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

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!
 
  • Trisia

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    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 :)
     

    dn88

    Senior Member
    Polish
    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?
     

    The Scrivener

    Banned
    England. English
    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?

    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".
     

    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".
     

    MCL

    Senior Member
    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.
     
    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.
     
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