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Are you at school or in school?

I am at schoolin the biology classroom.

A dog has its nose in a tin of dog food.

The dog’s nose is in the tin.

In is used for inside a specific area or building.
At is used for an exact point or place.

• My first lesson starts at 9.15 so I have to be in school no later than 9.00.
(Here we think of school as a building)
• I am only fifteen so I am still at school.
(Here we think of school as a place of education, not as a building)
• Do you work in an office?
(Here with think of the office as a specific area inside a building)
• When will you arrive at the office?
(Here we think of the office as a place of work, not as a building)

Compare:
My plane stopped at Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam, and arrived in Warsaw twenty-one hours later.
(Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam are places I stopped at for a short time on a journey. Warsaw is the specific area I am in for a longer period of time)

Remember: At the place. INside the building.
  • Exercise 1

    Remember: At the place. INside the building.

    Use at or in to complete the sentences.

    Remember: At the place. INside the building.

    Use at or in to complete the sentences.

    Exercise 2

    Use at or in to complete the sentences.

    Use at or in to complete the sentences.

     

  • On a bus and in a bus
    You are on a bus when you think of it as transport. You are in a bus when you think about the inside of it. (3:15)

    Vocabulary Video Lesson: Censorship
    This vocabulary lesson will help you define censorship, black out, blur out, grawlix, illicit, restriction, suppression, expletive and bowdlerize. (8:00)