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What do we mean when we say that we are in or at a place? These two small words can be instrumental in helping us to reveal (and conceal) exactly where we are in the world and, crucially, how we feel about being there. Take the sentence, 'I'm at school'. Seemingly simple on the surface, but can't we say, 'I'm in school' too? So, if they both sound fine, why does 'I'm in/at classroom' sound bad? Lets look a little closer. In for buildings and rooms This is not a difficult one. If we use in, we are referring to the fact that we are in a place which has walls, a floor, and a ceiling. It can be a room, it can be a building, it can be a cardboard box at the side of the road. It depends on how much money your parents are investing in your education. The thing to remember is that, unlike at, we must use an article here to specify the space we are talking about. However, the days of a one-room village school are long gone and so it would be odd to hear ‘I’m in the school’... read more

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