Zero Article for Buildings

Grammar Summary:

Grammar lesson: What’s the difference between saying: “I’m going to college” and “I’m going to the college”? This lesson explains.

1. Removing the article:

For certain buildings, we can sometimes remove the article in a sentence.

Those buildings are: 

- school    
- college   
- university   
- hospital (Brit. only)*   
- church / mosque / temple  
- prison

2. Why remove the article?

If I say: “I am going to college / hospital / church / prison”, I am receiving the care of the college / hospital / church / prison.

I am therefore a student / sick person / worshipper / prisoner. I am not a teacher / doctor / priest / prison guard.


3. More examples:

Zero Article - to school

- "What time are they leaving for temple"
(they are going to pray)

- "David has just left prison (he was a prisoner)

- I don’t want to think about hospital (*Brit.)

* Note: In American English we would normally say to go to "the hospital" - even if we're not referring to a particular hospital.


John says
That's the end of the lesson, go now to the practice exercise on Zero Articles for buildings.

Printable PDFs for this lesson:

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