As the title of my question suggests, I want to know whether we can say both expressions are correct, or if one of them is wrong. Which phrase is wrong, and why?

I'm new to NYC.

I'm new in NYC.

I'm not a native speaker but I tended to use "I'm new to NYC" without a second thought. But a friend of mine told me it was wrong. So now I'm baffled between the two examples. I can't be 100% sure when it comes to such expressions because, as I said, English is not my mother tongue.

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    Take a look at this question.
    – user140086
    Nov 22, 2015 at 14:01
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    I checked it @Rathony, however I am not satisfied with the answers. They were all thumbed down. And as for to/in school, it might be heard more commonly but about cities, it is a rare case using "to" I guess...
    – Reactor4
    Nov 22, 2015 at 14:06
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    As it happens, Cambridge Dictionaries specifically defines to be new to [something] (not ​yet ​familiar or ​experienced). But their example usages are to be new to the ​area and She's new to the ​job so you can't ​expect her to ​know everything ​yet, where I'd be quite happy with in for either context, or at for the second, so I think it's essentially just a matter of opinion. In short, there is no "right" answer. Nov 22, 2015 at 14:22
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    I don't have a usage guide to back this up, but my sense is that new to is more appropriate to locations (cities, towns, countries, etc.), while new in is more appropriate to abstract entities which are not just a geographical location (new in this job, in this position, in this club, etc.), though you'll frequently hear to used for these latter abstract uses as well. I think there's also a difference: new to can imply "first time" AND temporarily visiting a location, whereas new in would sound odd to me expressing that sense (if in the city you are staying awhile).
    – Athanasius
    Nov 22, 2015 at 15:25
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    We don't know the context for what you and your friend were saying, but 'in' sounds wrong to me in most contexts.
    – Mitch
    Nov 22, 2015 at 16:47

1 Answer 1


One could be "new in NY", as in recently moved there and yet not be "new to NY" because one had extensively visited on previous occasions. "new TO" would tend to indicate that one does not have previous knowledge of, while "new IN" would mean recently moved to.

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