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“At” or “in” the office?

I am a little confused about which preposition should be used here as in the title. I prefer to use in office. But how about the other one? Are both correct or not?

  • Looks like an exact duplicate to me. Commented Jun 19, 2011 at 15:56

1 Answer 1


I'd use them more or less like this:

  • "in office" = "having taken up their official position" (e.g. as an MP, president...)
  • "in the office" = "present in the office"
  • "at the office" = "in the office for the purpose of carrying out his duties"
  • 2
    I'd distinguish between "in the office" and "at the office" slightly differently. I'd use "at the office" in opposition to "at home" -- at his place of work, but maybe not necessarily physically in his office, while "in the office" means that he is physically present in his office. Commented Jun 19, 2011 at 15:15
  • Interesting to pick on 'in office' as valid - well done. I can think of no parallel for 'at office' that would be valid. Commented Jun 19, 2011 at 17:00
  • Since the poster specifically mentioned "in/at office" without the article I thought I'd better clarify. Incidentally (I'm from the UK) I don't get the reading that Peter does with "at the office": to me it implies they're actually working at the office (whereas "at work" could imply e.g. they're out on the road). Commented Jun 19, 2011 at 17:54
  • It's somewhat tangential, but there is a chain of bar & grill restaurants in New Jersey called "The Office." The joke is that you can go there, call home, and say "Honey, I'll be staying late at The Office." I don't believe Americans would use "in" for this usage, although they would say "Honey, I'm in the office". Commented Jun 19, 2011 at 18:14

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