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Do these mean the same thing or is there a different focus in each?

I'm working in my room.

I'm in my room working.

3 Answers 3

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As in so many situations, it depends on context. Although I’m working in my room is the more natural of the two as a response to a question like What are you doing?, the prepositional phrase in my room feels a bit irrelevant to that question. And I’m working in my room is also the more natural of the two as a response to an essentially where? question like Are you in the office today or on telework?

It’s also important to bear in mind that listeners and readers tend to interpret utterances as having the novel information, the payload, at the end. Thus,

I’m on task at home

reads as though it’s acknowledging the importance of working on the task, but highlighting that it’s at home that the working is happening, whereas

I’m at home on task

has more the sense of, “Sure I’ve stayed home sick today, but that isn’t keeping me from working on the task.”

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They mean the same thing with a slightly different emphasis.

I am working in my room. I am in my room working.

2

"I'm working in my room" emphasizes the activity you're engaged in.

"I'm in my room working" emphasizes the location first.

Both sentences convey a similar idea with subtle differences.

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