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  1. #1
    Aurobindo is offline Newbie
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    Question Usage of the prepositions "at" and "in"

    Which of the following sentences is correct in terms of the preposition?

    a) He is good in music
    b) He is good at music

    Thank you for your kind reply.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Usage of the prepositions "at" and "in"

    Quote Originally Posted by Aurobindo View Post
    Which of the following sentences is correct in terms of the preposition?

    a) He is good in music
    b) He is good at music

    Thank you for your kind reply.
    Sentence b is correct.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    Aurobindo is offline Newbie
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    Arrow Re: Usage of the prepositions "at" and "in"

    Thank you very much. But, I need an explanation

  4. #4
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    renard is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Usage of the prepositions "at" and "in"

    Quote Originally Posted by Aurobindo View Post
    Thank you very much. But, I need an explanation
    Most prepositions have a logical rule (times, places) but when you have an adjective + preposition, the type of preposition depends on the adjective used, and not a logical rule.
    Here is a list to help you with other adjectives + prepositions. As you can read, "good at" is on the list, but there is no logic compared to other words which use different prepositions. Even native English speakers make mistakes with this! https://www.ilc.cuhk.edu.hk/english/...ositions3.html

  5. #5
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Usage of the prepositions "at" and "in"

    Quote Originally Posted by Aurobindo View Post
    Which of the following sentences is correct in terms of the preposition?

    a) He is good in music
    b) He is good at music

    Thank you for your kind reply.
    There are few absolute rules governing preposition use. In your case, "is good at/in", "good at" would be generally used for things we do (skills, activities, tasks, etc).

    He is good at painting.
    He is good at woodworking.
    He is good at solving equations.
    He is good at surgery.

    It is possible to use "good in something" when the "something" is more of an intellectual exercise, such as an academic subject.

    He is good in anatomy.
    He is good in astrophysics.
    He is good in sociology.

    In some cases, you will hear both. The option depends on whether the focus is on the functional or the conceptual.

    He is good at/in math.
    He is good at/in English.

    With music, I could go either way. If "music" means playing, composing, performing, I would use "at". If it means music theory, I could go with "in".

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Usage of the prepositions "at" and "in"

    I would use "at" for any practical talent, any academic subject, any musical instrument and any sport. Note, though, that we can use "on" with musical instruments if we only mention the instrument and not the words "playing the". See my examples below.

    He's good at woodwork.
    She's good at knitting.
    My cousin is very good at maths.
    I was never any good at chemistry.
    He is really good at playing the piano.
    She is very good on the piano.
    He is amazing at tennis.
    She is really good at football.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Usage of the prepositions "at" and "in"

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I would use "at" for any practical talent, any academic subject, any musical instrument and any sport. Note, though, that we can use "on" with musical instruments if we only mention the instrument and not the words "playing the". See my examples below.

    He's good at woodwork.
    She's good at knitting.
    My cousin is very good at maths.
    I was never any good at chemistry.
    He is really good at playing the piano.
    She is very good on the piano.
    He is amazing at tennis.
    She is really good at football.
    With all the difference we have uncovered between AmE and BrE, this minor one is not surprising.

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