I'm reading a book about Malta and they keep saying "he was in hospital", "they were in hospital", "we were in hospital" when it reminded me of an earlier set of news stories about Singapore which also made liberal use of the phrase 'in hospital' instead of the correct "in THE hospital".

At first I thought it was just poor english, but, now ... I wonder.

Is it possible the British english uses "in hospital" while (whilst) the American english would never say "he was in hostpital" without adding the THE?
What is th rule for this english usage?
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I'm reading a book about Malta and they keep saying "he was in hospital", "they were in hospital", "we were ... english would never say "he was in hostpital" without adding the THE? What is th rule for this english usage?

The rules are:
1. Never say that something that is customary usage in anothercountry is not the "correct" usage.
2. Always capitalize "English" when referring to the people or thelanguage.

Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
2. Always capitalize "English" when referring to the people or the language.

I did capitalize it properly.
But do the Brits use "in hospital" (versus "in the hospital") or not?

Anyone know?
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I'm reading a book about Malta and they keep saying "he was in hospital", "they were in hospital", "we were ... the phrase 'in hospital' instead of the correct "in THE hospital". At first I thought it was just poor english,

English (note capital)
but, now ... I wonder. Is it possible the British english

English
uses "in hospital" while (whilst) the American english would never say "he was in hostpital" without adding the THE? What is th rule for this english usage?

BriE usage:
I was in hospital = I was a patient.
I was in the hospital = I was visiting or was in the building but not as a patient.

Ray
UK
2. Always capitalize "English" when referring to the people or the language.

I did capitalize it properly.

You're mistaken; see below.
But do the Brits use "in hospital" (versus "in the hospital") or not? Anyone know?

Yes; entirely standard and correct.
For what it's worth, you did not capitalise it properly, as you asked about "the British english". That's wrong on two counts: it's "British English" no article, and both words must be capitalised.
I'm reading a book about Malta and they keep saying ... the THE? What is th rule for this english usage?

The rules are: 1. Never say that something that is customary usage in another country is not the "correct" usage. 2. Always capitalize "English" when referring to the people or the language.

In answer to your questions,
Yes, it is correct British-English usage to say "in hospital" and correct American-English usage to say "in the hospital".
There is no one, hard-and-fast rule beyond : pick one style, and be consistent with it.
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On 14 Jul 2008, Susan wrote

Right. Perhaps it may seem a bit more reasonable if you consider "in prison", "in jail", "in high school", etc. The British usage with "hospital" follows the same pattern, in that what's focussed on is more a status or condition than a location. "He's been in jail four times, but never twice in the same one."

Mike.
I'm reading a book about Malta and they keep saying "he was in hospital", "they were in hospital", "we were ... just poor english, but, now ... I wonder. Is it possible the British english uses "in hospital" while (whilst) the

It is possible, but no one knows for sure. Two ships were sent to Britain to learn more about this, but one sank and the other has not been heard from.
American english would never say "he was in hostpital" without adding the THE? What is th rule for this english usage?

If you are inclined to email me
for some reason, remove NOPSAM :-)
2. Always capitalize "English" when referring to the people or the language.

I did capitalize it properly.

No. Your message contained several instances of "english".
But do the Brits use "in hospital" (versus "in the hospital") or not? Anyone know?

Yes, we do use "in hospital" for a patient. "Musika" has explained the usage clearly.
Alan Jones
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