Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Belarus
      • Current Location:
      • Belarus
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    859

    leave school/leave the college

    1. When I leave school, I want to go to college.
    2. He had to leave the college because of bad behaviour.
    These are sentences from two different grammar-books.

    What I can't understand here is the definite article usage. Why is there an article in the second but none in the first?
    Last edited by GeneD; 29-Oct-2017 at 18:59. Reason: Thanks for the corrections, teechar.
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  2. #2
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Iraq
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    11,465

    Re: leave school/leave the college

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneD View Post
    Why isn't is there an article in the first one, and there is in the second but none/not in the first?
    A specific/known/previously mentioned college is assumed/implied in the second.

  3. #3
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Belarus
      • Current Location:
      • Belarus
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    859

    Re: leave school/leave the college

    So, in theory, there could be an article in the first, right?
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  4. #4
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    31,886

    Re: leave school/leave the college

    No. The structure of the sentence is different.

  5. #5
    Roman55's Avatar
    Roman55 is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • France
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    2,631

    Re: leave school/leave the college

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneD View Post
    So, in theory, there could be an article in the first, right?
    Only in theory. In practice there wouldn't be.
    I am not a teacher

  6. #6
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Belarus
      • Current Location:
      • Belarus
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    859

    Re: leave school/leave the college

    I'm afraid I don't understand. But I'll try to guess. Here's the explanation (from the first grammar-book) on sentence #1: "We say a child goes to school or is at school (as a pupil). We are not necessarily thinking of a specific school. We are thinking of school as a general idea." So, in the first example, the pupil is going to leave school in a proper way (which might be the general idea talked about in the quoted explanation from the book), whereas in the second, the leaving is rather an exceptional situation. That's my guess. I can't think of a more suitable explanation at the moment. What do you think of it?
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  7. #7
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    31,886

    Re: leave school/leave the college

    Your understanding is good.

  8. #8
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    22,264

    Re: leave school/leave the college

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneD View Post
    1. When I leave school, I want to go to college.
    2. He had to leave the college because of bad behaviour.
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneD View Post
    ... in the second, the leaving is rather an exceptional situation.
    I don't think that's quite right. In sentence 2, the speaker is talking about a specific college which was mentioned previously. Whether the situation is exceptional or routine is irrelevant.
    I am not a teacher.

  9. #9
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Belarus
      • Current Location:
      • Belarus
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    859

    Re: leave school/leave the college

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I don't think that's quite right. In sentence 2, the speaker is talking about a specific college which was mentioned previously. Whether the situation is exceptional or routine is irrelevant.
    And yet I'd like to try to back up my so-called "theory". Here's some further explanation from the same book: "We use prison, university, college and church in a similar way. We do not use the when we are thinking of the general idea of these places and what they are used for. E.g. Ken's brother is in prison for robbery. but Ken went to the prison to visit his brother." The latter examples look similar, to me.
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  10. #10
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Belarus
      • Current Location:
      • Belarus
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    859

    Re: leave school/leave the college

    But what if the college wasn't mentioned previously? In fact, there is no context in that exercise and we can't really know whether it was mentioned or not.

    Let's make up some context ourselves. The pupil's mother is talking to her friend:
    1. When he leaves school, he wants to go to college.
    Another student's mother talking to her husband:
    2. He had to leave the college because of bad behaviour.
    The school (in #1) and college (in #2) are equally not mentioned before within this context. And hypothetically the school could be mentioned previously in the first example if needed. In this light, the two sentences look completely the same to me as a non-native speaker. (In fact, they are the same in Russian; hence the difficulty in understanding for me.)

    On the other hand, whether the situation is exceptional or routine does seem important to me. Otherwise I can't see the light.
    Last edited by GeneD; 29-Oct-2017 at 22:36. Reason: Made the examples a bit more precise.
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •