deird1: puppet!Angel brooding, with text "brood brood brood brood brood brood brood brood brood" (PuppetAngel brood)
[personal profile] deird1
Okay. So, I went to hospital a few months ago.

Americans, as far as I can gather, would say that I went to the hospital.

Then, while I was in hospital (otherwise known as in the hospital), the husband came and visited me.

Talking about this with him yesterday, I mentioned that he'd "gone to the hospital". From an American standpoint, this seems like it would mean he'd been injured and was lying in a hospital bed. So... how would someone in America indicate that a person had physically gone to the hospital building, but wasn't a patient? Or do you have to spell it out like that?

Date: 2014-06-22 05:27 pm (UTC)
snickfic: (Xander latin)
From: [personal profile] snickfic
Nope, you don't need to distinguish. He might have gone to the hospital as a patient or as a visitor. If you want to specify that he was a patient, that's when you'd say he was "in the hospital."

Actually, now that I say that, I don't know that I usually hear "to the hospital" as the person being a patient? I think I usually hear "to" as going there in a geographic sense, to visit or to work or whatever, and being a patient is nearly always described as "in."

English prepositions, man. I don't envy anyone who has to learn them.

Date: 2014-06-22 05:40 pm (UTC)
velvetwhip: (Default)
From: [personal profile] velvetwhip
[personal profile] snickfic is right. If you said he'd been "taken to the hospital", then that would definitely mean he'd been injured or ill, but "gone to the hospital" can easily be construed to mean that he visited someone there.


Date: 2014-06-22 05:45 pm (UTC)
velvetwhip: (Archy the Cockroach)
From: [personal profile] velvetwhip
Yes it is.


Date: 2014-06-22 06:03 pm (UTC)
smurasaki: blond person (neutral)
From: [personal profile] smurasaki
Yeah, it's pretty much context. I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone say that they went to the hospital or were at the hospital without providing context. ("I went to the hospital for blood work." "I went to the hospital to visit my aunt.")

Since, if I understand correctly, "in hospital" only means as a patient, it would appear that you can differentiate without having to provide additional information. That seems like a better linguistic solution.

Date: 2014-06-22 06:57 pm (UTC)
thirdblindmouse: Linda Keene finds the news shocking. (shocking news (Shall We Dance))
From: [personal profile] thirdblindmouse
I knew that some places said "to hospital" rather than "to the hospital", but I had no idea that it was part of a "to hospital"/"to the hospital" semantic distinction. Very neat!

Date: 2014-06-22 11:05 pm (UTC)
frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (Default)
From: [personal profile] frayadjacent
I agree it's a context thing and can mean either way. You could also have said, "when you visited me in the hospital".

Date: 2014-06-23 02:34 am (UTC)
slaymesoftly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] slaymesoftly
In this country (unless someone is being very precious or pretentious and imitating British speech patterns, which is happening more and more often), you would go to the hospital regardless of your reason for being there. If someone had fallen ill or been injured, he/she would probably have been taken to a hospital. (although I did drive myself to the hospital when I was in labor with my first kid...)You may go to the hospital because you're sick, because you need to have tests run, or to visit a sick friend. No matter what your reason, you will go to or be in "the" or "a" hospital. We use articles more often than you do, and we also use prepositions somewhat differently. :) So, if you are "IN" the hospital, you are a patient. If you've gone "to" the hospital, it can mean any one of a number of things.
Edited Date: 2014-06-23 02:36 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-06-23 03:58 am (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
You can say "I visited [someone] in the hospital," but yes, otherwise it's contextual.

Date: 2014-06-23 12:10 pm (UTC)
lirazel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lirazel
Yeah, I'd definitely say "visited" [whoever] in the hospital. I can't think of a time where I've had any confusion on this point while talking to people; it's never been a problem that I can recall.


deird1: Fred looking pretty and thoughful (Default)

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