Why do the English avoid the article?

Members help members on grammar, vocab, pronunciation...

Moderators: Krisi, Vega, EC

Post Reply
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:59 pm
Status: Other

Why do the English avoid the article?

Post by WhidbeyTomas » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:14 pm

"He died and went to heaven." That makes sense because there is only one heaven (presumably). So, what is the explanation for the persistent lack of article in UK spoken English in cases like the following:
  • The prime minister is in hospital for a routine evaluation.
    The student went to univeristy to study French.
I would think the above would be correct if there is only one hospital and only one university in the world. In fact, there are many hospitals and many universities, and these people (if they really existed) are in one specific hospital or attending one specific university.

What am I missing?

(There is a good chance that is has been addressed before. If it has been addressed ad nauseum, I can only say mea culpa.)

User avatar
Silver Member
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:11 pm
Status: English Learner
Location: somewhere

Re: Why do the English avoid the article?

Post by Hyacinth » Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:24 pm

what i know about articles is:
in news , advertisements, annoucements and reports, the articles are ommitted in purpose to make them brief and\or formal.
they are not for telling stories, details or describing something or somebody.

User avatar
Platinum Member
Posts: 536
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:47 pm
Status: English Learner

Re: Why do the English avoid the article?

Post by Tukanja » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:25 pm

Does one go to university by a bus or by bus?
Does one go to hospital by a car or by car?

Post Reply