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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 1,681
    #1

    the bus to the university/the bus to university

    Do we need to use the definite article or no article?

    After about the third time of being asked to get out of bed, I get up and have some breakfast before I catch the bus to ___ university.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #2

    Re: the bus to the university/the bus to university

    In AmE, yes. In BrE, no.

  3. Roman55's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Feb 2014
    • Posts: 2,310
    #3

    Re: the bus to the university/the bus to university

    I am not a teacher.

    If it's the university that you attend you would usually not use the article in BrE. The same goes for 'school' if you study there, and 'hospital' if you are a patient there.

    If the words 'university', 'school' or 'hospital' are used to designate actual physical places rather than as the names of institutions, you would use the article.

    I catch the bus to university/school = the place where I study.
    I catch the bus to the university/school = that large complex of buildings on the other side of town.

    I spent last week in hospital = I had been admitted as a patient.
    I spent last week at the hospital = I was visiting someone/working there.

    The same applies to the word 'prison'.

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