At (the) university

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by fan&mag, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. fan&mag Junior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Spanish (Argentina)
    Hello! I need to confirm which is the right option about the following statement:
    I study Public Relations at the university.
    or
    I study Public Relations at university.
    Best.
     
  2. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    In the US you would say "I'm studying / taking Public Relations in college." You would only use "university" if you were referring (at least by implication) to a specific university:

    "I'm taking Public Relations of the University of Maine."
    "She teaches Economics at the University." (If it's understood which university is being referred to.)
     
  3. fan&mag Junior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Spanish (Argentina)
    Thank you Chris.. But I still feel a bit confused.. if I want to use university I should say at the (with article). Am I right? Moreover, can I say I study instead of I´m studying? I think of the present tense because it is routine in my life .. so I don´t understand why you say I´m studying? :confused:
     
  4. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    In the US, you would say "at the university"; I believe British usage may be different.

    "I study" is not wrong, but "I'm studying" would be more usual. In general, we say:

    He's studying Economics (or "economics") at the University of Delaware

    But:

    He teaches Economics at the...

    But:

    He's teaching Economics this year.

    We tend to use the present progressive to describe something that a person is currently doing, but that he or she may not be doing at a later time, and we reserve the simple present for something that has no implied time limit.
     
  5. fan&mag Junior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Spanish (Argentina)
    Hi Chris! Thank you very much! Now it is clearer to me...Best, and have a nice week!!!:)
     
  6. zetem Senior Member

    Canada, English
    I think the British will say "I study Public Relations at university" when they only want to identify the level of education they want to achieve.
     
  7. Tazzler Senior Member

    Maryland
    American English
    I agree with zetem.
     
  8. Hi everyone!!

    I've found this sentence in a book: My dad teaches at the university and now wonder why it takes the article ('the'). Would it mean something different without it? Does it actually make any difference? Why would we choose one or the other option? (it sounds more natural to me without the article... but I'm not native).

    Thanks a lot in advance!!
     
  9. Pirlo

    Pirlo Senior Member

    Australia
    English
    Hello,

    According to me, the inclusion of the article implies that the person is refering to a specific University.

    For example:
    Q: What is your Dad's occupation?
    A: He teaches at University.

    Q: Do you know the University of Barcelona?
    A: Yes, my Dad teaches at the University.

    I hope this helps. :)
     
  10. Of course it helps!!! Thank you, thank you! It's clearer now!
     
  11. Pirlo

    Pirlo Senior Member

    Australia
    English
    You're welcome, if you're not quite clear on anything don't be afraid to ask. :)
     
  12. slazenger14

    slazenger14 Senior Member

    If you are referring to a particular university, then, yes you are correct. It would not be correct to say: My dad teaches at University. You COULD say: My dad teaches at a University. However, that wouldn't be very descriptive but rather broad. "the" University implies that there is one university in your city and everyone would understand you if you said "the". For example, I own the red car with black rims. You are implying that it is the only red car with black rims. Therefore, saying that your dad teaches at "THE" university means that most people are familiar with that exact university.
    Do you understand this better?
     
  13. That's very kind of you, Pirlo! :)

    Thanks again! No doubt more questions will come up!

    Carol
     
  14. Pirlo

    Pirlo Senior Member

    Australia
    English
    This is correct according to me, however the most natural way an English native would express this sentence would be; "My Dad is a University Teacher". Otherwise the sentence is too vague.
     
  15. You're reply's been very clear, Slazenger. Thanks a lot!
     
  16. larq005 Senior Member

    Español, España
    Sorry if I'm not right but should we use "an university" despite of "a university"?

    Regards.
     
  17. adrs Senior Member

    No, it doesn't need the "n" because the "u" of university is pronunced like "llu/yu/iu". I mean, is the sound of a consonant.
     
  18. VivaReggaeton88

    VivaReggaeton88 Senior Member

    Santa Ana, Costa Rica / New York, NY
    US/EEUU; English/Inglés
    A mí no me suena bien "My dad teaches at University".

    ¿What does your father do?
    He teaches at a university/college.

    Si me estoy refiriendo a una universidad específica, le pondría el "the".
     
  19. Enfuego New Member

    english
    To whom asked the question!

    If you wanted to say "i'm studying public relations at the university" One must almost ALWAYS use the article when using university in conversation.

    The only instance one would leave the article out is if the name of the actual school/ institution is actually "University." "i'm studying public relations at University," Just like "I'm studying public relations at Harvard."

    Also, just thought i would mention that the word university is not altogether common in conversation. One would more naturally say "I'm studying public relations at college," or "i'm studying public relations at school." Mostly the only time you would use "i'm studying public relations at the university," would be if the name of the university is already common knowledge to the two people in conversation. It could be common knowledge for example, if it is known that you attend the only college in town, therefore the full name is not needed since it is already known. Otherwise, you would use the full name of the school, "I'm studying public relations at the University of Miami."

    Hope this helps, and is not too confusing!!!!
    (I speak American English)
     
  20. fan&mag Junior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Spanish (Argentina)
    Better late than never, thank you very much for your comments Enfuego. They are clear and to the point... Rgds.
     
  21. The Prof

    The Prof Senior Member

    As this thread has been revived, I would like to add a British perspective. :)

    When we use "the" with university, we are assuming that the listener knows which university we are talking about:

    -What does your mum do?
    -She teaches.
    -Really? Where?
    -At the university.

    This would be said if there was a university locally, at which she taught. If there wasn't a university locally, or if there was more than one, then "at XXX University" would be said, without "the".
     
  22. fan&mag Junior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Spanish (Argentina)
    Thank you for your comment. It is very useful for me. Therefore, if I want to say that “I´m studying at the university” it means that there is only one in the area and it is shared knowledge between the speaker and the listener. If not, I should say “I´m studying at XXX University”. And do you say “I´m studying public relations at college”?
     
  23. AndresTM Senior Member

    Chicago, IL
    Spanish
    What The Prof said applies to the U.S. as well. Here, you would only say "at the university" if "the university" is substituting for a proper name, i.e., it is understood which university you are talking about.

    "at college" no me suena bien en inglés estadounidense. Para referirse a cualquier actividad a nivel universitario, la expresión aquí generalmente es "in college"*; sin embargo, dado que "public relations" es algo que sólo se estudia en universidad, sería quizás superfluo decir "I'm studying public relations in college", a menos que eso sea exactamente lo que quieras decir (para, por ejemplo, enfatizar que estás estudiando en una universidad). Sin embargo, si vas a especificar en qué universidad, debes usar el at: "I'm studying econ(omics) at the University of Chicago"; "I studied chemistry at Boston College".

    *"in college" se usa sin importar el nombre de la universidad: los exalumnos de the University of Washington dirán "when I was in college, I had a lot of friends", igual que los estudiantes de Vanderbilt University o Pomona College dicen "I need to be successful in college".
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
  24. The Prof

    The Prof Senior Member

    Aquí en Inglaterra, sí. :)
     
  25. fan&mag Junior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Spanish (Argentina)
    Thank you very much The Prof and Andres TM. I teach English and it is important for me to have both views because sometimes students are confused and I like to clarify their doubts properly. All the best!
     

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