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Prepositions: Using "AT" for Places, by Dennis Oliver

Prepositions #6:
Using At for Places


The preposition at is also frequently used in place
phrases. One use is for exact addresses (addresses
with a house or building number). Another use is for
general locations--places (such as a school, office
building, hotel) that are collections of more specific
locations (particular rooms, offices, etc.)


Her favorite flower shop is at 1423 Main Street.

He lives at 2447 85th Avenue, doesn't he?

Our office is located at the southwest corner of
23rd Street and Metropolitan Boulevard.

She's studying at Oregon State University.

The conference will be at the Hyatt Hotel.

Joey isn't here. He's at the mall playing video games.


Special Notes:


Do not use at for addresses without
house or building numbers:

wrong: *He lives at Marshall Drive.

wrong: *Alice's office is at Main Street.


Do not use at for general locations that
have boundaries (cities, countries,
regions, states, etc.):

wrong: *Dave lives at California.

wrong: *Arizona State University is
at Tempe, Arizona.

wrong: *Boston is at the part of the
U.S. that's called "New England."


There are also several common fixed
expressions with at:

at home
at work
at school
at church

at the* ___ (office, store, supermarket,
mall, movies, doctor's office, dentist's
office, library, university, etc.)

* The is used because someone
is at only one place and because the
listener / reader probably knows
which place it is.

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