At (the) university


Spanish (Argentina)
Hello! I need to confirm which is the right option about the following statement:
I study Public Relations at the university.
I study Public Relations at university.
  • 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.)
    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:
    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:

    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


    He teaches Economics at the...


    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.
    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.
    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!!

    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. :)
    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?
    Sorry if I'm not right but should we use "an university" despite of "a university"?

    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)
    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".
    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”?
    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".
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    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!