Common expressions without articles

Posted by Manjusha. Filed in English Grammar

In some common fixed expressions to do with place, time and movement, normally countable nouns are treated as uncountables, without articles. Examples are:

To/at/in/from school
To/at/from university/college (GB)
To/in/from college (US)
To/at/in/into/from church
To/in/into/out of bed/prison
To/in/into/out of hospital (GB)
To/at/from work
To/at sea
To/in/from town
At/from home
Leave/start/enter school/university/college
By day
At night
By car/bus/bicycle/plane/train/tube/boat
On foot
By radio/phone/letter/mail

With place nouns, similar expressions with articles may have different meanings.


In American English, university and hospital are not used without articles.

Sections in this article

Introduction to Articles
The Definite Article
Cases where the definite article should not be used
The Indefinite Article
Cases where articles should not be used
What to use - A/an or the
The difference between some/any and no article
Common expressions without articles
Articles: special rules and exceptions