on/in/at the first stage

firstcalled

Senior Member
Russian
Hello! I would like to figure out the difference among such expressions:
In the first stage of our education we ...
On the first stage of our education we ...
At the first stage of our education we ...

There is no context, I just saw how people said on the first stage of something and in the first stage of something and, really rarely, at the first stage of something, but what is the difference among them?
Thanks in advance!
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In the first stage of education we ... :cross:

    On the first stage of education we ... :cross:

    At the first stage of education we ... :tick: This sounds OK to me, but is not as natural as . . .

    During the first stage of education we ... :tick:


    Others may have different opinions. :)
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There appears to be a lot of posts at that link, and a fair bit of discussion. If you have a specific question about something in that thread, it's probably a good idea to ask it there.
     

    firstcalled

    Senior Member
    Russian
    No, they discussed which is more appropriate, and I just want to understand what's the difference and what all of the sentences I gave above, mean.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    No, they discussed which is more appropriate, and I just want to understand what's the difference and what all of the sentences I gave above, mean.

    OK. I can only refer you back to my earlier post, #2. To me, it sounds wrong to use 'in' or 'on' in this context, and so it's not possible to say what they mean.

    It's OK to use 'at' but I think 'during' sounds far more natural.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I guess you could use 'on the first stage' in something like 'He was on the first stage of his climb up Everest', but it doesn't work in your original examples.
     

    JunJiBoy

    Senior Member
    USA
    Cantonese
    So, at, in and on can all be applied to stage.
    At/in, or during a specific stage, suggests that stage is a period of time.
    On a stage, refers to performing arts.
     
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    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'm with RM(1).

    In the first stage....:tick:
    At the first stage....:cross:
    On the first stage....:cross:
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    In the 18 months since the OP, I've changed my mind. I now concede that 'in the first stage' is OK.

    I found this sentence on ielts-simon.com website at here:

    "At the first stage in the process, solar panels on the roof of a normal house take energy from the sun and convert it into DC current."

    According to heypresto's comments, it seems "in the first stage" works in the above sentence, doesn't it?
     
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    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    "At the first stage in the process, solar panels on the roof of a normal house take energy from the sun and convert it into DC current."

    According to heypresto's comments, it seems "in the first stage" works in the above sentence, doesn't it?
    I agree with HeyPresto. "At", for me, denotes a moment in time. The "stage" described in the sentence you quote is a process. I think "at" is wrong and the writer should have used either in or during.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I agree with HeyPresto. "At", for me, denotes a moment in time. The "stage" described in the sentence you quote is a process. I think "at" is wrong and the writer should have used either in or during.

    :thumbsup: I agree. 'At' sounds wrong here. 'In' would be correct, and in my opinion, 'during' would be better.

    However, 'In the first stage in the process', sounds odd to me, so I would recast it as: 'In the first stage of the process, solar panels . . . '
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I guess you could use 'on the first stage' in something like 'He was on the first stage of his climb up Everest', but it doesn't work in your original examples.

    Could you please explain the difference between your sentence with:

    He was in the first stage of his climb up Everest.
     
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