I'm going to (the) school.

Creature from the Sun

Senior Member
Russian
Dear Gurus,
Let's say, Jim met his friend, Tom, in the street. Jim is wondering, where is Tom going at the moment:
J: Where are you going?
T: I'm going to the school.
Do we need 'the' here? To my mind, we do, because 'going to school ' means being a pupil but not the process of moving from home to the school.
Thank you.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Your thinking makes sense to me, Creature. If Tom is talking about going to a specific building or group of buildings, then "I am going to the school" makes sense.
     

    Creature from the Sun

    Senior Member
    Russian
    It can, though we normally express that idea in another way, such as I'm on my way to school.
    Thank you, tunaafi.
    In such a case, how the whole dialogue can go? I mean,
    - is this question (Where are you going?) quite common to express interest to the place a person is going to?
    - which of the answers is most expectable?

    J: Where are you going?
    T: 1. I'm on my way to school. (if it is really impossible to predict that the person is going to school)
    2.To school. (if it is really impossible to predict that the person is going to school)
    3.To school, of course. Where else can I be going in early morning, how d'you think? (if it is possible to expect that the person is going to school - say, it's happening on Monday early in the morning)

    Thank you.
     

    tunaafi

    Senior Member
    English - British (Southern England)
    The first two are fine. Instead of the third, I'd say "To school, of course' (Where do you think I'd be going at this time of the day?)?" The part I have enclosed n rackets is more likely to be said to someone of the same age rather than to an adult.
     

    Creature from the Sun

    Senior Member
    Russian
    The first two are fine. Instead of the third, I'd say "To school, of course' (Where do you think I'd be going at this time of the day?)?" The part I have enclosed n rackets is more likely to be said to someone of the same age rather than to an adult.
    I got it! Thank you so much, tunaafi!
     
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