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  1. #1
    batmura is offline Junior Member
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    Default in school vs. at school

    Is it true that in American English, in school is more common whereas British English favours at school? Somehow, I can't bring myself to use the former unless I feel the need to emphasize the person is in the building. Would an American find it funny if they read or heard the sentence, "She is at school"?

  2. #2
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: in school vs. at school

    Quote Originally Posted by batmura View Post
    Is it true that in American English, in school is more common whereas British English favours at school? I would not consider it more common. Somehow, I can't bring myself to use the former unless I feel the need to emphasize the person is in the building. Agree. Would an American find it funny if they read or heard the sentence, "She is at school"? No, that would be a common response to "Where is Maria?"
    b.

  3. #3
    CalicoRice is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: in school vs. at school

    I agree that Americans would normally say in response to a "where" question: She's at school. I left my backpack at school. I met my best friend at school.

    But I would say "Mary is still in school" to mean she hasn't graduated yet.Or, when I was in school, I think we had more difficult subject matter than today.

  4. #4
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: in school vs. at school

    Enter the thread title into the Google Custom Search box at the top of the page for links to more discussions of this topic.

    Rover

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: in school vs. at school

    The main difference between BrE and AmE with this question is not one of location but one of being of school age.

    If you are talking about where someone is actually physically located, I believe that both AmE and BrE would say "She is at school".

    However, if you asked about a child's age or their educational situation, there might be a difference.

    BrE:
    - Is your daughter at university these days?
    - No. She's only 15. She's still at school.

    Ame:
    - Is your daughter in college these days?
    - No. She's only 15. She's still in school.

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