When I asked my coworker where the boss is, she answered me:
- He is at the meeting.
Is this correct? I thought it should be:
- He is in the meeting.
Because he is physically inside the room having the meeting.
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To be at a meeting casts the meeting as an attended event; he has gone to attend the meeting, as at implies "elsewhere, not here". If the meeting is in a room a few feet away from the speaker, in a room whose door she can see, the speaker will not say He is at a meeting (except when lying perhaps). If he should open that door and emerge, the listener might well say I thought you said he was at a meeting?
To be in a meeting casts the meeting as something in which one participates either as a speaker or auditor. The preposition in is silent with respect to distance from the speaker's location.
The definite article indicates that the speaker is referring to a particular meeting, and that the speaker assumes the listener knows which meeting that is.
He is at the meeting is correct for saying: "I told you before about his schedule. He is at the meeting" (implying that the details of the meeting were discussed already). It may also imply that he is there, but not as an active participant.
He is in a meeting is correct for providing the information for the first time, without adding any other details.