What's correct?

a) I was in a meeting

b) I was at a meeting

I saw uses in both of them, but I'm not sure what's correct.


Both are correct, but can have different connotative meanings, as previous answers suggest. However, from a colloquial standpoint, both retain the same value. Using either one will tell your reader or audience essentially the same thing, that you were part of a meeting in some form.

Without a context, either one can be construed to mean the other. This is especially true because of the nature of the word "meeting".

A way to understand how both work is to use them in the form of a question.

"Were you at the meeting?" "Were you in the meeting?"

In doing so you can see that both At and In are doing the same job and are practically indistinguishable and interchangeable. Without a greater context to denote a difference in the intended expression and intent of using either In or At, the value of each sentence is the same.


On many levels, these have the same meaning. You can give them distinctive meanings by placing emphasis on the preposition:

I was in a meeting

  • In (preposition) - 5.expressing inclusion or involvement:

I was (playing an active part) in a meeting.

I was at a meeting

  • At (preposition) - 2c. denoting the time spent by someone attending something:

I was at (but did not participate in) a meeting.

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