Bed / home / work / town(This is an extract from my book: A and The Explained)
Download this explanation in PDF here.
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.
- 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].
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.
- We visited the home of Jackie Kennedy.
- My sister has made her flat into a beautiful 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.
- The work I'm doing at the moment is very interesting.
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.
- The town where I live is quite small [we use the because the listener knows which one].
Go to the main 'a' and 'the' page.