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Please help me with prepositions. Options
luckyguy
Posted: Friday, May 12, 2017 4:17:00 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/25/2015
Posts: 230
Neurons: 1,258
I always struggle with prepositions. I am not sure which preposition is correct for each of the following.

(1) Tonight, we are playing in or at an outdoor basketball court.

(2) We will see you in or at the graduation ceremony next month.

(3) Many singers will be performing in or at the next special event.

(4) Vendors are selling lots of cute things in or at the toy festival.

(5) Every Saturday, I eat in or at a food court.


I've heard both prepositions used in examples similar to the ones above. Which one is grammatically correct?

Thanks a lot.
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, May 14, 2017 10:24:02 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 7,921
Neurons: 41,958
luckyguy wrote:
I always struggle with prepositions. I am not sure which preposition is correct for each of the following.
It might not always be clear, so I suggest the following general idea to help you with this. It isn't a hard rule, but whenever you want to use "in" think of "inside" and see if it helps make the idea more clear, and "at" for locations.

(1) Tonight, we are playing in or at an outdoor basketball court.
Since this is an outdoor court, you can't be "inside" something that is outside, so use "at".

(2) We will see you in or at the graduation ceremony next month.
Would you be "inside" the ceremony? You could be if you were graduating also, but there would be no reason to say "in" (inside). It would be understood. So you would say "at" since both of you will be there "at" that location.

(3) Many singers will be performing in or at the next special event.
This one could use either one, because there will be singers "in" (inside) the event, and also "at" the event.

(4) Vendors are selling lots of cute things in or at the toy festival.
Here again, it would be understood that vendors would be "in" (inside) the festival location. So while both might work, I think "at" would likely be used the most often.

(5) Every Saturday, I eat in or at a food court.
This one could use both also, because you would be "in" (inside) the food court, and also "at" the location of the food court.

As I read over these, I'm not sure this is very helpful, but in each of these, using "at" would not be wrong.


I've heard both prepositions used in examples similar to the ones above. Which one is grammatically correct?

Thanks a lot.


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
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