I've researched a bit about the use of these prepositions, but 99% of what I found refer to the use with time and place, but that's not what I need. I've read once that 'on' is used when you're 'on top' of something and 'in' when you're 'inside of something', but that doesn't apply to everything, take this phrase for example: I work in/on/at a company.

What would be the correct word in(is this the correct one?) this case? Why? Is there a rule of when to use each one?

My native language is Brazilian portuguese.


1 Answer 1


Beyond the official literal meanings of in/on/at that you mention, you're going to find prepositions in English are commonly part of idiomatic expressions. Idiomatic expressions have no set rule and you just have to learn them over time. Also, this is super helpful that @ColleenV mentions: Should I say "She is in the park" or "She is at the park"?

I would say the following for example:

  • I work in finance. (the field of the career you have chosen)
  • I work at/for a large bank in New York City. (emphasis on the job)
  • I work in a large bank in New York City. (emphasis on the building)
  • I've been working on an IPO for Bumble. (emphasis on the specific work you've been doing at the company)

They just feel right to me and it's hard for me to explain why beyond that.

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