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    #1

    The 200-year-old library which was located *in/at* the city center was destroyed by..

    The 200-year-old library which was located *in/at* the city center was destroyed by a fire last night. (from my teacher's handout)

    Is this sentence correct? Between “in” and “at”, which preposition is correct? I think "in the city center" is correct, but I am not sure if "at the city center" is OK or not. Is "was destroyed by a fire" correct? How about "was destroyed IN a fire"? Thanks!
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 30-May-2016 at 13:39. Reason: Removed formatting to make post readable

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The 200-year-old library which was located *in/at* the city center was destroyed

    Use "in the city centre". A city centre is usually an area which contains many buildings. "At" would suggest a very specific location - "at the very centre of the city".

    "... destroyed by fire" (no article) works better for me. I find "... destroyed by a fire" a little awkward although it's not ungrammatical. "... destroyed in a fire" works well.

    The original sentence needs commas:

    The 200-year-old library, which was located in the city centre, was destroyed by fire last night.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The 200-year-old library which was located *in/at* the city center was destroyed

    Right:

    - at the city's center
    - in the city center

    Wrong:

    - in the city's center
    - at the city center

    The city center is the neighborhood where the town's business is most concentrated.

    The city's center is a geographic coordinate, regardless of what happens there.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 30-May-2016 at 16:57. Reason: Fixed typo (neighbor > neighborhood)
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The 200-year-old library which was located *in/at* the city center was destroyed

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    The city's center is a geographic coordinate, regardless of what happens there.
    That's a new one for me.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The 200-year-old library which was located *in/at* the city center was destroyed

    I agree that there is usually one place that is designated the absolute centre of a city. In London, it's Centrepoint (tall silver building with a light on top). In Madrid, it's Puerta del Sol. However, I do think it would be unlikely that anyone would refer to a library using such an exact location. It seems to me that it would suffice to say that it's in the city centre.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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