going off to university -- meaning?

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A Culips listener on Facebook recently requested that we do more interviews, so here’s another one! This time it’s our friend Jade who’s talking to you. In this episode, Andrew asks her about her life growing up in the province of British Columbia, about going off to university, and about what she’s up to now. Listen in to learn about Jade and the dynamic life of another Canadian!

What does that exactly mean and why is university used without an article?

Michael Rybkin

Posted 2014-12-14T23:10:41.490

Reputation: 37 124

Answers

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"Going off to" somewhere means to leave and go to that place. It emphasizes separation, and is often used to describe a long-term trip or permanent move.

When used without an article, "university" is a generic term. It can be used to refer to a university that someone attends, or to the state of being enrolled in a university, or to a stage of life. Americans use the word "college" in the same way. (For Europeans, a college is more like a trade school, so don't use that word with them.)

"Going off to university" means leaving home to attend a university. For most students, this will be the first time they have lived outside of their parents' house. It's a big turning point in life.

Here are some American English examples of "college" without an article. (I'm not Canadian or British, so I won't try any Euro-style examples.)

I haven't seen a party like that since college. (stage of life)

I'm going back to college in a week. We should hang out before then. (place)

I want to go to college for engineering. (state of enrollment)

Adam Haun

Posted 2014-12-14T23:10:41.490

Reputation: 3 023