Not really, "in school" is perhaps more common American thuphikhongdung.vn while "at school" is more British but both are equally "correct". Similarly an American would probably say "in college" while a Brit would say "at university".

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In tends khổng lồ be used for institutions, so you are "in hospital" rather than "at hospital" but "at home" not "in home" - although you might be put "in a home"

It"s just one of those things!

edit: there is perhaps a slight subtle difference that "in school" means they attend school - as opposed lớn having finished school, while "at school" means they are there now.So "are your children in school" = are they under 16 or 18 ?But "are your children at school" = are they at school today or are they at home.(but that"s from a BE perspective)

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edited Jul 5, 2018 at 4:20
answered Apr 11, 2012 at 2:05

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Children who are at school are on the school grounds.

Children who are in school are in their classrooms.

(At least, those are the initial images that come khổng lồ mind when I hear those two prepositions, and try lớn differentiate between them – although that differentiation is more forced than the norm).

In this case, either one will work just fine, because children who are at school (on the school grounds) are also, by default, in school (in their classrooms). On a holiday, they are neither in school nor at school, so you can use either preposition without any loss of meaning.

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The one exception may be if the football team had a Saturday practice. In that case, I might say that David was at the school, but not in school – but that is a rare circumstance. Normally, either word works fine for the examples you provided.

As far as other diffentiations go:

I may be at work, but I"m never in work – unless I"m lost in my work.

I may be at home, but I"m never in home – only in my house.

I might speak in jest, but I would never speak at jest.

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I might be at the restaurant, but I could be in the restaurant. At the restaurant would include being in the parking lot, but I probably wouldn"t be at the parking lot – unless we were meeting at the parking lot.

Maybe it just takes a little practice. I"m reminded of this quip my father once told me: