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Quick grammar question thats confusing
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Malislamusrex



Joined: 01 Feb 2010

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:22 am    Post subject: Re: Quick grammar question thats confusing Reply with quote

There we go.

The Cosmic Hum wrote:
decibalsrising wrote:
Anyone know why for the most part people can say for example, go to church" but not "go to bank"? Havent really thought about it until it popped up today


As Squire mentioned...this is a bit of a difficult one.
The reasons...and exceptions...are numerous.

Home...concept. No article or preposition required.
I am going home.
House...specific tangible object.
I am going to my house. (both article and preposition)

Church and school historically have concept aspects to them...and hence don't require articles...but do require a preposition.
They were often the same building or in the very near vicinity...different rooms in the same building.
Sometimes they were held in someone's home...but the concept of church and school would be applied at the time of being used.

This is also cultural.
I am going to the hospital. AmE
I am going to hospital. BrE

It can also depend on the verb and the location/direction.
I am going home
I am home.
I am at home.

Banks and such came much later to local communities.
As such, both the article and preposition were forced upon them as the grammar nazis were obviously firmly established in the local communities by that time. Wink
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dmajikc



Joined: 10 Oct 2012

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dodge7 wrote:
Isn't the morning "generally known" and common to everyone? Why do we say in THE morning then?


'in mourning' has already been taken Very Happy
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YTMND



Joined: 16 Jan 2012
Location: You're the man now dog!!

PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You couldn't say I'm going 'to churches'.


Sure you could, but you would sound strange in the traditional sense. People only practiced one faith.

Quote:
Isn't the morning "generally known" and common to everyone? Why do we say in THE morning then?


Morning is a word relating to time. So, no it is not always common to say "morning" when there are people on the other side of the planet perceiving the time as evening or night. We would say, "It is morning here". Do we say "It is the morning here"?

In a similar way, "the morning" could be relative to one person's experiences in a day.

"In the morning I will go to work (as opposed to the evening.)"
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ajuma



Joined: 18 Feb 2003
Location: Anywere but Seoul!!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Souperstition wrote:
This is not a professional opinion, but to me (at least in this situation with these events) it seems like the particle gets dropped when you are referencing a scheduled event. For example:

"I am going to church." (Going to a regularly scheduled church service)
"I am going to the church." (Need to stop by the church, but not for a service - going to speak with the pastor, pick something up/drop something off, etc.)

"I am going to school." (When you're going to class)
"I need to go up to the school first." (Forgot something and need to go get it, need to take care of some business there - but you're not going there specifically for class)

So you're more talking about the event (church service, class) than the actual location. That might be an idea for how to generalize it (even though there are so many exceptions) when explaining it to students.

Also, you would not use particles in non-generic places that have actual names, like the name of a restaurant or store. So perhaps as someone earlier said, "school" and "church" get lumped into this category of specific places.


This is exactly how I explain it to my students. I first ask them: Which is correct: to school/to church vs to the school/to the church and have them vote. Then I tell them they're both right.

Home and downtown are exceptions to the rule that they just have to learn. I show them how they SHOULD be "to the home" and "to the downtown" but since grammar rules are correct about 90% of the time, this is something they just have to learn.

Another one that fits in the home/downtown category is "court" as in "I'm going to court for my trial." vs "I'm going to the court to meet my lawyer."

One that always messes them up is "class". We don't say "I'm going to the class." but "I'm going to class" or "I'm going to my classroom." Purpose doesn't work for this one...it's one of those darn 10 percenters that they have to learn.
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YTMND



Joined: 16 Jan 2012
Location: You're the man now dog!!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Purpose doesn't work


Why not? Read below.

Quote:
it seems like the particle gets dropped when you are referencing a scheduled event.


Do you schedule living at home? I think it has to do more with common gathering places among a group of people. Again, those people do not have to be at the location at the same time, it is merely somewhere in common that serves a "purpose" (home - live/reside, school - learn, church - pray, downtown - shop, work - work).
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YTMND



Joined: 16 Jan 2012
Location: You're the man now dog!!

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just thought of one oddball to this, apartment.

How do you refer to "apartment"?

a) the apartment
b) our apartment (if you have roommates)
c) my apartment

Maybe since it has a sense of being temporary like a car lease, we would use "the" and then to be more descriptive we change it to "my" or "our".

I am curious what other people think.
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The Cosmic Hum



Joined: 09 May 2003
Location: Sonic Space

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ajuma wrote:
One that always messes them up is "class". We don't say "I'm going to the class." but "I'm going to class" or "I'm going to my classroom." Purpose doesn't work for this one...it's one of those darn 10 percenters that they have to learn.


One of the reasons we say 'going to class' is because...like school...in that context, class is being used as a concept.

class...concept referring to school and education
class...tangible noun and short for classroom.
Of course it has other meanings as well.

You are right...rules don't help much for these constructions.
Lots of examples and a good long term memory are quite useful.
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tremault



Joined: 25 Sep 2012

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:39 am    Post subject: Re: Quick grammar question thats confusing Reply with quote

decibalsrising wrote:
Anyone know why for the most part people can say for example, go to church" but not "go to bank"? Havent really thought about it until it popped up today


sorry if it's already been answered but i wanted to share how I treat these parts of grammar.

I view 'go to church' as a verb in and of itself.
if i split up the words, I view 'church' as an activity, not a specific place.
when a person says 'go to church' they are referring to any and all churches in the world, but usually the one closest to them or that they most often frequent. it is a thing that can occur in any given place. such as 'go to class' the class can be in any room or location.
incidentally, a person can 'go to bank' if they are partaking in the activity of 'banking'.
also, a person can 'go to the church' if they are going to the building but not necessarily partaking in 'church activities'.

I hope this has helped in some way. Smile
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tremault



Joined: 25 Sep 2012

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dodge7 wrote:
Isn't the morning "generally known" and common to everyone? Why do we say in THE morning then?

I believe this is specifically referring to the next morning.
say, if i said 'in morning' I am referring to any morning today, tomorrow or up to a year from now.
'the morning' refers to tomorrow morning.
'the morning after tomorrow' would be ... well of course what it says.

it's related to 'morrow' of course
adaptation from the word morewen and both mean the sunrise.

so when you say, the morning you are in effect saying the sunrise. of course referring to the next one.
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