when to use 'in' or 'at'


Which sentence is correct:


Our customer owns an account at XYZ Bank.




Our customer owns an account in XYZ Bank.



in-at asked Jun 13 '13 at 12:56 cdz28 New member

2 answers


Cynthia, the biggest problem with your sentences is that the verb owns is incorrect.  The correct verb would be either has or holds.  And the correct preposition is at.  Our customer has/holds an account at XYZ bank.

link answered Jun 13 '13 at 12:57 Shawn Mooney Expert

Thanks Shawn. I used 'holds' when I wrote my memos at work and my supervisor would ask me to change it to owns. Now I can show him that I was right!

cdz28Jun 13 '13 at 13:01

Cynthia, may I suggest you not try to prove your supervisor wrong, lest he decide not to be your supervisor any longer. If he wants you to use "holds," I'd do that until you become the supervisor and are in a position to make the change to the correct usage as Shawn has pointed out. Michael makes a good point from the other side of the fence (the banker) and the ocean (UK English and American English differ in many subtle ways). You could say, "Our customer maintains..." but in the US it might sound a bit stilted.

Brother DaveJun 13 '13 at 15:07

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"Hold" and "at" are not wrong but from long personal experience an English banker would usually say "Mr X has maintained an account with us for  Y years".

link comment answered Jun 13 '13 at 14:32 Michael Cranfield Expert

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