‘A/an’, ‘the’ or ‘no article’? Bed / home / work / town

Hello guys! Let´s start the new school year by reviewing some interesting information about the use of the articles with these words. Pay attention! 🙂

Bed

Bed is a strange word! If we don’t use an article, it means a place where we sleep, not a particular object:

• The children are in Ø bed.
• We didn’t get out of Ø bed until after one o’clock.
• She got home and went straight to Ø bed.

But when we are thinking about a bed as an object, we use articles in the normal way:
• She sat on the bed in my room [I choose ‘the’ because the listener knows which
bed I mean].
• I need to buy a new bed [I choose ‘a’ because I don’t know which bed yet, I’m
not talking about a specific one].

Home

The word home is also a bit strange. We usually use ‘no article’:

• They went Ø home.*
• I stayed at Ø home.
• Julie works from Ø home.
• It’s time to go Ø home.
• Lucy is at Ø home at the moment.

*Notice we don’t need to with ‘go home’ (not ‘go to home’).

But we can use an article with home when it means ‘the building that somebody lives (or used to live) in’. In this case we use articles in the normal way:

• We visited the home of Jackie Kennedy.
• My sister has made her flat into a beautiful home.

[It’s also possible to use ‘home’ as short for ‘retirement home’ or similar expression.
We use articles in the normal way: Her grandmother is too frail to stay in her own house, so she lives in a (retirement) home.]

 

Work (used as a noun)

When we use ‘work’ to mean a place, then we don’t need to use an article:

• She’s at Ø work.
• I arrive at Ø work at nine.
• We leave Ø work every day at six.
• You should go to Ø work earlier.

When we use ‘work’ to mean a project that we are working on now, ‘work’ is a normal uncountable noun. So, we can use ‘the’ if we are talking about some specific work that  the listener knows about:

• The work I’m doing at the moment is very interesting.

[An exception is when work means a piece of art/literature/music. In this case work is a normal countable noun].

Town

When we are thinking about the town centre near to us, we often use ‘no article’ with certain expressions:

• In town: John’s in town at the moment.
• Go into town: Shall we go into town this afternoon?
• Leave town: He left town after he argued with his wife.

Town can also be a normal noun:

• The town where I live is quite small [we use ‘the’ because the listener knows which one].

 

Let´s try an exercise. Answers at the bottom….

Fill the gap with the or no article (Ø).

1. John is at ______ home now.
2. Let’s go into ______ town later – I’d like to do some shopping.
3. I went to ______ bed early last night, but I still feel tired.
4. ______ work that Julie is doing at the moment sounds boring.
5. My son’s just rented his first flat and needs furniture – I’m going to give him
______ bed in our spare room.
6. I usually arrive at ______ work at about eight thirty.
7. She bought a book about ______ homes of the rich and famous.
8. ______ town where my mother lives is very pretty.

 

 

KEY-KEY-KEY-KEY-KEY-KEY-KEY

 

1. John is at Ø home now.
2. Let’s go into Ø town later – I’d like to do some shopping.
3. I went to Ø bed early last night, but I still feel tired.
4. The work that Julie is doing at the moment sounds boring.
5. My son’s just rented his first flat and needs furniture – I’m going to give him the
bed in our spare room.
6. I usually arrive at Ø work at about eight thirty.
7. She bought a book about the homes of the rich and famous.
8. The town where my mother lives is very pretty.

Advertisements

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. ellaruben
    Oct 13, 2013 @ 14:56:14

    Reblogged this on English Language.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: