the church.
    But even if you go to your office place for something other than working, you go to "the office" not "to the work."
    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.

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    #3

    Re: "The shops" but not "The work"

    Thanks Barb. Is there a name for the nouns that don't need "the"? I'd like to find a list of them or see what others follow this rule.

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    #4

    Re: "The shops" but not "The work"

    Quote Originally Posted by crazyaboutenglish View Post
    Thanks Barb. Is there a name for the nouns that don't need "the"? I'd like to find a list of them or see what others follow this rule.
    It's not the noun which dictates the use (or non-use) of the article, it's the context.

    I go to school every day.
    He went back to the school because he thought he had left his keys behind after he finished teaching there.

    I went to church every Sunday when I was a child.
    I went to the church because there was a summer fete being held there.

  3. david11's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "The shops" but not "The work"

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    It's not the noun which dictates the use (or non-use) of the article, it's the context.

    I go to school every day.
    He went back to the school because he thought he had left his keys behind after he finished teaching there.

    I went to church every Sunday when I was a child.
    I went to the church because there was a summer fete being held there.
    I think habitual actions don't require articles.

    I go to college every day.

    I am going to the college to get an application form.

    Are my examples correct?

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: "The shops" but not "The work"

    Quote Originally Posted by david11 View Post
    I think habitual actions don't require articles.

    I go to college every day.

    I am going to the college to get an application form.

    Are my examples correct?
    Yes, but your first line isn't.

    I go to the pub, the bank, the post office every day.
    I am going to the pub to meet Nigel.

  5. david11's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: "The shops" but not "The work"

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Yes, but your first line isn't.

    I go to the pub, the bank, the post office every day.
    I am going to the pub to meet Nigel.
    But emsr2d2 has given an example "
    I go to school every day".

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    #8

    Re: "The shops" but not "The work"

    Again, I might be hijacking another thread...I'm really really sorry..
    But...I'd like to say a few words here if I may..

    In my opinion (please, please correct me if I'm wrong here...)
    'go to school' - the focus is on what you do there.
    'go to the school' - the focus is on the building.

    So...'go to school' is used when 'studying' is what you do there.
    'go to the school' is used when you do something other than 'studying'.

    The same goes for the words, 'church' , 'hospital' or 'college' , I think.

    I feel your examples are correct.

    I'm not a native speaker.

  7. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: "The shops" but not "The work"

    Yes, and school, church, school, etc. don't take the "the."
    But pub post office, bank, etc., do take the "the."
    It's not the habitual action that determines whether you use the "the." Some words take it, and some don't. I'm afraid you'll just have to learn them as you go. There's no rule, unfortunately.
    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.

  8. 5jj's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: "The shops" but not "The work"

    And there's a further complication of occasional differences between BrE and AmE. My British friend was rushed to hospital last month Had he been American, I think he would have been rushed to the hospital.

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