Can You Say ‘To The Work’ or ‘At the Work’?

When talking about activities or occupations, we do not use the article “the” or “a” before the noun “work”.

When talking about activities or occupations, we do not use the article “the” or “a” before the noun “work”.

I went to work early this morning.

I went to the work early this morning.

As a countable noun, however, “work” can also mean “something created” (e.g., a book, a piece of music, or a movie). In this situation, you may need to put an article according to the usual rules.

I bought the complete works of William Shakespeare last week.

Remember that the word for a specific occupation or task is “job” (not “work”).

They offered me a job in Miami.

They offered me a work in Miami.

1. We Say ‘To work’ or ‘At work’

When you have a job, you go to work (not “to the work”).

I usually walk to work.

Similarly, we say that someone is at work (not “at the work”) when they are at the place where they are doing their job.

She is at work at the moment and can’t really go home.

We omit the article ("the" or "a") before “work” because we are referring to the general idea of having an occupation or using a physical or mental effort to do something.

Work is always a priority.

You should eat breakfast before work.

I started work when I was twenty.

The transition from school to work is not always easy.

Be aware that we say “find work” but “get a job”.

It was not easy for her to find work.

It was not easy for her to get a job.

Other determiners, such as possessive pronouns, can be used to identify the noun.

Thank you for all your hard work.

Her work shows strong neoclassical influences.

We can also use a quantifier, like a lot of, some, etc.

We’ve got a lot of work to do.

I still have some work to do.

2. When to Use an Article Before ‘Work’

We can also use the noun “work” to mean “something created”, such as a painting, a sculpture, or a book. In this case, "work" is a countable noun, and we often need the articles “the” or “a” to identify it or quantify it.

The works of art were stolen from the Art Institute of Chicago.

As an adjective, the word “work” can be preceded by an article.

She extended her stay after the expiry of the work permit.

We should develop a work plan to identify areas of particular concern.

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