to go to the...

Yuukan

Senior Member
Spanish
Hi!

Is correct to use "the" in the following sentences:?

To go
to the movie theater
to the mountain
to the sea
to the ocean


Thanks a lot!
 
  • FabiArgentina

    Senior Member
    Argentinian Spanish
    I find them correct. In these cases you can use the definite article "the", you don't use it with "church, school" (to go to church/ school) and "home" (to go home)
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I find them correct. In these cases you can use the definite article "the", you don't use it with "church, school" (to go to church/ school) and "home" (to go home)
    That is an over-simplification.
    Look for the threads that discuss prepositions with school, for example, for a detailed explanation.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Hi Panjandrum! Would you provide us some examples in which we cannot use the article?
    Thanks!
    I would like to see Yuukan post sentences with comments that explain the question.
    It is very dangerous to generalise on the basis of sentence fragments.

    I have to go to the school at 10:30 tomorrow.
    I have to go to school at 10:30 tomorrow.

    Those are two perfectly correct sentences, one with the article, one without.

    The examples in post #1 are correct in many contexts. Except for sea, I suspect they are true in all contexts.
    The same cannot be said for church or school - or home.
     

    Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    General things, habitual things = no article
    Specific, 'singular' things = article

    Well I am going to the church we saw last week to see if...... (singular incident)
    I am going to church (like I do every day) .... (regular / habitual)

    Where 'go to' means 'attend', you don't use it, where it means the literal action, maybe a one-off, then you can..

    [Edit] .. ahh like pan's example
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    ...

    Well I am going to the church we saw last week to see if...... (singular incident)
    I am going to church (like I do every day) .... (regular / habitual)

    Where 'go to' means 'attend', you don't use it, where it means the literal action, maybe a one-off, then you can..
    ...
    With a little bit of additional comment ...

    Going to (no article) church is attending the church service.
    Going to (no article) school is attending the school as a pupil.

    Going to the church is a visit to the building. Whether it is the church I routinely attend on Sundays or somewhere completely different depends on the context.
    If I say "I am going to the church" without context, MrsP knows that I am going to our normal church.

    It's the same with school. If I say "I'm going to the school" without context, MrsP knows I am going to our granddaughter's school.

    In both cases, if we have previously been talking about some other church/school then going to "the church/school" means going there.

    I'm sorry if this appears complicated, but it probably emphasises the very strong influence of context on meaning.
     

    Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I'm going to go re-read the chapter on articles in my grammar book and see if I can help out with any 'rules of thumb' (as pan knows there are no 100% definite rules here!) just a trend with many exceptions!
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top