I am starting a series of posts on some common errors .These errors are mistakes B1/B2 students make. I hope you find them helpful!
♥Read the sentence and identify the error
♥Rewrite the sentence correctly
♥Read the corrected version and the grammar input after the line.
The correct form is : The thief was sent to prison for two years
The definite article is used when referring to the building itself. When we refer to “prison” as punishment , we do not use the article.
This also happens in common expressions such as “at school” ” in hospital” “ to church” when we are referring to the normal use of the building or place
I met her at school (when we were students)
I’ll meet you at the school ( the school as a meeting place)
My grandmother is in hospital ( as a patient)
I left my keys at the hospital when I was visiting my gransmother
NOTE: In American English, university and hospital are always used with articles
Source: Practical English Usage (M: Swan) and Knockout Textbook