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What is difference between "made in" and "made at"?

The example sentences are:

  1. This thing was made in a factory.

  2. This thing was made at a factory.

Are they both correct? Do they mean the same thing?

marked as duplicate by NVZ, Chenmunka, tchrist Sep 9 '16 at 14:18

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  • I understand the difference between "work at" and "work in". I am interested in the verb "make". I found both variants but could not understand the differences and in which situations "in" or "at" are more suitable. – Fill Freeman Sep 9 '16 at 7:54
  • You might want to consider researching the verb make and its usual collocations to improve your question. – Helmar Sep 9 '16 at 9:22
  • I do not understand, how can I improve the question. I have a verb "make" in a past form and two prepositions. "in" and "at" - what is difference in using them? Of course I've looked different collocations of them. And it confused me even more. Because it seems that there is no difference. So I asked for clarification. – Fill Freeman Sep 9 '16 at 10:08
  • The blueprint was made by a clerk on the floor of an office at a factory beside the motorway near Islington in London. It was also burnt the same place. It's not a matter of make, really, but of what nuances each of the many possible prepositions have with their varying objects. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 9 '16 at 22:26

I have found it useful to consider these two words, 'IN' and 'AT' as follows:

For 'IN', very often a user is treating the accompanying word as a 'container' of some sort i.e. it can hold or accommodate objects. It possesses VOLUME. In your example, 'in the factory' would refer to INSIDE a building somewhere.

Use of 'AT' often refers to a location without any consideration given to its volume. That is, the meaning revolves around the concept of POSITION. Thus, referring to 'at a factory' would mean somewhere within the geographical boundaries of the full property, even possibly outside a building but certainly somewhere on the property. Size of the factory is not loaded into the meaning. ('No, George, size does not matter, honest')

Simple example. 'At the airport' means somewhere on the property. Anywhere from the carpark to the boarding lounge. 'In the airport' eliminates outside locations and would standardly refer to within the airport building.

Hope this offers a modicum of help.

(Happy to be skooled further by anyone if I gang aft a-glae, timorous grammatician that I be)

  • Welcome to English Language & Usage, a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. This site strives to provide objective answers. Take the site tour or have a look at the help center to find out more about good answers. Your explanation of the two prepositions could be improved by adding references. – Helmar Sep 9 '16 at 9:14

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