Omission of "the" - Omission of the Definite Article Part 2
The is also omitted before: home, church, hospital, prison, school, etc and before work, sea and town
When home is used alone ie is not preceded or followed by a descriptive word or phrase, the is omitted.
- He is at home.
home used alone can be placed directly after a verb of motion, like go.
- He went home.
- I arrived home after dark.
- I sent him home.
But when home is preceded or followed by a descriptive word or phrase it is treated like any other noun:
- They went to their new home.
- We arrived at the bride's home.
- For some years this was the home of your queen.
- A mud hut was the only home he had ever known.
2 bed, church, court, hospital, prison, school/college/university
When the places listed above are visited or used for their primary purpose, the is not used before them.
- to church to pray.
- to school/university to study.
- to prison as prisoner.
- to court as witnesses, etc.
- to hospital as patients
- to bed to sleep
When these places are visited or used for other reasons the is necessary:
- He goes to the school sometimes to repair a few things.
- I went to the court with a letter for someone important.
- We go to sea as sailors.
- To be at sea = to be on a voyage.
- We go to/are at the sea = we go to/are at the seaside.
- We live by the sea.
When speaking of the speaker's own town, the can be omitted:
- We go to town sometimes to buy clothes.
- We were in town last Monday.
5 work and office
work, meaning "place of work", is used without the:
- He isn't back from work yet.
- He is at work.
- He's on his way to work.
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