In vs. At

By Jaxson

  • In (preposition)

    Used to indicate location, inclusion, or position within spatial, temporal or other limits.

  • In (preposition)

    Contained by.

    “The dog is in the kennel.”

  • In (preposition)


  • In (preposition)

    Surrounded by.

    “We are in the enemy camp.”

    “Her plane is in the air.”

  • In (preposition)

    Part of; a member of.

    “One in a million.”

    “She’s in band and orchestra.”

  • In (preposition)

    Pertaining to; with regard to.

    “What grade did he get in English?”

    “Military letters should be formal in tone, but not stilted.”

  • In (preposition)

    At the end of a period of time.

    “They said they would call us in a week.”

  • In (preposition)

    Within a certain elapsed time

    “Are you able to finish this in three hours?”

    “The massacre resulted in over 1000 deaths in three hours.”

  • In (preposition)

    During (said of periods of time).

    “in the first week of December;”

    “Easter falls in the fourth lunar month;”

    “The country reached a high level of prosperity in his first term.”

  • In (preposition)


    “Less water gets in your boots this way.”

  • In (preposition)

    Used to indicate limit, qualification, condition, or circumstance.

    “In replacing the faucet washers, he felt he was making his contribution to the environment.”

  • In (preposition)

    Coming at the end of a word.

    “English nouns in -ce form their plurals in -s.”

  • In (preposition)

    Indicating an order or arrangement.

    “My fat rolls around in folds.”

  • In (preposition)

    Denoting a state of the subject.

    “He stalked away in anger.”

    “John is in a coma.”

  • In (preposition)

    Indicates, connotatively, a place-like form of someone’s (or something’s) personality, as his, her or its psychic and physical characteristics.

    “You’ve got a friend in me.”

    “He’s met his match in her.”

  • In (preposition)

    Used to indicate means, medium, format, genre, or instrumentality.

  • In (preposition)

    Wearing (an item of clothing).

    “I glanced over at the pretty girl in the red dress.”

  • In (preposition)

    In the form of, in the denomination of.

    “Please pay me in cash — preferably in tens and twenties.”

    “The deposit can be in any legal tender, even in gold.”

    “Her generosity was rewarded in the success of its recipients.”

  • In (verb)

    To enclose.

  • In (verb)

    To take in; to harvest.

  • In (adverb)

    Located indoors, especially at home or the office, or inside something.

    “Is Mr. Smith in?”

  • In (adverb)

    Moving to the interior of a defined space, such as a building or room.

    “Suddenly a strange man walked in.”

  • In (adverb)

    Still eligible to play, e.g. able to bat in cricket and baseball.

    “He went for the wild toss but wasn’t able to stay in.”

  • In (adverb)

    Abbreviation of in aid of.

    “What’s that in?”

  • In (adverb)

    After the beginning of something.

  • In (noun)

    A position of power or a way to get it.

    “His parents got him an in with the company”

  • In (noun)

    The state of a batter/batsman who is currently batting – see innings

  • In (noun)

    A re-entrant angle; a nook or corner.

  • In (noun)

    abbreviation of inch

  • In (adjective)

    In fashion; popular.

    “Skirts are in this year.”

  • In (adjective)


    “the in train”

  • In (adjective)

    Furled or stowed.

  • In (adjective)

    With privilege or possession; used to denote a holding, possession, or seisin.

    “in by descent; in by purchase; in of the seisin of her husband”

  • In (adjective)

    Currently batting.

  • In (adjective)

    Having familiarity or involvement with somebody.

  • At (preposition)

    In, near, or in the general vicinity of a particular place.

    “Caesar was at Rome;”

    “at the corner of Fourth Street and Vine;”

    “at Jim’s house”

  • At (preposition)

    Indicating occurrence in an instant of time or a period of time relatively short in context or from the speaker’s perspective.

    “at six o’clock;”

    “at closing time;”

    “at night.”

  • At (preposition)

    In the direction of (often in an unfocused or uncaring manner).

    “He threw the ball at me.”

    “He shouted at her.”

  • At (preposition)

    Denotes a price.

    “3 apples at 2¢ (each)”

    “The offer was at $30,000 before negotiations.”

  • At (preposition)

    Occupied in (activity).

    “men at work”

  • At (preposition)

    In a state of.

    “She is at sixes and sevens with him.”

    “They are at loggerheads over how best to tackle the fiscal cliff.”

    “The city was at the mercy of the occupying forces.”

  • At (preposition)

    Indicates a position on a scale or in a series.

    “Sell at 90.”

    “Tiger finished the round at tenth, seven strokes behind the leaders.”

    “I’m offering it—just to select customers—at cost.”

  • At (preposition)

    Because of.

    “to laugh at a joke”

    “mad at their comments”

  • At (preposition)

    Indicates a means, method, or manner.

  • At (preposition)

    Holding a given rate.

    “It is growing at the rate of 3% a year.”

    “Cruising along at fifty miles per hour.”

  • At (preposition)

    On the subject of; regarding.

    “The twins were both bad at chemistry.”

    “He slipped at marksmanship over his extended vacation.”

  • At (preposition)

    Bothering, irritating, causing discomfort to

  • At (noun)

    The at sign (@).

  • In (preposition)

    expressing the situation of something that is or appears to be enclosed or surrounded by something else

    “dressed in their Sunday best”

    “she saw the bus in the rear-view mirror”

    “I’m living in London”

  • In (preposition)

    expressing motion with the result that something ends up within or surrounded by something else

    “don’t put coal in the bath”

    “he got in his car and drove off”

  • In (preposition)

    expressing a period of time during which an event happens or a situation remains the case

    “they met in 1885”

    “I hadn’t seen him in years”

    “at one o’clock in the morning”

  • In (preposition)

    expressing the length of time before a future event is expected to happen

    “I’ll see you in fifteen minutes”

  • In (preposition)

    (often followed by a noun without a determiner) expressing a state or condition

    “I’ve got to put my affairs in order”

    “to be in love”

    “a woman in her thirties”

  • In (preposition)

    indicating the quality or aspect with respect to which a judgement is made

    “no discernible difference in quality”

  • In (preposition)

    expressing inclusion or involvement

    “I read it in a book”

    “acting in a film”

  • In (preposition)

    indicating someone’s occupation or profession

    “she works in publishing”

  • In (preposition)

    indicating the language or medium used

    “put it in writing”

    “say it in French”

  • In (preposition)

    indicating the key in which a piece of music is written

    “Mozart’s Piano Concerto in E flat”

  • In (preposition)

    as an integral part of (an activity)

    “in planning public expenditure it is better to be prudent”

  • In (preposition)

    expressing a value as a proportion of (a whole)

    “a local income tax running at six pence in the pound”

  • In (adverb)

    expressing movement with the result that someone or something becomes enclosed or surrounded by something else

    “come in”

    “presently the admiral breezed in”

  • In (adverb)

    expressing the situation of being enclosed or surrounded by something

    “we were locked in”

  • In (adverb)

    expressing arrival

    “the train got in very late”

  • In (adverb)

    (of the tide) rising or at its highest level.

  • In (adjective)

    present at one’s home or office

    “we knocked at the door but there was no one in”

  • In (adjective)


    “the in thing to do”

    “pastels and light colours are in this year”

  • In (adjective)

    (of the ball in tennis and similar games) landing within the designated playing area.

  • In (adjective)


    “which side is in?”

  • In (noun)

    a position of influence with someone powerful or famous

    “she got an in with the promising new artist”

  • At (preposition)

    expressing location or arrival in a particular place or position

    “they live at Conway House”

    “they stopped at a small trattoria”

  • At (preposition)

    used in speech to indicate the sign @ in email addresses, separating the address holder’s name from their location.

  • At (preposition)

    expressing the time when an event takes place

    “the children go to bed at nine o’clock”

    “his death came at a time when the movement was split”

  • At (preposition)

    (followed by a noun without a determiner) denoting a particular period of time

    “the sea is cooler at night”

  • At (preposition)

    (followed by a noun without a determiner) denoting the time spent by someone attending an educational institution or workplace

    “it was at university that he first began to perform”

  • At (preposition)

    denoting a particular point or level on a scale

    “driving at 50 mph”

    “prices start at £18,500”

  • At (preposition)

    referring to someone’s age

    “at fourteen he began to work as a postman”

  • At (preposition)

    expressing a particular state or condition

    “his ready smile put her at ease”

    “they were at a disadvantage”

  • At (preposition)

    expressing a relationship between an individual and a skill

    “boxing was the only sport I was any good at”

    “she was getting much better at hiding her reactions”

  • At (preposition)

    expressing the object of a look, thought, action, or plan

    “I looked at my watch”

    “policies aimed at reducing taxation”

    “Leslie pointed at him”

  • At (preposition)

    expressing the target of a shot from a weapon

    “they tore down the main street, firing at anyone in sight”

  • At (preposition)

    expressing an incomplete or attempted action, typically involving repeated movements

    “he hit at her face with the gun”

    “she clutched at the thin gown”

  • At (preposition)

    expressing the means by which something is done

    “her pride had taken a beating at his hands”

    “holding a prison officer at knifepoint”

  • At (noun)

    a monetary unit of Laos, equal to one hundredth of a kip.

Oxford Dictionary

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