work in / at

applepi

Senior Member
spanish
Hello!
Which preposition do you use with work, in or at?
A) I work in a nursery
B) I work at a nursery
C) I work in a school
D) I work at a school

Are both correct?
Thanks
 
  • kayokid

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Both can be and are said.

    'I work in a school' means physically in the school building.
    'I work at a school' can mean that you work in the school, as a teacher, for example, or that you are responsible for the school grounds and you are outside not in the building.
     

    applepi

    Senior Member
    spanish
    Sorry, but I don't get it.
    Does this mean that if you are, for example, a teacher, and you are in the school, you say "I work in a school", but if you are not in the school you say "I work at a school"?
    thanks
     

    kayokid

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    The trouble I am having in explaining this is that, loosely speaking, both are said. I am looking for a "rule" to make this easy -- and I can't find one.

    The best that I can come up with is: use 'in' for a specific department/area and 'at' for the general place.

    Ex. She works in the German department at Village High School.
    Joe is a custodian at Village High School. He works in the school in the Electrical Division/Department.
    Mike is also a custodian at Village High School. He works outside and his job is to keep the grounds clean.

    I am afraid I didn't explain this very well. Wait for more responses...
     

    tnfrijol

    New Member
    English-United States
    Wow. Engish is crazy. I think kayokid explained it as well as it can be explained. Maybe this is one of those English idioms that you just have to be native to grasp.
     

    gringuitoloco

    Senior Member
    American (awesome) English
    You work at a location,and in a department. However, if you say you work in a location, it will be acceptable, and most people wouldn't give it a second thought.
     

    lindasard

    New Member
    Australian English
    Hello!
    Which preposition do you use with work, in or at?
    A) I work in a nursery
    B) I work at a nursery
    C) I work in a school
    D) I work at a school

    Are both correct?
    Thanks

    I found this:

    GRAMMAR: Prepositions with work

    • You work in a city or area:
    He works in Manhattan.
    • You work in a type of place such as a bank, shop, or factory:
    She works in a library.
    • You work at a particular place or organization:
    She works at the Library of Congress.
    • You work for a person, company, or organization that employs you:
    He works for his father.
    We both work for the same company.

    • You work in an industry or a type of job, for example education, advertising, or IT:
    He works in advertising.
    • You work as a waiter, cashier, accountant etc:
    She works as a cook.
    ✗Don’t say: She works as cook.
    • You work on a project or task:
    Several people worked on the report.
     
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