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English as a Second Language/Indefinite article/come from


Dear Shannon,

Is it correct to use 'a' in this sentence?
'I tripped and fell... at last I ended up in (a) hospital with a broken leg."

I know the when such places as 'hospitals' are used for their primary purpose, the definite article is not used. But here I used the indefinite article!

What does it mean if I say "I come from England". Does it mean that I was born in England, just that I lived in London, or both meanings.

Thanks a lot. God bless you!

Kind regards,
Antoine Ghannoum

1. In the U.S. we would always use "a", in the U.K. you would not use "a".

2. It could mean either one.  Typically, we assume someone was born there, but it doesn't have to be that way.  Sometimes, a person might use that expression and just mean that they lived there for most of their life (but was born elsewhere).

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Shannon Cole


I can answer questions related to learning the English and Spanish language.


I have taught ESL and Spanish since 1998 at the university and middle school levels. I am a native of the U.S., and have taught in both the U.S. and Mexico.

I am owner and operator of, an online language school.

Georgia TESOL in Action (1999)

B.A. in Spanish; M.Ed. in Language Education

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I have clients worldwide, some who want their documents proofread, and others who take lessons with me through the Internet. Some work at high-profile companies and government organizations. Besides the U.S. and Mexico, my recent students come from South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, Colombia, Russia, Italy, Paraguay, China, Japan, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia.

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