1. My niece is in hospital.
  2. My niece is in the hospital.

Both the sentences look good to me. Is there any difference between the two sentences?

Although I know the difference but the real question is how would the use of article 'the' create that difference? How would you justify that?

As far as I have learned, the first sentence means that my niece is in hospital as a patient, whereas the second sentence means that my niece is in the hospital, but not necessarily as a patient. How does 'the' account for this difference between the meanings?

  • 3
    The answer changes based on whether this is BrE or AmE. In AmE we never say in hospital whether they're a patient or no. In AmE you're a patient if you're "in the hospital" and you're visiting if you're at the hospital.
    – Jim
    Sep 5, 2015 at 5:18

2 Answers 2


in hospital = British; in the hospital = U.S.

(They mean the same thing, each in its respective milieu.)


both sentence tells us the same meaning

  • 1
    You don't have to write an answer if that's already written by another user.
    – NVZ
    Jul 12, 2017 at 19:12

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