• Yaniv Iczkovits

Mistake-free Mondays - IN or AT?

Are you “in the office” or “at the office”?

These common business expressions translate differently in Hebrew.

Let us help…

• “AT” is usually used to describe being at a general location. For example, “I’m at the beach”, or “I’m at the mall”.

• “IN” is usually used to describe being inside something else. For example, “The receipt is in the bag”, or “I’m in the bathroom”.

Let’s combine them to highlight the difference:

“I’m in the APPLE store at the mall.”

[The mall is the general location – But the APPLE store is the more specific location, (the more specific location inside the larger location)]

When you want to tell someone your general location, you say:

I’m at work”.

But when you want to tell someone your specific location within the building, you say:

I’m in my office”.

Now for the million dollar question…

Why do people say: “I’m at the office”?

The answer is this:

Only people who work in an office building can say “I’m at the office”. If you work somewhere other than an office building, then you can’t say that.

For example, some people work outdoors. Other people work from home. And some people work from other locations, like a hospital or a school.

Bottom line, if you don’t work in an actual office building, you can’t use this expression.

Here’s why:

If you work in an office building, when you say “I’m at the office”, the meaning is that you are “at work”.

You are talking about the general location. So if you work in an office building, you can say it either way – “I’m at the office” or “I’m at work”. Both are correct.

But remember… if you don’t work from an office, you can only say “I’m at work”. You can’t use the word “office” interchangeably with the word “work” to refer to your general location.


I hope today’s post has been helpful. Let us know…

And join us next week for more helpful tips on Mistake-free Monday

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