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Hi everyone,
Which usage is correct "at school" or "at the school"?
If they are both correct, what is the difference? As far as I understand If we mean a part of a building, we say "at the university laboratory", "at the hospital cafe" or "at the school office". However, my question is if I should say " He works at hotel/ at the hotel", "I arrived at school/ at the school", "She studies at university/ at the university".
Thanks,
Comments  
The definite article "the" is used to refer to a specific place (or other noun), often one that has been previously mentioned.

"A school" could be any school, "the school" is a particular school that you have already talked about, or that you and the listener know is being spoken about.
thanks for the explanation, but I have witnessed a lot of times that although the place being talked about is definite or known by the interlocuters, people still say "at school" so in this case we cannot really take it for granted that definite article "the" is used when the place is known by the speaker and listener. For example:

Mother: Where are you going?
Child: I am going to school.

PS: I might be wrong with this example:)
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eapoealthough the place being talked about is definite or known by the interlocuters, people still say "at school" so in this case we cannot really take it for granted that definite article "the" is used when the place is known by the speaker and listener.
In both "at the school" and "at school", the particular school may be known to both speakers. In "at school" it need not be.

See difference between In and At?

Only a limited number of nouns can go directly after at without an article.

at school, at church, at play, at work, at lunch, ..., but not at hotel, at restaurant, at bank, for example.

CJ
The choice between "at school/church" and "at the school/church" depends on why you are there. If you are "at school," it means you are there as a student or a teacher. If you are "at church," you are probably there for religious services. If you are at one of these places for reasons unrelated to their normal function -- for instance, if you are delivering a package or repairing the roof -- you would say "at the school" or "at the church."
Hi. Please help. Should it be the phrase "in the church" or "in church" for the following example. Sorry for not providing a complete sentence.

If you do any kind of service in the church, I think you ought to/should ...

Also, I am sorry but could you help me with this, too? Should it be the phrase "the animals" or the word "animals" for the following question? The answer should be "God." Thank you for your help in advance.

Who made the animals (or just "animals"?)?
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If you do any kind of service in the church, I think you ought should use and pay the minister.

The church is a building or location for the service, such as a wedding.

Who made the animals?
This is the most natural question - it refers to distinct species that people would call "animals" - lions, tigers, elephants, monkeys, impala, opossums, etc.
Hi. Thank you. Which is correct? Or perhaps, the question should be, "What is the most natural way to ask (this question)?" Thank you again for your help in advance.

1. Who made insects?
2. Who made the insects?

MY ANSEWR MIGHT GO OFF A LITTLE FROM FORMAL TECHING, AS I USUALLY GO AFTER PATTERNS AND THE PATTERN THAT SEEMS TO POP UP IS THAT IF THE NOUN YOU TALK ABOUT IS A RATHER ATTACHED PLACE/ACTIVITY (ATTACHED TO THE SPEAKER THAT IS) OR IS IT HABITUAL, AND HAS A SENSE OF BELONGING, THEN YOU DONT HAVE THE NEED FOR THE DEFINITE ARTICLE. eg: at home, at school, at work.

ON THE OTHER HAND THERE ARE THE NOUNS (PLACES) WHICH ARE MORE DETACHED, LESS HABITUAL AN HAVE LITTLE OR NO SENSE OF BELONGING, THEY DO REQUIRE THE DEFINITE ARTICLE. eg: at the market, at the shop, at the gym... AND SO ON, IF I´M WRONG PLEASE DO CORRECT ME.

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