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'the' before church, mosque and temple? This is an extract from a book which teaches grammar: "The study indicates ways to prevent one's partner cheating without giving up the well-paid job. Both sides being satisfied in a relationship is a surefire way to make infidelity disappear, and getting your partner to go to church or the mosque or temple regularly is another: the more regularly an individual attends a religious service, the less likely he or she is to cheat, the study says." I wonder why article 'the' is needed in front of 'mosque', but not for church or temple? I am aware that 'the' is not used if you are going to church to attend mass as in I am going to school (for study). If there isn't an explanation to why 'the' is necessary for 'mosque', I would like to know is it common/ more natural to say 'going to the mosque' instead of 'going to mosque'?
Oct 5, 2018 3:28 AM
Answers · 5
Good question, Hilda. I think it happened in the English language because in English-speaking countries going to church is a much more common activity than going to a mosque or going to a temple, so 'going to the church' has turned into 'going to church', just like the expressions 'to go to work', 'to go to school', 'to go home', 'to go to bed' have become the normal expressions. They are expressions that have come into being due to the fact that these actions are done very frequently - so a more compact expression, which gives the sense of habitual practice, has become the standard form. I don't know for sure, but this is what I would think.
October 5, 2018
Thank you for your comment, but I beg to differ. From linguistics point of view, there is logic in every language while exceptional cases like irregular verbs is always essential to a 'real' language.
October 5, 2018
It's English. There is rarely any logic...
October 5, 2018
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Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Cantonese), English
Learning Language