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I want to know the correct preposition to use in this sentence, which I wrote for my writing class assignment. I have already received my grade, so I'm not trying to cheat or something.

'...Freedom can also refer to being secure in home and hometown'

Is it correct to use 'in home'? or is it wrong? I know there are alternatives which fit better (e.g: at) but what about 'in'?

I looked this up on the internet but opinions seem to vary significantly.

closed as off-topic by David, kiamlaluno, Edwin Ashworth, Nigel J, KarlG Feb 28 '18 at 12:06

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  • I would say 'being secure in the home and in one's hometown'. – Nigel J Feb 26 '18 at 23:32
  • It's great that you did some research of your own before asking here, but remember to "show your work": rather than just telling us that you have looked it up, it's more helpful to say exactly what sources you found and link to them so that people can respond to the concerns that you have raised. – sumelic Feb 27 '18 at 6:34
  • Not likely, but couldn't that be an extension of the sense that allows "sound in wind and limb" or "strong in heart and mind" or the like? – Robbie Goodwin Feb 27 '18 at 21:13
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I can see your logic. If someone is financially secure, they are secure in their finances. You can be secure in your job and secure in the knowledge that someone, somewhere will agree with you. These are common phrases.

Dictionary.com gives the following definitions for "secure" (amongst others):

  • free from or not exposed to danger or harm; safe

  • sure; certain; assured: secure of victory; secure in religious belief

If something is "secure at home", that would imply the first definition: it is free from risk. I believe you mean the second definition: "home and hometown" are "assured". Therefore, I don’t think you are wrong to use "in" in this context.

2

Your preposition is correct; however, you will want to add a possessive pronoun to make the phrase fully idiomatic:

Freedom can also refer to being secure in one's home and hometown.

This language is actually very similar to the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, which reads in part:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated . . . .

And, in fact, very similar language is often used when discussing this amendment; one representative example (from an Iowa court decision):

The violation of the right to be secure in one's home does not require actual entry upon the premises . . . .
McClurg v. Brenton, 101 Am.St.R. 324, 329.

If you intend (or at least don't mind) the allusion to this important freedom, your preposition choice is actually probably the best choice.

1

I think there is not a general rule to determine where you can use "at" or "in".some words in English can be used with both of them.in the sentence you presented "at" is acceptable not "in".I clarify it by explaining where we usually use "in" or "at".

A.At:

  1. Specific time Example : at noon , at night , at 8 O'clock , etc

  2. Specific place Example : He is at work , he is at party , he is at home

  3. Location in a small town

  4. Prices Example : it is on sale at 6 dollars

  5. Direction or aim

  6. An uncompleted action Example : I was guessing at the meaning

  7. A point of entrance or exit

  8. Age

  9. Refering to buildings

For more information check this : Beare, Kenneth. "The Uses for the Preposition "At"." ThoughtCo, Feb. 25, 2017, thoughtco.com/how-to-use-preposition-at-1211795.

B.In :

  1. With continents , countries ,states , big cities

  2. Century

  3. Languages Example : it is written in English

  4. After a certain length of time

  5. Condition Example : he is in love

  6. Classification

  7. Years , seasons , months

  8. In the daytime

  9. When you want to say sth is enclosed by sth else. Example : it is in my pocket

The second and 9th use of "At" which I mentioned above demonstrate why "at" must be used in your example.

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The correct prepositional phrase here is at home. If you want to use in, then you need a determiner: in my home, in the home, in our home, etc.

  • True, but lacking references. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 26 '18 at 22:24
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I'd definitely go for "at home" or "in your (or one's) home"... In home just doesn't sound right.

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