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  1. #21
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Three entrances at the airport

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Adams View Post
    So a native speaker would not use "in the airport" if she or he is waiting for a flight, but only "at".
    If you're in the airport, then you're at the airport.

    If you're at the airport, you might be in it or outside of it.

    So if you're at a gate waiting for your flight, you're both in and at the airport.
    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.

  2. #22
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: Three entrances at the airport

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Adams View Post
    In Michael Swan's "Practical English Usage" I read: "We very often use "at" before the name of a building, when we are thinking not of the building itself but of the activity that happens there.

    "I first heard her sing at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh."

    It's interesting that the example uses both at and in.


    The book gives another example and says: "It was warm and comfortable in the club." (A place to spend time). I don't understand its comment. I think it's more helpful to say as it was explained here that "in" is a restricted area.

    Yes. The restricted area is the club's interior. Inside the club, it's warm and comfortable.

    You could also say it was warm and comfortable at the club.

    With in, the sentence suggests that someone is actually experiencing the warmth and comfort. Jerry didn't want to go out into the blizzard. He was warm and comfortable in the club.

    As you say below, with at, the sentence is describing the club more generally: Lucia had several reasons for wanting to join the club. Many of her friends were members. And it was warm and comfortable at the club.


    I may be wrong of course.

    So "at" is used when speaking about a place generally and also when speaking about the purpose being there.

    I think you have the right idea.
    It's a good question!

    The two words are often interchangeable. There's not a hard line between them.
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 09-Dec-2020 at 06:31.
    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. #23
    Piscean is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Three entrances at the airport

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post

    The two words are often interchangeable. There's not a hard line between them.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  4. #24
    Rachel Adams is offline Key Member
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    Re: Three entrances at the airport

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    It's a good question!

    The two words are often interchangeable. There's not a hard line between them.
    Isn't it the same with other words such as "hotel", "office", "school", "university", "college", "museum", etc? I mean does it apply to these words too? These rules: "At" is used to talk about a place more generally and when we are thinking about an activity, the purpose of the building. "In" when we are thinking about the place itself.

  5. #25
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: Three entrances at the airport

    Pretty much.
    Not a professional teacher

  6. #26
    Rachel Adams is offline Key Member
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    Re: Three entrances at the airport

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    Pretty much.
    If I add the name of the airport, should it always be with "at" or is "in" also correct?
    For example, "in Heathrow Airport".

  7. #27
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: Three entrances at the airport

    The same rule applies, generally.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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