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So imagine I get asked this question, perhaps when calling someone: 図書館...何をしている。 Perhaps I am reading a book, so: [僕は]としょかん...本を読んでいる。 Here is the problem. For "...", I am conflicted on whether to use で or に in each instance and in general. I know that being at a location is に, and doing an action at a location is で, but what of this sentence pattern? Are there specific cases for whether to use one or the other?

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You are talking about some action that is taking place in the 図書館, so you have to use で.

図書館本を読んでいます。

There is a subsidiary verb いる used to express progressive "-ing", but it doesn't interfere with this rule.

  • Thank you, but how come the exception "placeに勤めています"? – BigRigz Aug 20 at 3:01
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    ^ It should be more like 「companyに勤めています」"work for a company", 「placeで働いています」"work in a place", no? eg 「運送会社に勤めています」「大阪で働いています」 – Chocolate Aug 20 at 3:08
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    @BigRigz The particle に is both 1) a location marker used with existence verbs like ある, and 2) a destination marker. ~に勤めています is used in the latter meaning. – naruto Aug 20 at 3:18
  • Okay, thank you both. – BigRigz Aug 20 at 3:23
  • Wait, sorry. @naruto, what do you mean by "destination marker"? – BigRigz Aug 20 at 3:25

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