Hi Teachers,

Are these two sentences correct? If yes, do they mean the same?

a) They are at the Nelson's house.

b) They are in the Nelson's house.

Thanks in advance
1 2

The nouns house and home are usually preceded by at when we wish to indicate one's presence there.

Also, when we're talking about our presence at our home, we omit at.

They are home (at their home).

They are at Nelson's house.

They are at the Nelsons' house.


Thank you for your reply and help.


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Hi Regards,

How about "in"? I think it's correct,too.


"In" refers specifically to the interior. If you are "at" your friend's house, you can be on the patio, playing the yard, playing backetball in the driveway, etc.

If you simply want to know someone's general location, we usually say "at" someone's house.
Either "at" or "in" are both correct. At my house- is almost considered a fixed phrase as far as human contexts goes.

You can use "In my house" for non-human contexts i.e. I hate spiders, potatoe buys and ants; guess what, they are all in my house!
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Thank you Grammar Geek for your time.

But how about airplane?

"In" OR "at" OR both?

Thank you in advance,

Thank you dimsumexpress very much but do you mean "in" is totally wrong for human beings?


imantaghaviThank you dimsumexpress very much but do you mean "in" is totally wrong for human beings?

This is where blanket statement sometimes leads us astray into the grey area. I understand learners have to rely on book references to retrieve meaings of a phrase of a word, and it workd 99.9% of the time. However, I'd like to point out there is always that .1 % of English which falls into the "unkown territory" of grammar. That is called "context". Context is the essence of a sentence; without it, verbs, adjectives and nouns are just phrases and fragments.

The core meaning is there between these two sentences: They are at my house vs they are in my house

Without further context, we can only rely on what sounds idiomatic which is "At".

Having said that, I wouldn't say "in" is totally wrong, but I would say it's not what most native would say from an idiomatic point of view. As I commented in the earlier post, the "insect" reference is for sure correct.

Aside from the question, as a former learner, I'd like to share this thought with all current learners which is, for us to learn and use English naturally, we need to train ourselves to develop a sense of full-context understanding in relationship to our question, because a broader context can expend our perception of how natives use the phrases or a particular word. I know it's easier said than done. But it is entirely possible. I hope this two cents worth helps.
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