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I have heard the expressions such as

A David works for a bank

B I am working in a school

Are the expressions " David is working in a bank" and "I work for a school" possible?

Is the change of the tense and the preposition acceptable? If yes, I would like to know the different shades of meaning?

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2 Answers 2

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Yes, the change of tense suggests whether the position is temporary or permanent. This choice of preposition suggests whether you are "in" (either physically or figuratively) the bank/school.

So a freelance programmer "is working for a bank" this month, but a teacher "works in a school". The programmer could "be working for a school" next month, designing a new web site, while a bank manager "works in a bank" and has done since she left college. A plumber is "working in a school" this week, because the girls toilets are leaking.

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Yes, however, it does change the meaning of the sentence. So as long as the second statement is true, it is appropriate. "Work in a school," refers only to the location where one works. "Work for a school", refers to your purpose and the organization to which one is employed. One can work for a school, but work for example at a public library. As a nurse, I work for X hospital, but I may work at the fair each year.

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