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Articles (A and The) with buildings

 

Institutions


These are public buildings: school, college, university, prison, hospital and church. We don't say "a" or "the" when we are talking about their normal purpose (for students, criminals, sick people, religious people).

She was in hospital for 3 weeks with a broken leg.

(she was sick)

But, if we are just talking about the building, or if we use an adjective, we do say "a" or "the", using the normal rules.

She parked her car outside the hospital.

(she wasn't sick, so it's just a building)

She was in a really good hospital for 3 weeks.

(she was sick, but 'good' is an adjective)


Places in a town


For most shops or places in a town, we say "go to the" (because we imagine that there is only one, or that the listener knows which one we are talking about).

I'm going to the pet shop.

But, again, we can say "a" or nothing when we are just talking about the building or using the normal rules.

There's a pet shop near here.

I love pet shops.


Make sure you know the basic rules before you practise this.

Practice with 'a', 'an' and 'the' Next Lesson: ???

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