Elle travaille dans un/à l'hôpital

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by cigogne, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. cigogne Senior Member

    Persian
    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. Liloo6

    Liloo6 Senior Member

    Nice
    Français
    Hello Cigogne,

    What do you call "first case" and "second case"? as it is the same sentence. :eek:
     
  3. cigogne Senior Member

    Persian
    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. Liloo6

    Liloo6 Senior Member

    Nice
    Français
    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. cigogne Senior Member

    Persian
    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. Liloo6

    Liloo6 Senior Member

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

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