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General Writing and Grammar Help/use of 'at' as preposition


QUESTION: How is 'at' used as preposition when talking about places ?

ANSWER: I am sorry for the tardy response.  There is a glitch at AllExperts, and I did not receive a message about your question. mb


Ah!!!  Great question!  I'm so glad you asked!!!

Easy answer:  you don't use it.

This is because =at= tells you a location is going to follow.  =Where= indicates the same thing.  Both these words are adverbs; both tell you the same thing:  a location.  You don't need to tell the listener or reader twice that a location is going to be given.

wrong:  Where is he at?
right:  Where is he?

Easy-peasy.  Quicker.  Leave out =at= entirely!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Sorry, You didn't get my question actually.
See, we generally use 'at' in case of smaller places only.
Whereas preposition 'in' is used for bigger place.
For example, we say 'I live at Downing Street in London.
Please elaborate the difference.

=At= here tells what the address is [Downing Street].  Using =in= tells us that we are living inside something located at the address.  It could be a house, it could be a car, it could be a paper box, it could be a palace, it could be a hotel, and so forth.

Of course, we ARE living inside something at that address, but it is clumsy American English to write it this way.  

This might be correct in British English; I  do not know.  Here is an example of American vs. British English.

The British write things such as:
The team are wearing new jerseys.

The Americans would write:
The team is wearing new jerseys.  [The team is considered an entity.]


Does this answer the question?  If not, write back!  Please give me another example. mb  

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Martha Beth Lewis


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Note: When using a word as a word in a sentence, such as: Put a period after the word dog, =dog= should be set in italics. Since I do not have access to italics here, I shall use = on either side of the word or phrase that properly should appear in italics. For the above example: Put a period after the word =dog=. Also, ~~please do not mark your questions as private~~. I will change them to public because I don't want to type the same answer twice! Thanks for your understanding.

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