Common Expressions Without Articles

In some common fixed expressions to do with place, time and movement, normally countable nouns are treated as uncountables, without articles. Examples are:

To/at/in/from school
To/at/from university/college (GB)
To/in/from college (US)
To/at/in/into/from church
To/in/into/out of bed/prison
To/in/into/out of hospital (GB)
To/at/from work
To/at sea
To/in/from town
At/from home
Leave/start/enter school/university/college
By day
At night
By car/bus/bicycle/plane/train/tube/boat
On foot
By radio/phone/letter/mail

With place nouns, similar expressions with articles may have different meanings.

Compare:

  • I met her at college. (When we were students)
  • I met her at the college. (The college is just a meeting place.)

In American English, university and hospital are not used without articles.

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Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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