In vs At – What’s the difference?

Prepositions are important components in English grammar. They play a vital role in framing the correct and meaningful sentences. A slight deviation in choosing the correct prepositions may spoil the true spirit of the sentence and result in total confusion. In and At are such prepositions that cause a lot of confusion when we have to choose one of them. In some cases, these prepositions have the same meaning but they can’t be substituted in a sentence. In the present post, we shall study the basic difference between these two prepositions and learn how to use In and At in a sentence.

In vs At – Difference

  1. The preposition In is used before the names of big cities, metropolises, states, countries, and continents whereas the preposition At is used before the names of villages, towns, and small cities. For example:
  • My father-in-law lives in New Jersey. (State)
  • There is no human settlement in Antarctica. (Continent)
  • She works at Volente, Texas. (Village)
  • Their stay at Salado was quite comfortable. (Small city)

2. The preposition At is used in the sense of “in or on” whereas the preposition In is used in the sense of “inside”. For example:

  • My son is studying at St. Mary High School, Atmore.
  • John has been working in his office since morning.
  • I met him at the concert.
  • Fire broke out at the platform.
  • The guest will reach at 5:00 p.m.

3. The preposition At is used before the time expressing words whereas the preposition In is used before the period of time expressing words. For example:

  • Dogs bark at night. (Time expressing word)
  • She would arrive here at dawn. (Time expressing word)
  • Garrison will submit his project in a week. (Period of time expressing word)
  • Donald Trump was born in 1946. (Period of time expressing word)
  • The weather in spring season is pleasant. (Period of time expressing word)
  • My grandmother used to tell stories everyday at bedtime. (Time expressing word)

Using In in a Sentence

  1. She lives with her uncle in Chicago.
  2. France and Germany are in Europe.
  3. I will send the parcel in the night.
  4. Mr. Fame is in the classroom.
  5. My brother is in the Navy.
  6. Mr. Joe Biden is in the politics.
  7. His colleague goes to the office in a taxi.

Using At in a Sentence

  1. She lives at 59 Daniel street.
  2. He will reach at 7 a.m.
  3. I am enjoying at this moment.
  4. Olive oil sells at $22 a litre.
  5. The bicycle is running at thirty five kilometres an hour.
  6. Mr. Rock is at work.
  7. He left school at seventeen.

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