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Which one is right? He works at XYZ company or in XYZ company?

I always get confused while using prepositions. Should I say" It doesn't matter whether you work in X company or ..." or "" It doesn't matter whether you work at X company or ...."

marked as duplicate by Andrew Leach, FumbleFingers, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, RegDwigнt Dec 24 '12 at 0:55

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  • @jlovegren Not necessarily; comments are expendable, and should probably be edited into the answer for posterity. I'll see if I can do that in a worthwhile manner. I suspect that this question and that one should be merged, really. – Andrew Leach Dec 23 '12 at 23:34

Yes, preposition usage can often be tricky.

If we're talking about a trade etc or section of a company, we use in:

I worked in scrap metal / the oil industry / plastics / the financial sector // the typing pool.

If we're talking about a company / employer etc, we usually use for:

She works for Boots / Dunbar and Dunbar / Rio Tinto Zinc / Mr Fagin.

If we have a specific location in mind, we use at:

He works at the library / the sugar refinery / the pub.

However, we often use metonymy to shorten 'the high-street Boots shop' to 'Boots', and so 'He works at Boots' is also common. Similarly, you may regard University say as the institution or the physical manifestation: 'He works for / at the University.' Note that these can have different meanings - he could work for the University interviewing candidates at a different location, or he could work (for a time) in the University trying to prove there have been improper relationships between tutors and students.

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    I work in New Delhi. I work in the university campus. I work in the car during the fall to enjoy the scenery. I work in the rain. I work in exhilaration. – Blessed Geek Dec 23 '12 at 23:39

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