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    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 88
    #1

    at / in

    HI

    1-Which one is the correct form?

    Im good at English or I'm good in english

    2-This sentence is from a book I read but i dont understand why we use in only with the word restraunts.

    Speak english with friends, in restaurants, at homes, at school.





    THANKS IN ADVANCE

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Tamil
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 619
    #2

    Re: at / in

    Quote Originally Posted by fantastic View Post
    HI

    1-Which one is the correct form?

    Im good at English or I'm good in english

    2-This sentence is from a book I read but i dont understand why we use in only with the word restraunts.

    Speak english with friends, in restaurants, at homes, at school.





    THANKS IN ADVANCE
    I'm good at Englih is correct.
    To know more about the usage of in, on, at see Grammar glossary or search usingenglih.com
    Regards,
    rj1948.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
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    #3

    Re: at / in

    1. You would say "I'm good in English" if you were referring to a course, a subject at school. (Note that it should be English with a capital E. You have it as English once, and english once.)

    2. In your example, you say "at homes." This is no idiomatic. You can say "in people's homes" or "at home" but not "at homes."

    The use of prepositions is very ... well, variable. It's impossible to come up with hard-and-fast rules, but we tend to say "at home," "at church," "at school."

    The sentences would just as easily have said "when you are at a restaurant."

    {not a teacher}


    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 88
    #4

    Re: at / in

    rj1948

    Thanks for the info. I didnt raise this question until i looked up all of the grammar rules. Some time it becomes very diffuclt to distinquish. Only native speakers can identify the correct form easily.


    Barb_D

    Thanls a lot. Your info was really helpful and your right about "homes" i wrote it wrote it by mistake but i'm glad that i did this mistake because you told me some tips about how to use it in various ways.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #5

    Re: at / in

    If I said,'you should speak English in school'. it could mean you only have to speak it whilst inside the school building - you don't have to speak it in the playground. By using the preposition 'at', we are talking about a general location -'at school' means anywhere within the fence that marks off the school grounds and all its buildings. 'in school' means inside the school building, and usually, in the classroom.

    Similarly, 'at church' is again a more general location - both inside the church, and standing outside talking before and after.
    'in the church' means specifically inside the building which is the church proper.
    compare:
    'in' refers to the situation of something that is, or appears to be, enclosed or surrounded by something else.
    We don't usually see standing outside a restaurant (say, if we are waiting for somebody to arrive) as part of the 'dining out' experience - it's all inside, sitting at tables. So, we express this by saying 'in restaurants', -we are inside, and enclosed within the room that is the restaurant.
    'at home', we could be inside or outside in the back yard- 'at' refers to just the general location. 'in the home' specifically refers to 'inside', in one or more rooms of the home. People can relax at home. "There is to be no running in the house - go outside in the yard if you want to run around."

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