in college vs at a college

ansonguy

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Oct 24, 2016
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I am going to make up two sentences below.

(1) He will take a few accounting courses in college next year.

(2) He will take a few accounting courses at a college next year.

I've heard from some people that if you say "in college" in (1), you are referring to education. On the other hand, if you say "at a college" in (2), you are talking about the institution itself. What they say makes sense to me. Are they right about this? Please give me your opinion. Thanks a lot.
 

emsr2d2

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In British English, we use "at school", "at college" and "at university" to refer to someone's current educational situation. We don't use "in" unless we're talking about their geographical location and, when we do that, we use an article before the name of the educational establishment.
 

SoothingDave

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For the first, I understand that the person is a student enrolled in college. As part of his studies, he will take some accounting courses.

For the second, I understand that the person is just taking some accounting classes.
 
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