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Dear all,

I am in the midst of writing a manual for people here in Korea to learn more about preposition.

However, I've come to a grinding halt at a certain issue.

SO far, I've defined the simplest of preps, at and in (I used in the morning, in the afternoon as some of the examples).

At is definite (both in time AND location)
In is indefinite (both in time AND location)

If this is so, how do I explain the allowance of the english language to use both at and in for the ame direct object?

i.e.
in a building/ at a building
in the park/ at the park
in the office/ at the office

you know what I'm talking about by now. I need to know the FUNDAMENTAL reason, or better yet, rules that apply to this.

and also, why at night? I tried to mention that it was a visual state, a definitive state (light or lackthereof). THink the reasoning is poor?
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"in" a building/market/car whatever, means you're inside it.
"at" the sames means you're at the periphery, not far from them.
As to "at" night, well it's not a place, you cannot be inside it. I'd relate it to the notion of time, you say "at" nine, not "in" nine.
Hope I've helped?
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See A sentence for locational uses of in, on, and at.

CJ
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Comments  
I believe that I have already answered you at length, but perhaps another member has input.
 pieanne's reply was promoted to an answer.
Oh, I didn't realise this was the same as the other forum too.Emotion: smile

I posted this about the same time as I did the other.

Emotion: smileEmotion: smile

Now I've got a whole new problem on my hands... bare infinitives. argh
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I have the same problem sometimes. I get confused with prepositions of place. The search engine doesn't help very much. Is there any sticky for this?

Thanks a lot
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.