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

1 - I'm at home.

2 - I'm in the home.

3 - I'm at the home.

I understand that the above three sentences are correct. If all the above are correct, then why this one is wrong?

4 - I'm in home.

What is the difference between "I'm at home." and "I'm in home."?

when to use "in" and when to use "at" in sentences?

share|improve this question
I saw your question and wanted to become a friend of you because of the reason that your mother tongue is telugu :). Where do you live in? – cuSK Nov 25 '14 at 15:30
up vote 1 down vote accepted

First of all when referring to home as the place of residence we never use a determiner. "at/in the home" refers to "home" in another sense, namely a place where people are taken care of, such as old people's home.

Secondly, "in" implies being inside something: either a physical place ("in the bedroom") or as a member of an institution ("in the army"). "at" indicates location while giving more importance to the function than to the actual location. ("At the theatre")

"I'm in home" is wrong because "home" does not refer to a location you can be inside of (but you can say I'm in my house/apartment etc.).

In your example:

"I'm at home" - I'm in the place where I live.

"I'm in the home" - I'm inside the home (old people's home) - stress on physical location, inside the actual building

"I'm at the home" - I'm at the home (old people's home), could be but not necessarily inside the building.

share|improve this answer

One needs to take account here of different meanings of the word home. (And I sense I may run into problems with Americans, since their use of prepositions can be quite different to ours.)

Consider that 'home' can mean:

a) my own home b) someone else's home c) a home in the sense of a nursing or retirement home.

In the case of a) I could only use 'at'. 'I am at home', and I wouldn't normally use the definite article. I could say 'I'm at my/our home', but never 'in home'.

With b) I would most likely say 'I'm at his/her/their home right now'. I could also say 'I'm in his/her.their home'. I would be very unlikely to say 'I'm at (or in) the home' unless I had earlier referred to being at their place of business or in their garden, or somewhere else with them. For emphasis I could say I'm at the home now', but it would be better to say 'I'm at his/her home'.

In the case of c) You can say I'm at the home, or I'm in the home. You would always have to include the definite article unless you refer to it as the home where someone stays. E.g. My elderly father is in a nursing home. I could say 'I'm at his home now' meaning the home where he stays. I could also say 'I'm at the home'.

In Britain we never, as Americans do, use 'home' entirely on its own, e.g. 'I'm home', 'she was home when I called', unless we meant 'I have/she has arrived home (from being elsewhere)'

share|improve this answer

First, the home sounds like it is either a halfway home or some sort of facility.

Second, we would never use I'm in home. to express what I think you want to express.

Only the first sentence would be acceptable.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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