In class

Monica238

Senior Member
Russian
Does "in class" work as well as "in the class" and "in the classroom"?
Children don't need a phone in class/in the class/in the classroom.

I am expressing my opinion. I think it distracts children. If I use "in the class" and "in the classroom" would it refer to the particular class?
 
  • Monica238

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I think "in class" works better than "in the class (which one?)" as a general statement. "In the classroom" and "in class" can be taken as a synonyms.

    But why do "in the classroom" and "in class" work as synonyms and not "in the class and "in class?" I mean there is the definite article in "in the classroom too.
     

    cidertree

    Senior Member
    Béarla na hÉireann (Hiberno-English)
    It's difficult to say why something works. I'd use "in class" and "in the classroom" to refer to the teacher/pupils/room/teaching dynamic" and "in the class" to refer to a particular class that is given (mine, for example), or to the pupils who (should) attend that class.
     

    Monica238

    Senior Member
    Russian
    It's difficult to say why something works. I'd use "in class" and "in the classroom" to refer to the teacher/pupils/room/teaching dynamic" and "in the class" to refer to a particular class that is given (mine, for example), or to the pupils who (should) attend that class.

    Does the same apply to this use?


    1. A: Is he sitting in class?
    2. Is he sitting in a class/classroom?
    3. Is he sitting in the class/ classroom?
     

    Monica238

    Senior Member
    Russian
    1. Is he sitting in class?
    2. Is he sitting in a class/ classroom?
    3. Is he sitting in the class/ classroom?

    All are good, with different meanings. 2 and 3 do not indicate if anyone else is in the classroom with him.

    So "class" isn't used to refer to "the classroom". Right?
     

    Monica238

    Senior Member
    Russian
    1. Is he sitting in class?
    2. Is he sitting in a class/ classroom?
    3. Is he sitting in the class/ classroom?

    All are good, with different meanings. 2 and 3 do not indicate if anyone else is in the classroom with him.


    Or perhaps it is the difference between BrE and AmE?

    From one of my threads:
    2. Is he sitting in a class/classroom?
    3. Is he sitting in the class/ classroom?
    2 and 3 use class with its meaning of a room.
     

    Monica238

    Senior Member
    Russian
    It's difficult to say why something works. I'd use "in class" and "in the classroom" to refer to the teacher/pupils/room/teaching dynamic" and "in the class" to refer to a particular class that is given (mine, for example), or to the pupils who (should) attend that class.

    Aren't both "on/at the lesson" the wrong choices for the original sentence? Can "during the lesson" be used instead?

    "Children don't need a phone on/at the lesson."
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    People can say all sorts of wrong/silly/ambiguous/accidental/dialect things, if they want to. On the internet, they may not even be English speakers.

    Perhaps what you need is a clear idea of the best one to use? That's fairly easy:
    • If you mean the bricks-and-mortar space where lessons are held, call it a classroom.
    • If you mean the group of pupils taught together in a classroom, they're a class.
    • If you mean the 45-60 minutes spent learning, it depends somewhat on the school. This may be a class, a lesson, a period...
    Does this mean the other options are wrong? No, just that these are right.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    "In class" refers to an activity, not a place.

    "What did you learn in class today?"

    That means, what did you learn while you were being taught. You could have gone outside the school and studied insects in the grass. You were still "in class" (being taught in a group by a teacher) even if you were not inside a classroom. A classroom is a physical place.

    Children don't need a phone in class = children don't need a phone during the time they are being taught

    This is a general statement about the philosophy of school. No student anywhere in any place in any situation needs a phone while a teacher is teaching them, whether in a classroom or outside in the grass.

    Children don't need a phone in the class.​

    This doesn't really make sense. It's not a general statement about educational conditions. Using "the" means it's referring to a very specific, named class. But there is no class named.

    Children don't need a phone in the classroom

    This could have two meanings.

    1) Because it uses "the", it could be referring to a specific classroom. It could be classroom 42. But again, that doesn't make much sense since we have no information about a specific classroom.

    2) It could be using "the classroom" to represent the activity of all learning that takes place in schools.

    It's like the way we say "the lion is one of the largest predators in the world". "The lion" represents all lions, not just one particular lion. It describes a category or type of animal that has many individuals.

    So "the classroom" works the same way. It represents not a specific classroom but the category of all classrooms everywhere. So it really isn't talking about a physical space, it's talking about the important activity that takes place in a classroom anywhere - a period of learning. It's the activity that is important (being taught by a teacher), not the physical place the teaching happens.

    So it says the same thing as "in class". Students don't need a phone while they are in the middle of being taught by a teacher.
     
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    Monica238

    Senior Member
    Russian
    People can say all sorts of wrong/silly/ambiguous/accidental/dialect things, if they want to. On the internet, they may not even be English speakers.

    Perhaps what you need is a clear idea of the best one to use? That's fairly easy:
    • If you mean the bricks-and-mortar space where lessons are held, call it a classroom.
    • If you mean the group of pupils taught together in a classroom, they're a class.
    • If you mean the 45-60 minutes spent learning, it depends somewhat on the school. This may be a class, a lesson, a period...
    Does this mean the other options are wrong? No, just that these are right.
    But "class" can also be used to refer to a room. Right?

    I just wanted to make sure I don't misunderstand this previous explanation.
    2. Is he sitting in a class/classroom?
    3. Is he sitting in the class/ classroom?
    2 and 3 use class with its meaning of a room.

    I just can't find that meaning in the dictionary class_1 noun - Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com
     
    Last edited:

    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    SSBE (Standard Southern British English)
    But "class" can also be used to refer to a room. Right?
    No. It can't.

    'Class' can mean a lesson.
    'Class' can mean a set of students.
    'Class' can also mean 'course' in AmE.

    It cannot mean 'room'. 'Class' cannot be used as a synonym of 'classroom'.
    I just wanted to make sure I don't misunderstand this previous explanation.
    It seems that you have misunderstood.
    2. Is he sitting in a class/classroom?

    3. Is he sitting in the class/ classroom?
    2 and 3 use class with its meaning of a room.
    They don't. The words 'class' and 'classroom' have different meanings.

    "He is sitting in a class" means that he is sitting surrounded by fellow students while a lesson is in progress. It doesn't mean that he's in a classroom. For all we know, it's a drawing lesson and they're all sitting outside.

    "He is sitting in a classroom" doesn't mean that he's in a class. He could be sitting in a classroom on his own, eating his lunch.


    I just can't find that meaning in the dictionary
    Hardly surprising, given that this meaning does not exist. 'Class' does not mean 'classroom'.
     
    Last edited:

    Monica238

    Senior Member
    Russian
    No. It can't.

    'Class' can mean a lesson.
    'Class' can mean a set of students.
    'Class' can also mean 'course' in AmE.

    It cannot mean 'room'. 'Class' cannot be used as a synonym of 'classroom'.

    It seems that you have misunderstood.



    They don't. The words 'class' and 'classroom' have different meanings.

    "He is sitting in a class" means that he is sitting surrounded by fellow students while a lesson is in progress. It doesn't mean that he's in a classroom. For all we know, it's a drawing lesson and they're all sitting outside.

    "He is sitting in a classroom" doesn't mean that he's in a class. He could be sitting in a classroom on his own, eating his lunch.



    Hardly surprising, given that this meaning does not exist. 'Class' does not mean 'classroom'.

    Then I don't understand why the following was written in the previous thread:"2 and 3 use class with its meaning of a room."

    "2. Is he sitting in a class/classroom?
    3. Is he sitting in the class/ classroom?
    2 and 3 use class with its meaning of a room."


    You explaned "in a class" and "in a classroom". Can I use "in the class" and "in the classroom?"


    "He is sitting in a *the* class" means that he is sitting surrounded by fellow students while a lesson is in progress. It doesn't mean that he's in a classroom. For all we know, it's a drawing lesson and they're all sitting outside.

    "He is sitting in *the* a classroom" doesn't mean that he's in a class. He could be sitting in a classroom on his own, eating his lunch.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Then I don't understand why the following was written in the previous thread:"2 and 3 use class with its meaning of a room."...
    What thread was that? You've mentioned it twice now, but with no reference to help us find it.

    But I refer back to #11: People can say all sorts of wrong/silly/ambiguous/accidental/dialect things, if they want to.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    "Sitting in class" means you are sitting with fellow students getting a lesson from a teacher. There is no mention of where the students are physically.

    "Sitting in a classroom" means you are in one of the rooms of a school building. It doesn't say anything else about what is happening or who is there or why. You could be there reading a book or eating lunch.
     

    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    SSBE (Standard Southern British English)
    "Sitting in class" means you are sitting with fellow students getting a lesson from a teacher. There is no mention of where the students are physically.

    "Sitting in a classroom" means you are in one of the rooms of a school building. It doesn't say anything else about what is happening or who is there or why. You could be there reading a book or eating lunch.
    ..... which is almost exactly what I said in #14 :)
     

    Monica238

    Senior Member
    Russian
    ..... which is almost exactly what I said in #14 :)

    But is "the" possible instead of "a"? Would the meaning change?

    "He is sitting in a *the* class" means that he is sitting surrounded by fellow students while a lesson is in progress. It doesn't mean that he's in a classroom. For all we know, it's a drawing lesson and they're all sitting outside.

    "He is sitting in a *the* classroom" doesn't mean that he's in a class. He could be sitting in a classroom on his own, eating his lunch.
     

    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    SSBE (Standard Southern British English)
    But is "the" possible instead of "a"? Would the meaning change?
    If you want to ask about the difference between 'a' and 'the' - which I'm sure you know - you'll need to do that in another thread. It doesn't affect the meanings of the words 'class' or 'classroom'.
     

    Monica238

    Senior Member
    Russian
    If you want to ask about the difference between 'a' and 'the' - which I'm sure you know - you'll need to do that in another thread. It doesn't affect the meanings of the words 'class' or 'classroom'.

    I mean if "the class" and "a class", "a classroom" and "the classroom" would sound idiomatic? I am not asking about the difference between "a class" and "the class" and "a classroom" and "the classroom". The class and the classroom are specific ones. A class and a classroom aren't.
     

    Wordy McWordface

    Senior Member
    SSBE (Standard Southern British English)
    As I said, this is about the standard use of articles. If the context requires a definite article, it's appropriate and idiomatic to use one.
     
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