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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > at a barbecue or in a barbecue?    

at a barbecue or in a barbecue?


at a barbecue or in a barbecue?
Hi everyone,
Can you tell me which one is correct?
Also, while teaching the difference btw "at" and "in", do you have any specific technique?
Thanks! :)

28 Nov 2011      


Definitely At a BBQ!   At a party.  
To be �in � you must have something around you. In a room. In a box. In an armchair.
You can �t be in a BBQ, but you can be in a group of people.
at � gives the overall location.
in � expresses the situation where you are enclosed and surrounded by something -that is, �inside �.
If you are at home you say: She is at the shop.
If you are outside the shop you say: She is in the shop.
But English prepositions are sometimes interchangeable and sometimes not, so there is no fixed rule which will be correct in all cases.

28 Nov 2011     


You could be in a BBQ, but it would be very hot! - and in my case it would have to be a big BBQ!

I teach prepositions of place by getting the pupils to show me!

I have found some really good worksheets on this site (thanks to everyone) that I work through, then I ask individual pupils to show me a preposition for example "show me on" -

The pupil then demonstrates on - he could stand on his chair or just put his book on his head or whatever, then say the sentence.

In can be fun! I have had a pupil in a bookcase!! Humour is a fine thing!

You can also try Simon says stressing the prepositions.

I disagree that prepositions can be interchangeable, the choice of prep changes the meaning of the sentence, altho sometimes only very slightly! If in doubt look up the word that follows it - If you look up Barbecue in the Oxford Advanced dictionary you will find:

Noun 1. a metal frame for cooking food over an open fire outdoors: I put another steak on the barbecue.

This doesn�t help you if you are talking about a barbecue party - there you may want to look up party :-)

Hope that helps

28 Nov 2011