Preposition: ... <in, at> <the> hospital? [go to ....]

Discussion in 'English Only' started by sergtab, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. sergtab Senior Member

    Russian, Russia
    go to hospital
    Please tell me, should I put in the definite article in this case? (in American English). Thank you!
  2. Trisia

    Trisia mod de viață

    I'm not sure BE and AE would disagree about this :D

    Go to the hospital.

    (Now that I think about it, I do remember hearing "I need to go to hospital, now!" But I'm guessing I didn't hear the "a")

    EDIT: [after seeing all the other posts]Wow, I was so wrong... one must live and learn, I guess :)
  3. dn88 Senior Member

    I'm quite sure that "go to hospital" (without any article) is perfectly correct.

    She was injured and had to go to hospital.

    But "go to the hospital" is also very common. But without any article it's just fine.

    What do others think?
  4. The Scrivener Banned

    On the "naughty step".
    England. English
    I agree.

    "Where are you off to?"

    "I'm going to the hospital. My cat bit my ankle last night and the wounds are deep."

    (This is a true story -it happened to me last Saturday!)

    In Scotland, when someone is hospitalised, it is normal to say - "Did you hear about xxxxx? She went to the hospital and they kept her in."

    The Scots also say, "xxxxx is in the hospital".
  5. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    English (England)
    For me I would say "to go to hospital" as the default phrase. As always, the definite article can be added if you have a specific one in mind - even if this is not explicitly stated. So -

    Auntie Joan in Australia who we've never visited has gone to hospital with apendicitis. Here, in my usage, "the" could not be added.

    "I've gone to the hospital with a broken nose" or "I've gone to hospital with a broken nose". For me both could be said but the nuance slightly different. In the first case we are talking about the one and only hospital I must have gone to because there is only one in the area and you know full well which I mean. In the second case this is just a general statement.

    Edit - I also think I would say "to go to the hospital" if I wasn't entering as a patient. "I've gone to the hospital to pick up my aunt".
    Edit edit - "to go into hospital" is also said, meaning that you are entering as a patient. "My aunt has gone into hospital".
  6. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    In American English, we keep the article in this case: Go to the/a hospital.
  7. MCL

    MCL Senior Member

    Oregon USA
    English, U.S.
    Just to agree - in AE the phrase 'gone to hospital' would not be correct.

    One of the articles, the or a, would be necessary.

    Unless you specified the hospital by name: I've (they've, she's...) gone to Saint Agnes Hospital.
  8. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    American speakers should understand that the same rules that would be used in the US for "school" or "church" are used in the UK for "hospital".

    My daughter is in school.
    I was in the school today to talk to her teacher.

    I saw him last Sunday when I was in church.
    We were in the church today, admiring the new stained glass windows.
  9. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
  10. marsbeing

    marsbeing Senior Member

    Many thanks, Panjandrum, it is very helpful.

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