in the park vs at the park

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  • SPQR

    Senior Member
    US
    American English
    We are in the park or we are at the park.
    How can I use them?
    thanks.
    Oh no...prepositions...the bane of all language learners...especially me...

    We are in the park - implies that you are in the boundaries of the park.
    We are inside the park - even more specific
    We are at the park - more general, could be "in" the park, or very close to it.

    Other forms:
    We are in the house (inside the walls of the house).
    We are inside the house (slightly more specific than the above).
    We are at the house (in or close to the house).
    We are at home (in the house, in the yard, very close to the house).

    If you have other examples that bother you, let us know.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Oh no...prepositions...the bane of all language learners...especially me...

    We are in the park - implies that you are in the boundaries of the park.
    We are inside the park - even more specific
    We are at the park - more general, could be "in" the park, or very close to it.

    Other forms:
    We are in the house (inside the walls of the house).
    We are inside the house (slightly more specific than the above).
    We are at the house (in or close to the house).
    We are at home (in the house, in the yard, very close to the house).

    If you have other examples that bother you, let us know.
    It's worse, actually. "At" does not mean close by.

    I saw him at/in school.

    Either works because there are school grounds and school buildings.

    I sam him in/at the park. Same thing. What do you have in mind? You can't be "in" an open field, but you can be "in" the woods within a park.

    Results 1 - 10 of about 8,470,000 for "in the park".
    Results 1 - 10 of about 1,350,000 for "at the park".

    Life jackets are available free of charge at the park.

    For the protection of natural and cultural resources at the park, …

    A visitor information center at the park also has information on area tours and attractions.

    If you have to "flip a coin", I would pick "in the park" merely because it seems to be more common. ;)
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    You can't be "in" an open field
    and I promise to remind myself of this every time I'm in the field in front of my house, meditating on the ambiguities of prepositions in English. :D

    Can I be on the field? Yes, if I'm playing baseball.
    Can I be at the field? Sure, if I've arrived there.
    Can I be in the field? Oh yes, in many ways. If I were a doctor I would be in the medical field. If I were my dog, chasing a ball, I would most certainly be in the field. :eek:
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    and I promise to remind myself of this every time I'm in the field in front of my house, meditating on the ambiguities of prepositions in English. :D

    Can I be on the field? Yes, if I'm playing baseball.
    Can I be at the field? Sure, if I've arrived there.
    Can I be in the field? Oh yes, in many ways. If I were a doctor I would be in the medical field. If I were my dog, chasing a ball, I would most certainly be in the field. :eek:
    You just proved my main point. Prepositions in English (and perhaps any other language) are almost impossible.

    I won't bother editing my post, but I was clearly wrong.

    Obviously I was "out in left field" when I wrote it. :rolleyes: :)

    Gaer
     
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