Preposition: ... <in, at> <the> hospital? [visit him in/ at]

cheshire

Senior Member
Japanese
(1) I visited him at the hospital.
(2) I visited him in hospital.
Is it true that "he" in (1) works for the hospital, and "he" in (2) is staying in hospital for medical treatment?
 
  • soakupthesun

    Member
    English, New Zealand
    no, not neccessarily. to visit someone in hospital doesn't always mean they are there for medical treatment, it basically just means that they are situated "in" the hospital. same with to visit someone at the hospital, it's just a different way of saying it!
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    If he works at the hospital and you went to see him there (on business, perhaps), you would not likely say that you "visited" him there. Anytime I hear the word "visit" with respect to a hospital, I think of seeing a patient. Accordingly, if I heard either sentence, it would make me think of visiting a patient although I'd more often use "in hospital".
     

    Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    Hello,

    I agree with soakupthesun regarding your question about visiting a patient or a worker in a hospital. One additional point: in American English, "I visited him in hospital." would never be said. You'd need to add the definite article: "I visited him in the hospital."
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    (1) I visited him at the hospital.
    (2) I visited him in hospital.
    Is it true that "he" in (1) works for the hospital, and "he" in (2) is staying in hospital for medical treatment?

    Not necessarily.

    However, I would see it as meaning that he isn't at the hospital now, or that maybe one had a choice of places at which to visit him at the time.
     

    Ume

    Banned
    Japanese
    It's just that "visit someone in the hospital" is American English and "visit someone in hospital" is British English, isn't it? What about "visit someone at the hospital"?
     
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