My name is Sósimo Romero Domínguez. I want to know what is the correct way to write the following sentence.

before going to bed


before going to the bed

What is it correct?


  • You go to bed to sleep. – user5267 May 2 '16 at 17:37
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    Going to bed or being in bed describes someone's immediate personal status, like eating lunch, getting dressed, or in the toilet. No article is needed. But if one refers to the bed for any other reason an article is normally called for. – WS2 May 2 '16 at 20:29
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"Going to bed" means starting the process of going to sleep for the night.
This process may include brushing your teeth, changing clothes, and even reading a book once in bed.

"Going to the bed" means the same as other phrases that start with "Going to ...".
Some examples include, "Going to the store" and "Going to the car". Each of these mean literally going to those places or things.

For your sentence, it depends on what you are doing.

If you are only going to the bed and not going to sleep, then you would say, "Before going to the bed". Otherwise, you would say, "Before going to bed".


To go to bed is an idiom. It has two meanings.

One refers to getting in a bed (one's own bed, a designated bed, or any bed) in order to soon go to sleep. You might read a book, think about the day, or play with your phone before you actually go to sleep.

So you could say

Before going to bed, I brush my teeth.

The other meaning is to have sex. So you could say

Before going to bed with you, I want to brush my teeth.

In addition to these idiomatic uses, you can say going to the bed, when bed is used like a typical count noun.

So you could say

Before going to the bed, Bob went to the couch, the divan, and the recliner to try to get some sleep.

Before going to the bed, make sure you have a condom.


In English, we use the definite article 'the' with instances of nouns that the listener[s] already have in their memory. The instance we mean is the last one that was mentioned. We also love to elide, so we omit the definite article if the phrase is used often. Thus 'bed, home, school, church, town, ...' are often used without 'the', since there is only one that each of us typically uses. Not so with 'phone, lamp, car, store, city, ...'

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