[Grammar] "How was your day at school?"

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sky3120

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"How was your day at school?" We can hear the sentence often but as far as I know, at school is a British version and in school is an American version, and then can we not use "How was your day in school?" I hardly hear the latter though. what do you experts think? Thank you so much as usual.


And I am in class now. VS. I am at school now. Let's meet after class. VS. Let's meet after school. I think there in not much difference between them? What do you think? Thank you so much as usual again.
 
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5jj

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"How was your day at school?"
This is fine in BrE.

"How was your day in school?"
This is possible in BrE if asked of a person, for example a governor or trainee teacher, who had spent one day in a school visiting or observing.

And I am in class now. VS. I am at school now. Let's meet after class. VS. Let's meet after school.
Only the two in red are common in BrE. We can also say, "Let's meet after the lesson".
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sky3120

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Thank you and I think this is about different usage between England and the USA, so if the others are okay to use, do you think there is much difference in meaning?
 

SoothingDave

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I might ask my daughter how her day at school was. I wouldn't say "in school" in this type of question.
 

sky3120

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Thank you and I am with you, but do you agree that in school is an American version of at school? Because this is what most dictionaries say and we also can apply the same rule to the expression although we hardly see this kind of sentence ,can't we?

What did you learn in school today? I have seen the sentences a lot and I still think the meaning and usage of in school is the same as that of in school in 'How was your day in school?', isn't it?

But I respect your way and usage but I just would like to know the usage of in school is different between them?

Thank you so much as usual.
 
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SoothingDave

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There are differences between BrE and AmE, but they depend on the question being asked.

What does your daughter do?

She's in school. (Meaning she is enrolled in a school.)

Where is your daughter right now?

Oh, she's at school. (Meaning she is physically at school, on the school property, in the school building.)


My understanding of BrE is that they would answer "at school" for the first situation as well as the second. That is the difference you understand between the two versions. But it doesn't apply to all situations.
 

5jj

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My understanding of BrE is that they would answer "at school" for the first situation as well as the second. That is the difference you understand between the two versions. But it doesn't apply to all situations.
I, a speaker of BrE, agree with you. 'In school' is rare in BrE in the first sense. It's not quite so rare in the second, but 'at school' is far more common.
 

sky3120

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Great!! By the way, in school in 'What did you learn in school?' and at school in 'How was your day at school?' do not have a big difference in meaning, right? Thank you and I really respect your help and time.
 

SoothingDave

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There is no difference in meaning if you ask "what did you do at school today?" versus "in school."
 
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