Is there the Internet here?

Li'l Bull

Senior Member
Spanish (Spain)
Hi, native speakers of English!

I've come across this question in the context of a guest who is checking into a hotel and it sounds somewhat strange to me:

Is there the Internet here? (this would be a guest asking a receptionist)

Are you familiar with this way of asking if there is an Internet connection/WiFi at a given place?

Thank you in advance.
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I guess people would understand it.

    Accessing the internet on the move is a relatively new phenomenon, so it will take a while for the "standard" way of asking about it to emerge.
     

    Li'l Bull

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    I guess people would understand it.

    Accessing the internet on the move is a relatively new phenomenon, so it will take a while for the "standard" way of asking about it to emerge.
    Thanks, suzi br.

    However, I would like to know if the question would strike you as odd/unnatural/foreign if you were a receptionist, or if, on the contrary, it is just one of many ways of putting the question.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It sounds very strange - wrong, in fact. After thinking about it a while, the reason seems to be that 'there is' requires an indefinite complement:

    Is there a Web connexion / power socket here?
    Is there any Internet access here?
    Is there some problem?

    And nouns without articles, indicating the thing generally, count as indefinite:

    Is there television / Broadband in the rooms?

    The following treats the well-known definite 'the Internet' like indefinite television or Broadband, and it seems bad, but not as entirely wrong as your original example:

    ?? Is there Internet in the rooms?

    The same problem occurs with other masses with definite articles:

    :thumbsdown: Is there the Shopping Channel in the rooms?
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Yes, it would strike me as odd, unnatural and foreign no matter who I was. :) In fact, I think ETB has already analysed the issue masterfully as usual. :)
     
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