What is the difference between these two sentences??
I'm in the school.
I'm in school.
Do they have the same meaning or not?
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
The is used to refer to someone or something that has already been mentioned, or a context that has previously been established or easily understood.
I'm in the school
This sentence is generally understood to refer to a physical location at a particular school. "In the school" means you are inside the building, "at the school" means you are on school grounds.
"The school" makes sense if the school's identity is clearly known or obvious.
"The school" difficult to understand (or plain nonsense) if the school's identity is unknown or unclear.
I'm in school
This sentence is not specific to any school, therefore the is not used.
In this sense, "school" is understood to mean schooling, or the process of receiving an education, rather than a physical school.
To be "in school" is to be in attendance at a non-specific school.
One would specify a school this way:
I'm in school at ___________
Which is an informal way of saying:
I attend school at ___________
We do not use the definite article "the" with the words church, bed, college, court, hospital, prison, school, university when we refer to the purpose for which they exist. e.g. Sally went to school" (She's a student.)
But: "Her father went to the school to see her teacher yesterday." (He went to the school as a visitor.)
I am in the school and I am in school are different in meaning.
When I talk about being in school, it means I am a student there.
When I talk about being in the school (school building), it means I am not a student there. Maybe I am in the school to look around the school building or to see my father who is a teacher there.