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Consider the following constructions. take lessons, give lessens, take a nap, take a shower, go to sleep, go to school, have time, spend time, play football, suffer damage, do homework, do a mistake, make a mistake, make a decision, say prayers, ...

  • What such constructions are called? (compound verb? phrasal verb? idioms?....)

  • What is the role of the noun (school, time, damage) in these constructions? are they all adverbs or part of an adverbial phrase?

  • Why the noun in these construction doesn't take any article? Does it make them generic? if they are even countable?

  • How can I distinguish them? Why I can say go to school but not go to jungle?

For some of them like (go to sleep, take lessens, have time, take a nap) the verb (do, take, have) without the noun has less meaning in the context.

  • As a note, "go to hospital" and "go to university" and some other similar constructions are common in British English but are not used in American English, so what may be OK in some version of English isn't necessarily ok in another. – Catija Aug 6 '15 at 8:25
  • @Catija then what they use to say go to university or go to hospital, as they are also present in Persian too. – Ahmad Aug 6 '15 at 8:31
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    Can I ask you why you would like to give a name to these types of constructions? What are you trying to achieve by having one? – JMB Aug 6 '15 at 8:41
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    @JMB In this day of information, wouldn't you think that knowing the name of something would make it easier to learn about it? Searching the web for "white and black animal" gives you many different animals to choose from but searching for "zebra" gives you only one. – Catija Aug 6 '15 at 8:45
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    They are not quite the same thing, even though all of them could be considered "verb phrases" (VP). Also, it may be a good idea to separate what they are from their functions. Let's try I go to school and I play football. Go to school is a VP; so is play football. To school is a prepositional phrase, but football is a noun. To school functions as an adverb (thus we can call it an "adverbial prepositional phrase"), but football is the "object" of that sentence. IMHO, your questions are not tightly related, and thus this ELL Question is too broad. – Damkerng T. Aug 6 '15 at 12:17

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