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Hi, Ahmed,

In this related thread, you will find that in AmE (b) is ungrammatical and "go to college" is used instead.

In BrE, (b) is used to ask if "he" went there to study and (a) is used to ask if "he" went there for some other reason (e.g. to visit someone, to see the place, etc.).

This distinction between using the zero article to refer to the institution and the definite article to refer to the building or the premises which is generalized in BrE is not so broadly applied in AmE. However, in AmE you do say "go to school."

Last edited by Gustavo, Co-Moderator

This distinction between using the zero article to refer to the institution and the definite article to refer to the building or the premises which is generalized in BrE is not so broadly applied in AmE. However, in AmE you do say "go to school."

In American English, we do speak both of "going to college" and of "going to the college," with the basic distinction you have drawn, Gustavo.

But we wouldn't say "Did you go to college yesterday?," even if the addressee were going to college at that school and went there yesterday for class.

"Did you go to college?" is used to ask whether a person has attended or graduated from college. With "yesterday," we use "school" or "have class."

  • Did you go to school yesterday?
  • Did you have class yesterday?
Last edited by David, Moderator

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