Hello my friends, here we are with the 5th
video in my series of articles. So, there are 10 videos in total so just a few more
to go and it’s so much pain I know, but we’re strong and we’re gonna do it. So,
this one is really useful because it’s a mistake students make all the time. Hospital
or the hospital? School or the school? And I will explain why. We’ll start with my
example. My friend was sent to prison for 5 years. Yes, I have very naughty friends.
He was sent to prison. No article. I went to the prison today to visit my friend. Now,
in the 1st example: ‘My friend was sent to prison’. Why? Because he’s a naughty
criminal. He kept stealing little sweets from supermarkets and they sent him to prison for
5 years. But ‘I went to THE prison today to visit my friend.’ Am I a criminal or
am I visiting? I’m visiting. So, I’m going to prison not because I’m a criminal. He
is. So, from this we understand that if you go to these places to do what that place does,
if you go to school to learn or to teach. It is its function. There’s no article.
If you go to prison because you’re a criminal there’s no article. If you go to prison
for another reason, we have the article. For example, I’m going to hospital because I’ve
broken my legs. Yesterday I went to the hospital to deliver some medicine. So I’m going for
a different reason because I’m not injured. I’m not going to do what a hospital does.
University. I’m going to the university to make a complaint about my professors because
they completely taught me wrong. I’m going to university to study. Do you see the difference?
I’ll repeat it again. With the article: the university, the school you go there for
a different reason. With NO ARTICLE, you go the for that place’s purpose: to learn,
to get better, to be a criminal for a long time if you steal sweets and do naughty things,
study or church to pray. I think that’s quite understandable, it’s very very simple.
Again go to Raymond Murphy’s. It’s based on his unit. There’s lots of practice there
and just do it, do it and do it. Make examples in your head. ‘I’m going to school to
learn’, ‘I’m going to church to pray’, ‘I’m going to prison for 25 years’,
‘I’m going to the prison to visit my friend.’, ‘I’m going to the school to make a complaint.’
Let’s have a look at few other words which don’t have articles but can. Bed. Now, ‘bed’
is an interesting one because if you use the article then the meaning is completely different.
So, if you say ‘I’m going to bed.’ With no article, it means ‘I’m going to sleep.’
I’m going to lie in bed=I’m going to relax. I’m doing what a bed does – sleep
or relax. ‘I’m going to THE bed – I’m standing next to it now.” And what? ‘I
want to buy the bed over there’ as a product not for what it actually does. And that’s
actually defined article which I’ll explain a bit later. With ‘work’ and ‘home’
again it’s a common mistake. ‘I’m going to the home. Yours or someone else’s? It’s
completely wrong. I’m going home. I’m going to work. I’m at work. I’m at home.
What time do you start work? What time do you finish work? What time did you get home?
Just, learn it like that, avoid using the article. The work I had to do today was really
difficult, but we’re not really talking about your job, we’re talking about the
tasks. So again, with the article it’s a bit different. And ‘the work I had to do
today, that’s actually being defined’ and again, I’ll explain that later. Look
at this: ‘I’m at sea for 6 months of the year’. We’re talking about a voyage. If
there’s no article with ‘sea’ then, again, the meaning is completely different.
‘I’m at sea for 6 months’ BUT ‘I love swimming in THE sea.’ With the article it
means ‘in the water.’ And it doesn’t mean voyage. So do you understand here, you
know, it’s really important to get it right. So that’s all I need to say. Watch it again,
if you’re not sure and again as I said before in a previous video Murphy’s has a lot of
practice on articles. I suggest you use it. So, ready for the next one? Let’s do it.