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nima_persian
Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2013 10:06:31 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/17/2013
Posts: 4,132
Neurons: 20,543
Hi again.I have some problems with the prepositions...
usually I am confused to use them...
For example:I am study at university
but I must say I am working in my dad's restaurant!

Could anybody possibly tell me how I can remember these as a rule or a grammar?
Or the possible and only way is through experience?!!or practice....
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2013 10:33:19 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 34,427
Neurons: 228,163
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi!

I do not think it is a rule of grammar (and I think you will find different people use different prepositions to mean the same thing).

We looked at this once before (before you came onto the forum), but I cannot find the 'thread'.

From memory, it depends, somewhat, on how big the building is (from your viewpoint).

I work at the University (the University is many buildings, covering three square kilometres).
I work in the Nuclear Sciences building. (One of the many buildings at the University).

I work at the Hilton. (a building with a hotel, three restaurants and two coffee-bars)
I work in my Dad's restaurant (Two or three rooms.)
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2013 12:39:50 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 14,481
Neurons: 68,876
I hope I don’t confuse things, but I can’t think of a single instance when “at” would not work when speaking of a location. In fact, I believe I use it consistently.

I work at IBM.
I work at the University.
I work at the local market.

I would use “in” to be slightly more specific.
I work in the IT department at IBM.
I work in the anthropology department at the University.
I work in the produce department at the local market.

I would use “on” to be even more specific.
I am working on a particular programming problem in the IT department at IBM.
I work on antiquities in the anthropology department at the University.
I work on cleaning and arranging the vegetables in the produce department at the local market.
chromomancer
Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2013 3:24:45 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 3/14/2013
Posts: 20
Neurons: 9,676
FounDit wrote:
I hope I don’t confuse things, but I can’t think of a single instance when “at” would not work when speaking of a location. In fact, I believe I use it consistently.

I work at IBM.
I work at the University.
I work at the local market.


If you work in room 123 on the 44th floor of building 77, could you use "at"? I don't think I could. I could just about say, "I work at building 77" but "I work at room 123" sounds like I'm constructing it, not working in it :-)

And certainly for other verbs, e.g. sleep. I can't say "I sleep at my bedroom" it has to be "I sleep in my bedroom".
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2013 10:52:41 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 14,481
Neurons: 68,876
chromomancer,

You will notice I used the words to become more specific in each case. I thought I made that clear, but perhaps not.

I noticed you did the same in your example: "If you work in room 123 on the 44th floor of (at) building 77...". Here you used "in" then "on", and you only needed "at" rather than "of" to accomplish the same thing.

Quote: "I can't say "I sleep at my bedroom" it has to be "I sleep in my bedroom".

Right, because "at" isn't specific enough. However, "in" would be more specific, as in my examples. I'm sure there are exceptions, but my effort was to provide nima_persian a general pattern of usage for understanding those prepositions.



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