When do you use in and when at the flat, in English? Can I say both

I live in the flat.

I live at the flat.

Here's what prompted this question; a passage from a textbook goes like this: A girl arrived in a city where she was going to live for a while, in a new flat. Her friend picked her up at the airport.

She: ´How is your wife?´
He: ´She is fine, she is at your new flat.´

Which means, if somebody stays in a flat which is not his/hers, then he/she is AT someone´s flat, not IN someone´s flat?

  • Are you talking about one flat in particular? – Tristan Feb 18 '14 at 16:49

If you are discussing the flat and its possible uses, then you'd say

I live in the flat.


I rent out the flat.

If you are discussing types of residence, then you'd say

I live in a flat.


I live in a house.

If you are discussing possible general locations, maybe the others know you own a flat and a house, then you'd say

I live at the flat.


I live at the house.


I live at the seaside.

If you are talking about a larger area then use 'in', so

I live in Paris.

If you live in the Netherlands, then you'd say

I live in the Netherlands.


You always live in a dwelling and never at. Something like I live in a small house.

For others, an apartment is often called a flat in India. I guess the OP is talking in Indian dialect.

I live in a flat - is correct.

On the other hand you always stay at someone's house. There using in may not be preferred.

I'm staying at my aunt's house.

  • 4
    Maulik V, not just in India. The word flat is often used in the UK, as well. – Tristan Feb 18 '14 at 17:05
  • 2
    Yeah. And India uses British English. However the op seems to be Indian and here on this site I'm always asked to clarify every word I say. Or else the whole thing heads some other way ;) – Maulik V Feb 18 '14 at 17:08
  • The word flat refers to an apt in the U.S. as well. – J.R. Feb 18 '14 at 22:23
  • I guess the moral of the story is you don't need to drag India into every thing, just because you are from India. :P – Masked Man Feb 19 '14 at 12:24

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