my question is:

When can the article “the“

be used with the word “church“?

I have a book were the explanation is that we don't use the with the words school, church, bed, hospital etc. When we refer to the purpose for which they exist.

What do they mean, when they say purpose? When can I actually use it?

Thank you very much!

  • 2
    If, on Sunday, you go and hear the minister preach a sermon, you say "I'm going to church." If on Friday, you go to the church to attend a concert performed by a string quartet, you say "I'm going to the church." Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 17:56
  • 1
  • We say that someone is 'at church' when they are attending a service, 'at school' when they are a pupil there, and so on. They might be 'at the church' to arrange flowers, 'at the school' to speak to a teacher, or whatever. BUT please note that in British English a patient is 'in hospital', while Americans say 'in the hospital'. Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 18:00
  • 4
    Possible duplicate of Why is "the" dropped in "I go to school by bus"? Note that there's something of a US/UK split - particularly with reference to school. Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 18:02
  • There are major differences between US and UK usage in this area. You need to make clear which you are discussing.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 18:27


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