What is the difference in meaning between buy something at a shop, in a shop or from a shop? For example:

I bought the phone at the shop on the next street.

I bought the phone in the shop on the next street.

I bought the phone from the shop on the next street.

I feel that the sentences basically mean the same, but I cannot see the slight difference. If there is not none, then which preposition is the most common in the context?

1 Answer 1


I agree that they are relatively interchangeable sentences.

The first (at) is most common and reads like it focuses more on what the shop was than the fact you physically entered its doors.

The second (in) has a little bit more focus on the fact that you went inside the store to make your purchase.

The last (from) is a bit ambiguous as to whether you physically went to the store or may have ordered on line or phoned them to place the order.

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