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Which sentence is grammatically correct in formal letter writing context?

a.) I am writing to express my concern about the laptop that I purchased from your store last week.

b.) I am writing to express my concern about the laptop that I purchased in your store last week.

c.) I am writing to express my concern about the laptop that I purchased at your store last week.

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From is probably the best choice, but all of them are grammatically correct, assuming the purchase was made from a physical store. From emphasizes the transaction over the location. If you wanted to emphasize that the purchase was made in person instead of from the store's website, you might use in.

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  • Thank you, Mattew. I wrote those lines assuming "physical store" only. However, if it is a website then using "from" only makes sense. am I correct? – Arun Raja Jan 28 '19 at 23:02
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    @ArunRaja - It’s a website, than “from your store” is the natural choice, but “on your website” could be considered acceptable as well. – J.R. Jan 29 '19 at 4:09
  • Agree with all that. You wouldn't use in or at if the purchase was from a website because they imply a physical presence, but somehow "on your website" is idiomatic, whether reading or purchasing. If a physical store has a website that the laptop was purchased from, you could say "from your website" or "from your store". I would say store if I didn't want to be specific about which way I purchased it, and website if I did. You might also see people say they purchased "off a website", but I think that is less formal. – Matthew W Jan 29 '19 at 16:37
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All three sentences are in practice perfectly acceptable. The only objection is likely to come from the seller who thinks that the laptop was OK when it was sold or that it was someone else who should be blamed. They will not be worrying about the grammar.

If you were being really pernickety you might say that 'from' is not correct because the laptop was purchased from the seller not from the store.

Likewise, bearing in mind that in the UK, at least, multiple vendors of laptops might operate in a single store, if you say 'in' then you may not be writing to the right person.

I can see pernickety objections to 'at', but really if you say you bought the laptop at Walmart no-one will misunderstand you or think you lack a grasp of the English language.

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  • Wow, that’s pernickety indeed! – J.R. Jan 29 '19 at 4:15

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