What is the difference in meaning between at school and at the school?


When we say

She is at school.

we are not identifying or specifying which school. She is not at home, she is at school, whichever school it may happen to be.

When we say

She is at the school.

we are indicating that we have a particular school in mind, which the listener knows either from something said earlier in the conversation or from some other contextual information.

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