I am trying to get better with my English articles, but sometimes they get a bit confusing, especially when there are none. In my favorite game Deep Rock Galactic, I stumbled upon the phrase:

Drop Pod powered up and fully operational! It'll be returning to orbit in one minute with or without you.

Why does the "to orbit" part goes without any article? The closest I managed to find in handbooks is that toponyms usually have no articles, but I believe a toponym must be a proper noun for that to count. Please help me understand this rule better!

  • What article do you think it should be? To me, "the orbit" is too specific and "an orbit" is too vague. Upvote for DRG!
    – gotube
    Oct 8, 2022 at 14:45
  • 1
    It's just bugging me a bit to see a noun without an article for a reason I can't explain and be sure about. Researching this, I learned a bit more about zero article rules, and now I feel that my desire to "article up" every noun may be an overcompensation for all these missing articles in my school years Oct 8, 2022 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


In English, “orbit” — like “space”, “town”, and ”sea” — is considered general enough to not require an article.

It’s completely arbitrary: you can go into orbit, go into town, or go to sea, but you have to go to the moon, go into the city, and go out to the ocean.

Americans go to the hospital, but Brits just go to hospital.

You just have to memorize the cases, sad to say.

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