Both of the phrases ‘at the meeting’ and ‘in the meeting’ are grammatically correct within the English language. However, which phrase you choose to use will change the meaning of the sentence. If you are referring to the meeting as being in a location, you would use ‘at the meeting’. But if you want to refer to the meeting as an activity and not at a specific location you should choose to use ‘in the meeting’.
Continue reading on to learn more about the rules governing the use of at versus in, how to use at the meeting or in the meeting properly in a sentence, and other examples of when to use at versus in.
At the Meeting vs In the Meeting
If you are wondering when to use ‘at’ instead of using the word ‘in’, you first need to determine if the subject you are referring to is a location or not. This is the easiest way to determine which preposition to use. For example, ‘He won over the executives in the meeting today’. This implies that there was a meeting today, he went, and he did well.
By changing the sentence slightly to ‘Did you win over the executives at the meeting today?’. This sentence is written by a third person who is referring to the entire event. Choosing when to use at or in also determines the listener’s knowledge of the subject.
Examples of How and When to Use At or In
Here are a few examples of how to use ‘at the meeting’ or ‘in the meeting’ depending on the context, the listener’s knowledge, and how specific the sentence is.
- I couldn’t respond to your email because I’ve been at the meeting all day.
- I couldn’t respond to your email because in meetings all day.
Both of these sentences are grammatically correct; however, the second sentence implies that the reader has no knowledge of a meeting while the first one assumes the reader or listener knows that there was a meeting on that day.
Another example of using in or at within a sentence can be
- Are you going to be at the meeting today?
- Will you be presenting in the meeting today?
In this example, the person is describing an entire location while in the second sentence the writer is referring to a part of the entire event.