I have problems with definite and zero articles in the following sentences:
- "I met a man you were talking about over THE telephone yesterday."
- "The wounded were examined by THE doctor and sent to PRISON."
These examples are from my textbook. The textbook says that these articles should be set this way. I don't understand why. Namely:
- Why in the first sentence we use "the telephone" while in the second "prison" with zero article? Why are they different?
- Is it grammatically correct to say "The wounded were examined by DOCTOR and sent to THE prison?" For example, in case the prison is before the eyes of a speaker.
I am looking for a strong grammatical reference. Simple rules-of-the-thumb proved to be inadequate, I cannot answer my doubts.