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There's a grammar question about the preposition put before the word-performance.
The following is the question.
Please turn off your cell phone ____ the performance.
a. at
b. on
c. when
d. during
Certainly the answer is A. However, i felt that there's more to this question. So i looked it up, it said "at the performance" means you aren't actually in the play, and you are more of an audience, while "in a performance" indicates that you are acting in the play. is the abovementioned true?
Also, if i use "during the performance", does it mean the same thing as "in the performance"? or it differs from diverse context. Because if i put "during" in the above sentence, it really sounds like the ones who are asked to turn off cell phones are watching the performance, instead of being in the performance. or it can go both way? If so, there will be an ambiguity in this question.
Comments  
Certainly the answer is A. No. The natural answer is 'during'. It can be said to either the actors or the audience.

'At' sounds like you are speaking to people who have not yet arrived at the theatre.

'In' is not natural.

Clive
I appreciate you answer, and thanks for that, but can you be more specific about nature.
Is it like the way you usually say it or else?
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I appreciate you answer, and thanks for that, but can you be more specific about nature.
Is it like the way you usually say it Yes
or else?
Maybe I got a wrong answer, and I agree that during is the best one.
But i still cannot understand the difference between at and in
For example,
I fell asleep in the performance (being an actor and fell asleep?)
I fell asleep at the performance (being an audience and fell asleep?)
I fell asleep during the performance(this sounds like it can go both way)

Any differences come up? "during" is the one and only answer here?
Or if i substitute performance for test....

I fell asleep in the test= during the test?
Maybe at shouldn't be used in this sentence
Maybe I got a wrong answer, and I agree that during is the best one.
But i still cannot understand the difference between at and in
For example,
I fell asleep in the performance (being an actor and fell asleep?)
I fell asleep at the performance (being an audience and fell asleep?)
Neither 'in' nor 'at' clearly indicates audience or actor. But the context will usually make that very clear.

Both 'in' and 'during' suggest while the performance is happening, but 'during' is more natural.

'At' suggests in the physical location of the performance.

Prepositions involve many subtleties. They are hard to learn (and hard to teach).

Clive
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
You just have to read a lot to understand the subtleties of prepositions.

He fell asleep in class. / He fell asleep during class. - Both are used, and probably "in" is more common. You can pay attention in class, be in class, etc.

I fell asleep during the performance. / I fell asleep at the performance. - The first is much more natural to me. I have heard the second.

I fell asleep during the test. - "In" would never be used here. It sounds like I was inside a test, which is preposterous.
Subtleties indeed!

I fell asleep in a test sounds marginally OK to me.

I fell asleep in an exam sounds OK to me.
Probably because an exam takes longer than a test.

Clive