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Is it Experience With or Experience In?

Is it “experience with” or “experience in?” Which one is correct?

Prepositions like WITH and ON are commonly used with the noun “experience” to mean different things, which might be confusing sometimes. The vital thing to consider is that the meaning of both prepositions changes as per the situation in which the phrase is used.

Should You Say Experience With Or Experience In?

Both of these statements are grammatically correct and work well in a variety of sentences. The only thing you need to be aware of is when and in what context each of the sentences should be used.

When To Use “Experience With”

This phrase is mainly used in situations where you are talking about a general subject. For example, if you want to tell someone about your expertise in one or more tools, you might use this phrase.

Example: We are currently looking for someone who has experience with caring for stray cats

Here you are talking about some experience you have but are not formally trained for. Perhaps you have honed a few essential skills that make you a bit of an expert in the field.

Another way to use experience within a sentence is as an alternative for encountering something.

Example:  My first experience with those people was so good.

When To Use “Experience In”

This is used in a more formal setting where you talk to someone about a specific industry for which you might have the expertise due to proper training and learning.

Example: I have ten years of experience in human relations.

Here, you are talking about a field of work you are experienced in with the help of some formal study or training.

What Is The Difference?

The main difference between these two phrases is that one indicates or implies some type of formal and standardized training in a specific field. At the same time, the other is used to demonstrate your expertise in a particular area. This means that you might not be professionally pursuing whatever you are an expert at, but you are pretty good at it.

On the other hand, when you use the preposition IN, it means that you are professionally trained for the specific job or task and might be looking to pursue or already pursuing a career professionally, using this experience.

In Conclusion

As confusing as knowing which phrase is correct in which context, the good news is that even if you use it interchangeably, you won’t cause any huge rifts in understanding each other. If anything, most people just go for what sounds right in the situation rather than analyze the situation the phrase occurs in.

Either way, it is a good idea to know which preposition to use so that you are more articulate when talking to someone.


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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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