at/in the beginning of the sentence

Discussion in 'English Only' started by sunyaer, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. sunyaer Senior Member

    Chinese
    "When the phrase is used at the beginning of the sentence, the meaning is a bit slightly different."

    Could "at" be replaced with "in"?

    It seems to me that the sentence sounds Ok both with "at" and "in", but having slightly different meanings. "at" is used to mean where the phrase is located, while "in" means what part of the sentence the phrase is placed as.
     
  2. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    Quite correct. To use your own words: 'When' is at the beginning of your first sentence, and so is 'when the phrase is used', and 'when the phrase is used at the beginning of the sentence' - this whole phrase can be regarded as the first part (the beginning) of your sentence. But the words 'used' or 'at' are in this part, but not first in this part, so they are in the beginning of the sentence.
     

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