Which one, do you think, is the correct
statement (grammatically)
1) I have to go to the court tomorrow.
2) I have to go to court tomorrow.

thanks,
Mike
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Which one, do you think, is the correct statement (grammatically) 1) I have to go to the court tomorrow. 2) I have to go to court tomorrow.

Interesting, not-oft-brought-up example of a more general phenomenon. Both are grammatical. The difference between "court" and "the court" is analogous to the difference betwen "school" and "the school", "church" and "the church", "college" and "the college" in AmE. Possibly also to the difference between "hospital" and "the hospital" in BrE and Tony Cooper's idiolect.
"I have to go to court tomorrow" is something that Attorney Lieblich might say. He's an attorney who (by hypothesis) occasionally goes to one or more courthouses to do his lawyering thing. A litigant, a juror, a court reporter, a journalist with a courthouse beat, a judicial bureaucrat all these sorts I can imagine saying "going to court". "Court" is a personal activity as much as a place.
Now I just realized that there is something different about your example, because in AmE we'd probably usually use "the courthouse" rather than "the court" when we mean the court as a plain old place that we focus on as a physical space. So to that extent "I have to go to the court" isn't too likely in AmE. Note, though, that "the Court" can refer to the judge(s) who preside over a court, in an institutional sense. I don't think your sentence would be likely for that usage, but you can say, say, "I have appear before the court tomorrow".
Interesting, not-oft-brought-up example of a more general phenomenon. Both are grammatical. The difference between "court" and "the court" is analogous ... sentence would be likely for that usage, but you can say, say, "I have appear before the court tomorrow".

I can't think of any possible usage of "I have to go to the court tomorrow" in AmE unless you are using "court" in its form that refers to a sort of cloistered area or a manor, which I assume is not the case in question. It should be "I have to go to court tomorrow".
As you pointed out, the inclusion of the word "the" would occur in the case where one is referring to a specific structure or place, not the institution in general. While these sentences are all correct:

I have to go to school tomorrow.
I have to go to class tomorrow.
I have to go to dinner tomorrow.
I have to go to church tomorrow.
one wouldn't say:
I have to go to hospital tomorrow.
since we are referring to the hospital as a place or building.

Don
Kansas City
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
one wouldn't say: I have to go to hospital tomorrow.

Speak for yourself - sounds fine to me. "go to hospital" googles @ 27300, so it's not just me.
one wouldn't say: I have to go to hospital tomorrow.

Speak for yourself - sounds fine to me. "go to hospital" googles @27300, so it's not just me.

When you do your brilliantly-executed Google searches you should actually pay attention to what it's retrieving. The first page alone is virtually all abbreviated, headline-type entries which have had the articles removed.

In AmE you would never say "I have to go to hospital tomorrow". You would sound like a foreigner talking in broken English.
Don
Kansas City
What makes you think that Dylan would be speaking American English?

Fran
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
27300, When you do your brilliantly-executed Google searches you should ... You would sound like a foreigner talking in broken English.

What makes you think that Dylan would be speaking American English?

Let's also remember that one speaker of a variety of American English, Tony Cooper of Orlando, would say "I have to go to hospital tomorrow" (or maybe "I've to go to hospital to-morrow"), and he wouldn't sound like a foreigner talking in broken English.
When you do your brilliantly-executed Google searches you shouldactually pay ... tomorrow". Youwould sound like a foreigner talking in broken English.

What makes you think that Dylan would be speaking American English?

Must be the hotmail address - only americans use hotmail, surely. The 'aus' before the @ symbol obviously didn't catch his attention.

Anyway, as I have posted here before, very recently, whenever US speakers say "noone says that in America", it's usually very simple to prove them wrong.True, most of the google hits for "go to hospital" are non-US sites. But if you narrow it to .us and .edu, and remove the false positives (eg where hospital is an adjective), there are still a hundres of hits for "go to hospital". Out of those, a significant number are clearly written by US speakers (e.g. the word 'mom' is in the same sentence, or some other US-only spelling is found in the same paragraph). Obviously the expression isn't nearly as common as "go to the hospital", but it simply isn't true that only foreigners speaking "broken english" use it.

It may be regional or even restricted to certain socio-economic divisions, although there's no obvious indication this is the case. It's quite possible that Mr Gilmore has never heard anyone in the US using that expression, hence his belief that no-one uses it, but he should be extremely careful making such an assumption.
Paying attention is always good. However, you should also realize that Google searches around the world do not return identical results. The "first page" on mine looks just fine, beginning:
Mothercare - ... When to Go to Hospital - Labour. When to Go to Hospital - Labour. Going from being pregnant to being in labour can be an exciting ... www.mothercare.com/stry/whentogotohospitallabour - 40k - Cached - Similar pages
Mothercare - ... Very often a community midwife will also come and visit you at home during labour to advise you when to go to hospital. This means ...
www.mothercare.com/stry/birthingoptionswheretohav - 40k - Cached - Similar pages ( More results from www.mothercare.com )

I Don't Want to Go to Hospital by Tony Ross ... Books > I Don't Want to Go to Hospital by Tony Ross. I Don't Want to Go to Hospital Author: Tony Ross Book Format: Non Standard Paperback No. ... www.harpercollins.com.au/title. cfm?ISBN=0007109571&Author=0000254 - 25k - Cached - Similar pages
BBC NEWS > England > Trainee doctors go to hospital ... Tuesday, 14 January, 2003, 08:39 GMT Trainee doctors go to hospital. Trainee doctors are on placement in hospitals. The first students ... news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2655439.stm - 36k - Cached - Similar pages
In AmE you would never say "I have to go to hospital tomorrow". You would sound like a foreigner talking in broken English.

Uh-huh. In case you've missed it so far, I think you'd find some general advice about this group in our Intro A that might save you some needless friction.

A word to the wise Donna Richoux
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Show more