participate in and participate at?

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mgb

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A question about the usage of "participate in vs. participate at."

I know that we use participate in (something), but can participate at be used in some cases such as:

To participate at this level ..., He participated at Wimbledon., He participated at a trade fair., etc.?

Thanks!
 
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Horsa

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I would have no qualms about saying 'participate at this level' so yes you can. :)
 

mgb

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I would have no qualms about saying 'participate at this level' so yes you can. :)


And... He participated at Wimbledon (many times)., He participated at a trade fair., etc.?
 

Horsa

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I'm not quite as happy about those 2. We play in a tournament and when you say Wimbledon that is what you mean so most times I would prefer participate in. That said I have heard people say at on the TV when being interviewed - 'I'm participating at Wimbledon in June.' So the answer is a qualified yes on the basis that native speakers do it. As for trade fair I would definitely prefer participate in but have heard similar things being said with at so once again a qualified yes.

In general 'at' refers to a point. For example, I can say I am in Moscow and I can also say I am at Moscow but the situation when I would do so is different.

If Moscow is simply where I am staying then I would most likely say in since this conveys the idea of being within something. However, if I am travelling and Moscow is not my destination but a point on my journey I might well choose to say at if the person to whom I am speaking, perhaps on the telephone knows my intended route . This explains why 'participating at this level' is acceptable since 'this level' can be considered as a point on a continuum.
 
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