Knowing what preposition to use after words can be challenging at first glance. Thankfully, once you understand a few of the rules associated with it, you’ll be able to tell whether it’s work on or work in or work at or work with.
Is It Work In, Work On, Work At, Or Work With?
Work in should be used when referencing a group or collective. Work on should be used when talking about what you have done to achieve something. Work at should be used when referencing a building or place. Work with should be used when talking about somebody you’ve worked alongside.
Each of the prepositions is required for different reasons. If you’re talking about general work things that you’ve done, “in” and “on” are the most likely choices you’ll need. However, there are exceptions where you’ll find all of the four prepositions used after “work,” and we’ll discuss this now for you to find out more.
Does The Same Rule Apply When Using “Working”?
“Working” is the present participle of the verb “to work.” That means that when talking about the current work situation you’re in, you will use “working.” Because it still follows the same rules, saying things like “working in” or “working with” still apply.
You will always use the prepositions “in,” “on,” “at,” and “or” after both “work” and “working.” They both come from the same verb form, “to work,” and the rules apply to both equally.
6 Examples Of How To Use “Work In” In A Sentence
We’ve covered the general rules surrounding each of the prepositions. Now it’s time to look at the examples. We’ll start with “work in,” which is perhaps the most common preposition you’ll see coming after “work.” Most people will use this form over anything else, so pay close attention to what situations we use it in.
- I work in real estate.
- I want to work in a blue uniform.
- I work in a team.
- Do you like to work in teaching?
- I work in the government.
- Do you work in that building?
See how we’re talking about the state of working in a particular place or thing in each example. Whether we’re talking about the type of work (like teaching or government), or we’re talking about a uniform choice, we use “work in” in all of these situations.
We also included the sixth example to show you that sometimes we use “work in” to refer to a building specifically. Even though most buildings at reserved for “work at,” if you’re asking if they work inside something, you still use “work in.”
6 Examples Of How To Use “Work On” In A Sentence
Let’s see how “work on” is used next. This is the next most common preposition to use after “work,” so you’ll hear this one a lot too. Obviously, most of the usage comes down to context and what questions you’re asking them, so it could vary from person to person.
- I work on a project with my friends.
- I need to work on my grammar skills.
- When do you work on your ideas?
- I work on charity events.
- I work on improving my sporting performance.
- Do you work on Saturdays?
We primarily use “work on” when talking about things that we do or have done. Usually, these things are designed to improve us or help us learn new things that we otherwise wouldn’t have many ideas about.
6 Examples Of How To Use “Work At'” In A Sentence
Next up, we have “work at,” which is a little more specific than the other two. We typically use “work at” when talking about working at a specific place name or building. You’ll notice in a lot of these examples that specific names are dropped to use “work at.”
- I work at Denny’s.
- I work at the museum.
- I work at the office.
- We work at the White House.
- They work at the diner.
- I work at six.
In each case here, we see how names of buildings are used to accompany “work at.” We may also see it used when talking about a specific time that we are going to work. Either way, when using “work at,” we need to be specific with either the time or the place; otherwise, “work in” or “work on” will be more acceptable.
6 Examples Of How To Use “Work With” In A Sentence
Let’s finish with the final of the four prepositions and the most specific of all. You can only use “work with” in one situation, and that’s when you’re talking about people or things that you work with.
- I work with dogs.
- They work with each other.
- We work with Steven.
- I work with needles all the time.
- She goes to work with Tom.
- How can you work with a boss like that?
As you can see, a person or thing is always used alongside the work in question. That’s why we use the preposition “with,” which tells us that we or someone else is accompanied by something.
Quiz: Have You Mastered The Work In, Work On, Work At, Or Work With Grammar?
We’ll finish with a quiz now to see what you’ve learned. Don’t worry; all the answers are multiple-choice, and you can compare them at the end. If you see that you’ve got anything wrong, read through the article again to check what you might have missed! Good luck!
- I (A. work in / B. work on / C. work at / D. work with) your mother.
- They (A. work in / B. work on / C. work at / D. work with) a project together.
- We (A. work in / B. work on / C. work at / D. work with) the post office.
- I (A. work in / B. work on / C. work at / D. work with) finance.
- They (A. work in / B. work on / C. work at / D. work with) their Spanish.
- We (A. work in / B. work on / C. work at / D. work with) children.
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Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.