The use of articles with names of seasons.
Names of seasons are used without articles if they show a certain time of the year.
It was spring. I like spring.
The definite article is used when these nouns are modified by a particularizing attribute or when the situation makes them definite.
It happened in the spring of 1930.
The spring was cold and rainy.
The indefinite article is used when these nouns are modified by a descriptive attribute.
It was a cold spring.
When names of seasons are modified by the adjectives early or late, no articles are used.
It was early spring.
§ 28. The use of articles with the nouns school, college, bed, prison, jail.
The nouns school, college, bed, prison, jail are used without an article when they lose their concrete meaning and express the purpose for which the objects denoted by these nouns serve.
When these nouns denote concrete objects the articles are used according to the general principle.
(a) School, college.
to be at school
to go to school } to be a schoolboy (schoolgirl)
to be at college — to be a student of a college
to leave school — to finish or drop one’s studies
School begins at five.
She went to College in the North. (Gow and D’Usseau)
His history since he left school had been indicated in the last page.
It was at seventeen that he decided to leave school.
to go to the school — not as a pupil (the building is meant)
to leave the school — to leave the building
Mother went to theschool yesterday to attend a parents’ meeting.
She left theschool at 7 o’clock.
to go to bed — ложиться спать
to be in bed — лежать в постели
And now you had better go to bed. Good-night. (Voynich)
to be in the bed
to be on the bed} an article of furniture is meant
Her portrait was on the wall beside the bed. (Voynich)
(c) Prison, jail.
to be in prison (in jail) — to be a prisoner
to be sent to prison
to be put in prison} as a prisoner
Mr. Dorrit was in prison many years.
Mr. Dorrit was sent to prison for debt.
The last they had heard of him was that he was in jail for having killed a
person in a fight. (Abrahams)
to be in the prison
to go to the prison} not a as prisoner (the building is meant)
Mr. Dorrit’s family lived in theprison.
Theprison proper dated from 1822. (Dreiser)
§ 29. The use of articles with the noun town.
The noun town when used with prepositions does not take an article:
(a) when we mean the nearest town (if we live in the country) or the town we live in.
You cannot go to town tomorrow. (Austen)
What can you have to do in town...? (Austen)
(b) when the noun town is opposed to the noun country.
He was not used to country life, having spent twenty years in town.
Otherwise the noun town is used with the definite or indefinite article.
I want to go to the town where I was born.