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    Prepositions- at, in (1)

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    Prepositions- at, in
    Message from eugen posted on 16-12-2009 at 17:29:43

    Hi, I have an easy question:
    We say: at school, at home, at work.
    but at the moment, at the table, at the end.
    or in bed, in town, in future, in English.
    and in the street, in the country, in the picture, in the morning.
    When do we use at, in and when at the…, in the… Is there a grammar rule?

    Edited by lucile83 on 29-12-2009 23:39

    Re: Prepositions- at, in by gerondif, posted on 16-12-2009 at 17:40:50

    This is what I invented for my pupils:

    when you use "in", you are simply inside a certain place, there is no idea of activity. Normally, you use "the" but certain very common phrases have lost their "the"
    I am in the garden ,in the kitchen, in town, in bed, in prison,
    (in the past, in the future)
    When you use "at", you are somewhere in order to do something, I call this "un complément d'activité" an invented concept of course.

    I am at the baker's (to buy some bread)
    I am at the cinema (to watch a film)
    I am at the swimming-pool (to swim)

    common expressions have lost their "the"
    I am at school, at work, at home, at risk,...

    same rule with "to" when you go somewhere:

    I am going to the cinema, to the theatre,.....
    I am going to town, to bed, to work, to prison (as an inmate) to the prison (as a worker or a visitor)

    and the big trap: I am going ** home (no to no the)

    Edited by bridg on 16-12-2009 18:05
    Please, take a look at these lessons and videos in English:
    Lien Internet
    see you.

    Re: Prepositions- at, in by eugen, posted on 16-12-2009 at 20:34:25
    Thank you gerondif.
    But you said: but certain very common phrases have lost their "the". I would know which “very common phrases” have lost their “the” and is there a grammar rule? Or must you know this words only with your “feelings”?

    Re: Prepositions- at, in by gerondif, posted on 16-12-2009 at 23:18:13

    Have a look at the 280 !! exercises that Bridg made available through her lien internet. I can't think of any grammar rules at the moment for the or not, but there are certainly some !
    I quote some of these common sentences from memory, from my student days' grammar books or from my readings.
    When you mention something general,the,which is a weak form of this, disappears. "I am at the swimming-pool" is more specific than "I am at work."
    "I am at the office" though, means the same thing but office is a specific room whereas work is more of a concept.

    Re: Prepositions- at, in by stellabelle, posted on 17-12-2009 at 05:11:34
    I think you are just going to have to memorize when to say it and get a feel for it. I can't think of a rule for when to use "at work"or "at the mall".
    It's like a idiomatic phrase in French, ie "avoir envie de" or the same as determining when something is masculine and feminine. You just say it like that because that's how it has always been said. another non-rule situat ion is when the French use grammar in such a way simply because it "sounds"better. This may be the case here. We have a saying in English, "Just go with the flow".

    Re: Prepositions- at, in by lolo1990, posted on 21-12-2009 at 22:45:36
    we use in when we are talking about a big place like country , town ....and we use at when we rae talking about a small place like home, market, area

    Re: Prepositions- at, in by jalone, posted on 22-12-2009 at 00:21:17
    quand utilise t on at to et in

    Re: Prepositions- at, in by ivonne_k2003, posted on 29-12-2009 at 23:18:54
    What about using 'the' in expressions like: in (the) winter, in (the) summer and so on? Any help?

    And, usually we use 'at home', but is it possible to use another preposition, e.g. in my home?

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