English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Could you please tell me why and when people use "on a magazine"? I thought it should be at but it seemed that many people use on.

Thank you for your reply.

share|improve this question

closed as not a real question by MετάEd, kiamlaluno, Kris, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, Rory Alsop Apr 15 '13 at 9:45

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Work at or work for generally indicates the relationship between the person and the employer.

Work on is more about the relationship between the person and the work.

I'm working on [the latest issue of] a magazine means to be actively involved in the process of producing something.

Boss: "Have you written the article yet?" Journalist: "I'm working on it."

I'm working on a book (I have an idea for a book and I'm writing material for it).

I'm working on my backhand (in tennis, I'm regularly practising to try to improve this particular stroke).

I'm working on my brother (I need some help with a job and I'm trying to persuade my brother to do it).

Compare this with:

I work for The Times (The Times employs me).

I work at The Times [office] (I go to The Times office every day).

This is not a hard and fast rule but I hope it helps with some of the subtleties of why people might choose to use on/at/for.

share|improve this answer

Working on a magazine is like working on a book or working on a new deck.

Working at a magazine is like working at a newspaper or working at a tavern.

share|improve this answer
In the UK, we can say that a journalist worked on 'The Times' for five years meaning that the journalist was employed by the newspapaper. – Barrie England Apr 13 '13 at 14:35
@BarrieEngland As you probably are aware, that does not happen on this side of the Atlantic. – tchrist Apr 13 '13 at 14:45
Not even 'He was on the Wall Street Journal' for five years'? – Barrie England Apr 13 '13 at 14:57
@Barrie: I think that would be readily understandable, but I doubt many people over here would word it that way (as opposed to say, was at or worked for). – J.R. Apr 14 '13 at 1:35

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.