The Grammar GuideSpellingWhat is the difference between 'a' and 'at'?

What is the difference between 'a' and 'at'?

What is the difference between 'a' and 'at'?

The words a and at are often confused because of their similar spelling. We'll explain the difference.

A means a single item, one when used as a determiner.

At means in or very near a particular place when used as a preposition.

A good way to remember the difference is A has only one letter and means just one.

Out of the two words, 'a' is the most common.



It's easy to confuse words that are spelled the same, like a or at.

A is a determiner that denotes one, nonspecific noun, for example "a dog, a purse, a bowl."

At is a preposition that means "in, on, or near."

Which is right 'as a result of' or 'ats at result of'?

The correct phrase is 'as a result of'. These phrases are often confused because they have a similar spelling.

Should it be 'a great deal of' or 'at greatt deatl of'?

The correct expression is 'a great deal of'. These phrases are often confused because they appear similar.

Should I use 'As a result ,' or 'As at result ,'?

The right phrase is 'As a result ,'. These phrases are often confused because they are easy to mistype.

Is the correct expression 'a member of the' or 'at member of the'?

You should use 'a member of the'. These phrases are often confused because they look similar.

Is the correct expression 'a large number of' or 'at latrge number of'?

The correct expression is 'a large number of'. These phrases are often confused because they look similar.

Is the right expression 'at the same time' or 'a the same time'?

The right expression is 'at the same time'. These phrases are often confused because they appear similar.

Which is right 'at the end of' or 'a the end of'?

The right phrase is 'at the end of'. These phrases are often confused because they are easy to mistype.

What's the correct phrase 'at the time of' or 'a the time of'?

The correct phrase is 'at the time of'. These phrases are often confused because they appear similar.

Which is correct 'at the beginning of' or 'a the beginning of'?

The right phrase is 'at the beginning of'. These phrases are often confused because they have a similar spelling.

Is the correct expression ', or at least' or ', or a least'?

The correct phrase is ', or at least'. These phrases are often confused because they are easy to mistype.

Some synonyms of a are: one, the.

Some synonyms of at are: near to, on, by.

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The definitions in this article were adapted from Wiktionary.

Dictionary Definition of aDictionary Definition of at

Examples of a in a sentence

Also, Mesquite Hills, Texas, is a nonentity, as are Beaver Falls and Murphysboro.
- Touch of Darkness by C. T. Adams; Cathy Clamp
The organ: five fingers, a hand.
- Grand Junction by Maurice G. Dantec
As soon as he had done so, he remembered dumping a couple of similar e-mails two days earlier.
- In the night room: a novel by Peter Straub
Intellect and purpose were served before the desire to impress a client.
- Weighed in the balance by Anne Perry
This is a work of fiction.
- The Replacement Child by Christine Barber

Examples of at in a sentence

A nose that tipped up just the tiniest bit at the end.
- The heart of Devin MacKade by Nora Roberts
At least it was a boy truck.
- Nothing gold can stay by Dana Stabenow
I pinched at it, pinching away the spit and the lipstick.
- Cropper's cabin by Jim Thompson
Write to her at P.O. Box 183, Bozeman, MT 59771.
- Mystery Bride by B. J. Daniels
He looked completely at home in the expensive pin-striped gray suit that fit him perfectly.
- Secret Weapon Spouse by B. J. Daniels
Test yourself

Choose the missing word in each question.

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