So, other day when was sitting in the library, it hit me, where is someone. I texted the person saying "Are you still at the university?" To which I wondered, whether i'm writing correct grammar or not? Should I be using "at" or "in"?

2 Answers 2


Are you still at the university? - asking someone if they are still at a specific university (e.g., studying in the library, or at class, say if you are waiting for them).

Are you still at university? - asking someone if they are still attending university or have they completed their studies, e.g., if you bump into them on the street and you haven't seen the person in a while

You would not use "Are you still in the university."

  • 2
    You could ask if someone is still enrolled in the university, because oddly enough, you enroll in something, but you can only be at a university.
    – Neil
    May 21, 2018 at 8:53
  • 2
    In British English it would also be perfectly correct to say "Are you still in the university", as the "university" can be used to mean the physical campus buildings as well as the institute itself. (see (2): merriam-webster.com/dictionary/university)
    – user68033
    May 21, 2018 at 12:09
  • @Bilkokuya - you technically can but (at least where I am, SE England) it seems a very strange construction. I'd almost universally hear "at" used for physical location, and "in" being used for a state of being ("are you still in class/(in/at) university/in hospital" being "are you still in a lecture/attending university/admitted to hospital", but "are you still at the classroom/at the university/at the hospital" being "are you physically at these locations")
    – ACascarino
    May 21, 2018 at 12:28
  • @ACascarino I'm not going to try and guess how popular "in" would be for a physical location - I feel it'd be fine to warn against using it because it's perceived as uncommon or odd; but it definitely isn't wrong or something you couldn't use. As an example, it is common to say "are you in your house", "are you in the bathroom" etc. The preposition in to mean contained by, is perfectly fine when talking about being inside a building.
    – user68033
    May 21, 2018 at 12:37
  • @Bilkokuya Very true, although again I'd commonly hear "are you at your house" rather than "in". I've never heard "at" used for rooms though - that's always "are you in the kitchen/the bathroom" etc.. I wonder why?
    – ACascarino
    May 21, 2018 at 12:39

In American English:

  • If you're trying to find out whether the person is physically located on the grounds of the university, "Are you still at the university?" works, although, as Shufflepants pointed out, a more informal (and shorter) way to ask this would be "Are you still on campus?", and, as BruceWayne noted, "Are you still at school?" is also a common way of asking.
    • Note: "Are you still at the university?" can also be used to ask if someone is employed at the university in question, although, if there is more than one university in the general area, "Are you still at [name of university]?" is less ambiguous.
  • If you're trying to find out whether the person is enrolled in, and\or taking classes at, the university, "Are you still going to the university?" (or, if there is more than one university nearby, "Are you still going to [name of university]?") is a good choice, as is "Are you still in school?"; if you want to sound more formal, "Are you still attending [name of university]?" is the way to go. "Are you still taking classes at the university?" (or "Are you still taking classes at [name of university]?") works well for asking if the person is taking classes part-time and\or online, as opposed to having a full day of in-person classes.

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