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    #1

    At/in the restaurant

    Hello.

    In British English does ''in'' mean the person is sitting inside the restaurant and ''at'' outside of it?
    For example, ''I am sitting at/in the restaurant of the Ritz hotel''.

  2. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: At/in the restaurant

    I don't think any variety of English would consider "I'm sitting at the restaurant" natural. I would only use "in" in such a sentence.

    However for example, a person who has just arrived at some restaurant (but is still outside) might phone someone and say: "I'm at the restaurant".

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    #3

    Re: At/in the restaurant

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    I don't think any variety of English would consider "I'm sitting at the restaurant" natural. I would only use "in" in such a sentence.

    However for example, a person who has just arrived at some restaurant (but is still outside) might phone someone and say: "I'm at the restaurant".
    I thought ''at the restaurant'' is an example of American English. I found these examples on a forum
    "I'm in the bank" means that you are inside the bank.''

    "I'm at the bank" can mean that you are inside the bank, or that you are just outside the bank and are using it as a reference point.

    This of course applies to any other building.''

    And
    I'm eating in the restaurant right now.

    I'm eating in a restaurant right now.
    I'm eating at the restaurant right now.
    I'm eating at a restaurant right now.

    All are correct. What's the context?



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    #4

    Re: At/in the restaurant

    To me, "sitting at the restaurant" doesn't sound natural. Let's wait and see what others (especially AmE speakers) have to say.

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    #5

    Re: At/in the restaurant

    Quote Originally Posted by sondra View Post

    "I'm at the bank" can mean that you are inside the bank, or that you are just outside the bank and are using it as a reference point.

    Yes, 'at the restaurant (or wherever)' is natural and common in AmE, but as your source states, it doesn't establish a definite position. You'd need more context to determine whether the speaker is actually inside, or just nearby.

    Edit: Actually, I misread and now see the question is actually about the phrase 'sitting at the restaurant'. Still, it's common enough in AmE. However, 'sitting at' would more likely indicate being inside the establishment, or at least at an outdoor table on the restaurant property.
    Last edited by Skrej; 15-Jan-2020 at 21:04. Reason: clarified
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    #6

    Re: At/in the restaurant

    There's no difference between American English and other varieties.

    The sentence is naturally interpreted as an attempt to specify the exact location of the speaker, which makes in the appropriate preposition. The idea is that the speaker is seated inside the restaurant. If it were important for the speaker to specify that she is outside, she'd say so.

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    #7

    Re: At/in the restaurant

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    There's no difference between American English and other varieties.

    The sentence is naturally interpreted as an attempt to specify the exact location of the speaker, which makes in the appropriate preposition. The idea is that the speaker is seated inside the restaurant. If it were important for the speaker to specify that she is outside, she'd say so.
    Is it the same with ''office'' and ''bank'' and other words?
    For example,
    1.''She works at an office/bank.''
    2.''She works at the office/bank I mentioned before.''
    3.She works in an office/bank.
    4.She works in the office/bank I mentioned before.

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    #8

    Re: At/in the restaurant

    No. You haven't understood what I meant. Read the thread again.

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    #9

    Re: At/in the restaurant

    I changed ''works'' into ''is''. This is what I was asking about. In all my four examples the idea is that the person is inside and as you said ''If it were important for the speaker to specify that she is outside, she'd say so''. Did I understand your explanation correctly?
    1.''She is at an office/bank.''

    2.''She is at the office/bank I mentioned before.''
    3.She is in an office/bank.
    4.She is in the office/bank I mentioned before.

    ''The sentence is naturally interpreted as an attempt to specify the exact location of the speaker, which makes in the appropriate preposition''. The idea is that the speaker is seated inside the restaurant. If it were important for the speaker to specify that she is outside, she'd say so. I have two prepositions in my example. ''I am sitting at/in the restaurant of the Ritz hotel''. Were you referring to ''at?''

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    #10

    Re: At/in the restaurant

    Quote Originally Posted by sondra View Post
    Did I understand your explanation correctly?

    I believe you understand it now, yes. You were right to change the verb to is.

    I have two prepositions in my example. ''I am sitting at/in the restaurant of the Ritz hotel''. Were you referring to ''at?''
    I was saying that in is the correct preposition if the idea is that the sentence locates the speaker's precise position. I assume that's what you are trying to say, at least.

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