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    #1

    At / in church

    1. They're at church.
    2. They're in church.
    What's the difference in meaning between them?

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    #2

    Re: At / in church

    To my ear, both of these sentences mean, 'They are attending church services.'


    Petra


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    #3

    Re: At / in church

    On the Beach
    At the Beach

    Is there a difference?

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    #4

    Re: At / in church

    Yes.

    On the beach means literally on the beach:

    Much driftwood lay on the beach after the storm.

    At the beach is more general:

    At the beach there are several seafood restaurants. (These restaurants are probably not literally on the beach, but more likely on solid ground directly adjacent to the beach.

    Thus:
    'We spent the whole dayon the beach,' means we spent the whole day lying on the sand, splashing in the water, flying kites, building sand castles, etc., etc.
    'We spent the whole day at the beach,' could mean we drove to our beach house (which is very near the beach), we played on the beach, we ate at a beach restaurant (near the beach), we took an evening stroll on the beach, etc. etc.

    I hope this is helpful,

    Petra

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    #5

    Re: At / in church

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    1. They're at church.
    2. They're in church.
    What's the difference in meaning between them?
    I think generally these two have the same meaning, as in attending a service of some kind.

    If you say "they are at the church" they could be helping to clean, cutting the lawn or having a meeting with the church leader etc.

    The difference of "On the beach" or "at the beach" are significant.


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    #6

    Re: At / in church

    "at church" and "in church" have the same meaning of attending a church, and are substantially different from "at/in the church".

    "at the church" = at a specific building
    "in the church" = EITHER within a specific building OR is a licenced minister of the christian church.

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