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  1. We had a couple of hours on shore.
  2. The island is about three miles off shore.
  3. Rubbish of all sorts is washed up on the shore.

Why did we not use the in the first and second sentences? Aren't there already a specific place in the sentences?

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  • Offshore is a single word. (As is onshore.) When used as a preposition, it's synonymous with off the shore of. – Jason Bassford Jun 30 '20 at 20:35
  • When you are "on shore" you have disembarked from the boat and are on land which might or might not be its shore. The washed up rubbish really is on the shore of the island, it can't be "washed up" inland. – Weather Vane Jun 30 '20 at 20:47
  • @JasonBassford On shore and off shore don't have to be written as one word, at least in my British English. As Weather Vane says, on shore implies having disembarked from a boat, while on the shore = at the beach. – Kate Bunting Jul 1 '20 at 8:38
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Offshore = off shore = off the shore

Onshore = on shore = on the shore

Basically, they were phrases that were used so commonly they become words of their own.

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