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    #1

    at a meeting vs in a meeting

    I'm getting a feeling that there's got to be the difference between "at a meeting " and "in a meeting". This is how I would use them. I'd say "I'm currently in a meeting." to mean that I'm in the process of a meeting at the moment and "I was at a meeing yesterday." to mean the location of a meeting. I'd be very grateful, if you could explain the difference to me.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: at a meeting vs in a meeting

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    I'm getting a feeling that there's got to be the difference between "at a meeting " and "in a meeting". This is how I would use them. I'd say "I'm currently in a meeting." to mean that I'm in the process of a meeting at the moment and "I was at a meeing yesterday." to mean the location of a meeting. I'd be very grateful, if you could explain the difference to me.
    I don't think there is any difference in meaning. I would most probably use "at", although I hear "in" very often.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: at a meeting vs in a meeting

    To me, they mean the same thing and neither of them means "the location of a meeting". If anything, I would say that "in" would be closer to meaning the location, because you would probably be in a meeting room, having a meeting.

    - Did you get any work done yesterday afternoon?
    - No, none at all. I was at a meeting from 1pm until 7pm.

    - Why didn't you answer my text message yesterday?
    - Sorry, I was in a meeting and couldn't use my phone.

    - May I speak to Mr Smith please?
    - I'm sorry. He's in a meeting at the moment. Can I take a message?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #4

    Re: at a meeting vs in a meeting

    "At a meeting" conveys something of observing a meeting. "In a meeting" conveys participating in a meeting. (Compare live music: the spectators are "at a concert", the musicians are "in concert".)

    But I agree that with meetings the two phrases are very similar in practice.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: at a meeting vs in a meeting

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    "At a meeting" conveys something of observing a meeting. "In a meeting" conveys participating in a meeting. (Compare live music: the spectators are "at a concert", the musicians are "in concert".)

    But I agree that with meetings the two phrases are very similar in practice.
    I would expect the people at a meeting to all be taking part, not observing. If I were in a meeting room where a meeting was taking place but I was only observing it, I wouldn't tell people that I had been at or in a meeting. I would say something like "I went to the senior managers' meeting yesterday - only as an observer of course! I haven't been promoted!"
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #6

    Re: at a meeting vs in a meeting

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post

    - May I speak to Mr Smith please?
    - I'm sorry. He's in a meeting at the moment. Can I take a message?
    Hi emsr2d2,

    Is it correct to say 'He's in the meeting. Can I take a message?'

    Thanks.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: at a meeting vs in a meeting

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    Hi emsr2d2,

    Is it correct to say 'He's in the meeting. Can I take a message?'

    Thanks.
    If the person you are speaking to already knows exactly which meeting you are talking about, then the definite article is possible, although I would expect the actual meeting to be specified.

    Bob: Is Dave around?
    Secretary: No, he's in the finance meeting. Do you want to leave him a message?
    Bob: No, it's fine. I'll come back later.

    If it's simply a telephone caller or physical visitor who doesn't have any knowledge of the company or the meeting:

    Caller: May I speak to Mr Smith please?
    Receptionist: I'm sorry. He's in a meeting at the moment. Can I take a message?
    Caller: Please tell him Dave Rogers rang. He can call me back on 234-5678.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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