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Thread: Elle travaille dans un/à l'hôpital

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Elle travaille dans un/à l'hôpital

    Hi,

    In my french learning book, I read these two sentences "Elle travaille dans un hôpital." and "Elle travaille à l'hôpital."
    Shall I always use the preposition "dans" in the first case and "à" in the second?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Re: Elle travaille dans un/à l'hôpital

    Hello Cigogne,

    What do you call "first case" and "second case"? as it is the same sentence.

  3. #3
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    Re: Elle travaille dans un/à l'hôpital

    Thank you. In the first sentence, there is the preposition "dans" and an indefinite article. In the second sentence, however, there is the preposition "à" and a definite article. Is it always the same?

  4. #4
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    Re: Elle travaille dans un/à l'hôpital

    To be honest I'm not really good at explaining rules but I can tell you that it is not always the same.
    You can totally use a definite article with "dans" (example : J'ai mis les courses dans le panier / J'ai rangé mes vêtements dans la penderie) and an indefinite article with "à" (Example : J'ai demandé mon chemin à une dame / J'ai écrit une lettre à un ami).

    In your sentence though, you can't say "Elle travaille à un hôpital" for instance.
    Does it help? Hope some other natives will explain better than I do

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: Elle travaille dans un/à l'hôpital

    Thank you for your explanation. Following your explanation, I should say
    "Elle travaille à l'université/ dans une université."
    "Elle travaille à l'usine/ dans une usine." etc. Is that right?

  6. #6
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    Re: Elle travaille dans un/à l'hôpital

    Yes, depending on what you want to say but all of your sentences are correct.

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