At university vs In university

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What’s the difference between them?

At university

Meaning:

'At university' refers to being enrolled or attending a university or college; being physically in the university building.

Examples:

1. I met my best friends at university.

2. I learned a lot of useful skills at university.

3. Attending lectures was one of the most rewarding experiences at university.

In university

Meaning:

In university refers to studying at a college or university.

Examples:

1. She was very successful in university, graduating with honors.

2. She's currently in university, pursuing a degree in biology.

3. They decided to take a year off after high school before enrolling in university.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

At university

1. College

2. In higher education

3. On campus

away from the university

In university

1. At college

2. Post-secondary institution

3. Higher education establishment

out of the university

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "at university", "in university".

1. For 'in the university,' visualize someone physically inside a university building, perhaps sitting in a library surrounded by books.

2. For 'at the university,' visualize someone standing outside on the university campus, indicating they are part of the university but not necessarily inside a building.

3. Use 'in the university' when referring to something specific happening inside the university. E.g., 'The researchers are working on a new project in the university labs.'

4. Use 'at the university' when discussing general activities or affiliations. E.g., 'She studies at the university.'

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

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Frequently asked questions

When to use the first word?

The first word 'at the university' is used when referencing a specific location or position within a university. For example, 'I am at the University of Edinburgh'. It is also used for referring to a particular event, activity or class taking place at the university. For example, 'I am at a lecture at the University of Edinburgh'.

When to use the second word?

The second word 'in' is used when referencing the institution of a university as a whole. For example, 'I am studying in the University of Edinburgh'. It is also used for indicating a period of time spent studying at a university. For example, 'I was in the University of Edinburgh for three years'.

Do the words have the same pronunciation?

No, the words 'at' and 'in' do not have the same pronunciation. The 'at' is pronounced as /ət/ while the 'in' is pronounced /ɪn/.

What are common mistakes associated with words 'at university' and 'in university'?

A common mistake when using the words 'at university' and 'in university' is confusing them with each other. This is usually because of the pronunciation and the fact that they are quite similar in meaning. It is important to remember that 'at' is used for referring to a specific location or activity at the university while 'in' is used for referring to the university as an institution or period of time spent studying at the university.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. She is studying biology _____.

2. He learned to play the guitar while he was _____.

3. She was a member of the debate team _____.

4. He developed an interest in psychology while he was _____.

5. She didnt enjoy her time _____ because she didnt make many friends.

6. He was a star athlete _____ and broke several records.

1. Answer: at university.

Explanation: The phrase at university is commonly used in British English to describe someone who is studying or doing something while enrolled in university. It refers to the period of time during which someone is a student at a university.

2. Answer: at university.

Explanation: At university is the appropriate phrase here, especially in British English, to describe activities or experiences one had while being a student at a university.

3. Answer: in university.

Explanation: In university can be used, especially in American English, to describe being enrolled as a student and participating in activities. However, its worth noting that in college is more commonly used in American English.

4. Answer: at university.

Explanation: At university is commonly used, especially in British English, to refer to a period of time or experiences while one is a student at a university.

5. Answer: in university.

Explanation: While in university might be used in some contexts and understood, especially in American English, its worth noting that in college is more standard in American English. Both phrases refer to the period during which one is a student.

6. Answer: at university.

Explanation: At university is a common phrase, especially in British English, to describe experiences and activities that occurred while one was a student at a university.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.