working in vs working at

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  • manon33

    Senior Member
    English - England (Yorkshire)
    I work in school vs I work at school.
    What's the difference? Thanks :)
    They both mean the same to my ears : I work (hard) when I am at school/in class.

    However there is a difference between 'I work in/at a school' and I work in/at school'. The first is a teacher talking, the second a pupil.

    'In school' is typically heard more in American English.
     

    Nucleara

    Senior Member
    However there is a difference between 'I work in/at a school' and I work in/at school'. The first is a teacher talking, the second a pupil.
    Does a pupil work ?(isn't it "study" ?)
    And I think that,I work in a school can mean both teacher or janitor or headmaster though;) What do you think ?
     

    manon33

    Senior Member
    English - England (Yorkshire)
    Does a pupil work ?(isn't it "study" ?)
    And I think that,I work in a school can mean both teacher or janitor or headmaster though;) What do you think ?
    Not in BE. Pupils here refer to what they do in school as 'work', not 'study'.

    Yes, it could be a headmaster (although headmasters are also teachers), or a caretaker. Or a dinner lady, or a cleaner, or a Support Assistant or an exam invigilator or about twenty other jobs. I was trying to keep it simple.
     

    Nucleara

    Senior Member
    Not in BE. Pupils here refer to what they do in school as 'work', not 'study'.

    Yes, it could be a headmaster (although headmasters are also teachers), or a caretaker. Or a dinner lady, or a cleaner, or a Support Assistant or an exam invigilator or about twenty other jobs. I was trying to keep it simple.
    Okay haha
     

    Ekaterina K

    Member
    Russian
    Hello!
    what about these sentences:
    "I work in a hospital"
    "I work at a hospital" - that seems strange for me, but what do you think?
     

    Ekaterina K

    Member
    Russian
    And one more question.
    Nucleara said: `And I think that, I work in a school can mean both teacher or janitor or headmaster.`
    But in an authentic English textbook I saw the following `My father worked at the university`
    Can we say `my father worked in the university` or then it means that he is not a university professor but an electrician for example
     

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    "I work in a hospital"
    "I work at a hospital"
    A doctor or nurse or anyone who works inside the hospital could correctly say either of the above.

    A car park attendant or security person that works outside is more likely to use "at".
     

    Mango18

    Member
    Russian
    They both mean the same to my ears : I work (hard) when I am at school/in class.

    However there is a difference between 'I work in/at a school' and I work in/at school'. The first is a teacher talking, the second a pupil.

    'In school' is typically heard more in American English.
    I wonder, if I use the pronoun like "they" or a noun in plural, then I will have to write 'The graduates from pedagogical institutes are less likely to work in/at schools'
    Is the meaning without the article still the same?
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I wonder, if I use the pronoun like "they" or a noun in plural, then I will have to write 'The graduates from pedagogical institutes are less likely to work in/at schools'
    Is the meaning without the article still the same?
    No, but it is being plural that makes the difference. When the place of work is plural, then there is a strong preference for "in", even when you usually use "at" with "a" + singular noun.

    "At" isn't entirely ruled out in every case, and I think "they work at universities" is fine, but in your example I would only use "in".
     
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