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In Ruchir's answer here, he specifies the word 'anarthrous' (before editing). I could not find any satisfactory definition/description about it in popular dictionaries that we find online.

Anyone here to describe this? What is 'anarthrous' in the context of the English grammar. Wikitionary talks about it but I did not get it completely. MW too has an entry but it is limited in description.

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    Anarthrous means "lacking an article" (and possibly other determiners). I went to the hospital is "arthrous", I went to hospital is "anarthrous". – CowperKettle Jan 3 '15 at 7:54
  • I read that. I'm interested in discussing it with more examples and some grammatical insight @CopperKettle – Maulik V Jan 3 '15 at 8:25
  • Related: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_title. – Damkerng T. Jan 3 '15 at 8:51
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    This answer and a good list of examples. The word is just a descriptive term, as per @CopperKettle – user6951 Jan 3 '15 at 9:24
  • Academic trumpery that does not convey knowledge and understanding of language. Sometimes Wikipedia comes up with such useless exotic terms. With such terms you can fill a book. – rogermue Jan 4 '15 at 11:23
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Some more explication: American: I went to the hospital. British: I went to hospital.

Proper nouns are generally anarthrous, e.g. France, Russia etc. but there are exceptions, e.g. the United States of America, the Maldives and the Philippines, which are plural, and the Ukraine, which is now referred to sans article. An article can change the meaning of a sentence: "Do you have the time?" is likely a request to check your watch, "Do you have time?" is asking for your attention.

  • As far as the places are concerned, they follow some rules. In stated examples, if the country has several lands/places, islands, then collectively, they take 'the'. – Maulik V Jan 4 '15 at 4:43
  • Not "The Ukraine", though. English probably has more exceptions than rules. sigh – DrMoishe Pippik Jan 4 '15 at 5:01

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