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    #1

    a/the bank, park, hospital

    I understand that native speakers would say:

    I'm going to the bank.
    I'm going to the park.
    I'm going to the hospital. (American English)

    How would you say in the following situations?

    1. Somebody asks me when I am in town. S/he says, "Where can I cash my traveler's checks?"
    Is it possible to say, "You can cash them at a bank," or "You can cash them at the bank," or "You can cash them at banks."?
    Situation: There are several banks in town.

    2. I say to a friend of mine, "Let's make some sandwiches, go to a park, and eat them."
    Situation: There are several parks near my house. I haven't decided which one to go to.

    4. I say to somebody, "Your wife was taken to a hospital."
    Situation: There are several hospitals around here.


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    #2

    Re: a/the bank, park, hospital

    hey.
    i think you just have to name them.
    then you say for instance 'lets go to the central park'.
    and so with the hospital.
    about the banks i think you would say at the bank, or also name it.

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    #3

    Re: a/the bank, park, hospital

    Quote Originally Posted by snappy View Post
    i understand that native speakers would say:

    I'm going to the bank.
    I'm going to the park.
    I'm going to the hospital. (american english)

    "the" is used when there is only one bank, park, etc where you are or when it is understood which specific bank, park, etc is being referred to.

    what would you say in the following situations?

    1. Somebody asks me when i am in town. S/he says, "where can i cash my traveler's checks?"
    situation: There are several banks in town. you should state the situation before asking your question.

    is it possible to say, "you can cash them at a bank," Or "you can cash them at the bank," Or "you can cash them at banks." ?
    if you tell me "at the bank", i will ask you 'at which bank?' because i might think that only one bank cashes travelers checks.


    2. I say to a friend of mine, "let's make some sandwiches, go to a park, and eat them."
    Situation: There are several parks near my house. I haven't decided which one to go to.

    4. I say to somebody, "your wife was taken to a hospital." then your friend will ask you "which hospital?' or 'what is the name of the hospital?'
    situation: There are several hospitals around here.
    2006

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: a/the bank, park, hospital

    In natural American English, you'd say "taken to the hospital." It's not important which one - the severity of her illness/injury is what's important. ("Which one" can be answered later.)

    You can cash them at any bank.

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    #5

    Re: a/the bank, park, hospital

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    what would you say in the following situations?
    Thank you for your reply.

    Let's me confirm one thing with you.

    I thought "How would you say in the following situations?" was an acceptable expression.

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    #6

    Re: a/the bank, park, hospital

    Quote Originally Posted by barb_d View Post
    in natural american english, you'd say "taken to the hospital." i don't dispute that many would say that, but when explaining 'a' vs 'the' i think 'a' is more correct and less confusing.

    you can cash them at any bank. not in all countries
    2006

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    #7

    Re: a/the bank, park, hospital

    Quote Originally Posted by snappy View Post
    thank you for your reply.

    Let's me confirm one thing with you.

    I thought "how would you say in the following situations?" was an acceptable expression. no, "how would you say" should be followed by an object.
    how would you say it in the following situations?
    how would you say that in japanese?


    in your sentence 'what would you say in....' is correct.
    2006

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: a/the bank, park, hospital

    Why did you quote me and then make "American English" into "american english"? Capitalization is an important part of English.

    If it is NOT true that you can cash them in any bank, then the response "You can cash them at a bank" is incomplete. Which bank? The answer would have to be "You can cash them at the bank on the corner of Main and Elm."


    And I also think it's important to be idiomatic. In fact, we'd say "she's been taken to the hospital" and not "she been taken to a hospital." I'm expressing it as the natural, American way to say it. I understand it's not universal, but explaining what we'd say idiomatically is important.

    Do you want to say that we say "we have a flu" instead of "we have the flu" because the difference between "a" and "the" makes the first one more logical? After all, there are many strains of influenza. But we don't. We say "I have the flu."

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    #9

    Re: a/the bank, park, hospital

    Barb_D

    Thank you very much for your advice.
    It was very informative.

    I will keep in mind that I should attach importance to idiomatic expressions.

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    #10

    Re: a/the bank, park, hospital

    Quote Originally Posted by barb_d View Post
    why did you quote me and then make "american english" into "american english"? Capitalization is an important part of english.
    i wouldn't and didn't deliberately do that. For some unknown reason, when i type within a quote on this site, not only do some of my capital letters eventually turn into small letters but the initial poster's capitals also become small. And the situation can't be completely corrected by retyping capitals. Very strange!


    if it is not true that you can cash them in any bank, then the response "you can cash them at a bank" is incomplete.
    it may be incomplete, but i don't think it's incorrect. "you can cash them at a bank." as opposed to a restaurant or department store.

    and i also think it's important to be idiomatic. In fact, we'd say "she's been taken to the hospital" and not "she been taken to a hospital." i'm expressing it as the natural, american way to say it. I understand it's not universal, but explaining what we'd say idiomatically is important.
    i understand what you are saying, but i have the following responses.
    1...when we do say "the hospital", it's probably because both the speaker and the other person know which hospital it is.
    2...we were given a specific situation of there being "several hospitals around here.", so "a hospital" is certainly correct. It's almost as if the question, with a specific situation, comes from an exam testing 'a' vs 'the'.

    do you want to say that we say "we have a flu" instead of "we have the flu" because the difference between "a" and "the" makes the first one more logical? After all, there are many strains of influenza. But we don't. We say "i have the flu."
    but we do say 'i have a cold.' and there are also many strains.
    maybe we say "the flu" because it's the one authorities are expecting to appear this year and have prepared a vaccine against. Who knows why?

    but we both also know that sometimes 'real english' does deviate from 'logical/correct english'.
    2006
    Last edited by 2006; 29-Mar-2009 at 19:44.

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