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I was reading a story and I ran into this sentence:

I buy them in town.

I thought it was an error. I think the correct way of saying it is:

I buy them from town.

Am I right? If not, please explain to me what the difference is between the two sentences.

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Jan 2 '16 at 9:22

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  • Why repost here when the answer you have is already correct? – Peter Jan 2 '16 at 9:33
  • Alternatives: "I bring them from town." (The buying is implicit ) "I get them from town." ("In" works here, too.) – modulusshift Jan 2 '16 at 9:49
  • @modulusshift bring does not assume buying only carrying or conveyance. "I get them in town", or "I get them from the grocer" would be used by a native speaker – Peter Jan 2 '16 at 10:52
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    @Peter The OP hasn't moved the question themselves. The question was migrated from ELU by the folks over there. The answer is also not fully correct. The respondent has craftily jigged the question in favour of their interpretation by removing the article from "in the town" and keeping it in "from the town". – Araucaria Jan 2 '16 at 12:04
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    @Araucaria Thanks for your explanation, I think your edit of the OP's question from the town -> from town makes more sense as the basis of the question. The original post was in town, from the town and I've found it sometimes challenging to keep the intent of a learner's question unchanged while editting since they may be asking more than they realise, as most learning minds will do (hope this is not off topic). – Peter Jan 2 '16 at 13:49
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I buy them in town (no article) means you travel (on foot, by car, by train, on horseback) to town in order to buy them (whatever they happen to be).

I buy them from the town means you have an agreement with the town's administration that has control over them (whoever or whatever they happen to be) and sells them to you now and then.

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Your question of in and from is related to the intent of the verb you are using. Both are grammatically correct, however one does not make sense.

One does not buy something directly from a geographic entity, one buys things

at
in
around
on the way to

a place. One

carries
brings
comes
goes

from a geographic location.

I buy them in town.

Means you acquired something while at a town

I buy them from town

does not make sense. In fact if you wrote

I bought it from town.

a native speaker would probably think you meant

I brought it from town.

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