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  1. Newbie
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
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      • Palestinian Territory
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      • Palestinian Territory

    • Join Date: Oct 2014
    • Posts: 2

    Asking for a clarification

    I have some difficulties in using the proposition " in " and " at " . I wonder if it would be possible for you to clarify the use of both of them .
    Thank you

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Interested in Language
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    Re: Asking for a clarification

    Could you please give example sentences, on which the teachers here will comment?

    I am not a teacher.

  3. VIP Member
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    Re: Asking for a clarification

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hello, Tarik Marwan:

    I had to reply to your question, for the at / in matter also confuses me (and English is my only language!).

    Here is what one dictionary says:

    Use "at" if you are thinking of a location point: "I will meet you this afternoon at the library."

    Use "in" if the interior of the building is stressed: "I looked all day for a certain book in the library."

    BUT I have noticed that native speakers do not always agree on which preposition should be used.

    It is ONLY my opinion that it is often safer to choose "at" than "in" if you are not sure. Books tell us that both are correct in "I will stay at / in a nice hotel."

    Here is a book title that nicely shows the difference (I think). In a certain American city, there is a hospital named "Memorial." Many years ago, there was a big flood in that city.

    Here is the title of that book (I have emphasized the prepositions): Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital.


    Matthew Wai's suggestion is excellent. If you will post two or three sentences that concern you, then members will give their opinions as to which preposition is more appropriate. Don't be surprised if there is a difference of opinion.

    Dictionary credit: Webster's New International Dictionary (1959).
    Author of that book on the hospital: Ms. Sheri Fink.
    Last edited by TheParser; 21-Oct-2014 at 11:37. Reason: spacing

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