Does anyone tell me the difference between these two sentences below? He was injured in the accident vs he was injured at the accident.

As for a non-native speaker, it seems to me these sentences are almost similar, except for one thing-preposition "in" and "at".

Is there any different shade of meaning?

"I saw him at the car accident scene." would be better than " I saw him in the car accident." I don't know the reason why the former sounds right to me. Anyway, if any native speaker would explain the difference, I would appreciate it.


"At" indicates that he was present at the location of the accident; you woulnt say you were "at" an accident, but rather at the scene of the accident. "In" indicates that he was involved in the accident.

So let's say that John was driving a car and another car drove into his. You'd say:

John was in an accident.

If he was hurt, your say:

John was hurt in the accident.

In a different scenario, John is not a part of the accident, but happens to be at the location it occurred. You might say:

John is at the scene of the accident.

If he got hurt, you similarly use "at:"

John twisted his ankle while at the accident scene.

The reason behind the distinction between "accident" and its location, is that the accident has no inherent location. Obviously it happens somewhere, but when talking about "the acciden," you're talking about the occurrence and not the location. This is also found when you talk about the crash scene/site, crime scene, etc.

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