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Quick answer
"Work at" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "trabajar en", and "work on" is a transitive verb phrase which is also often translated as "trabajar en". Learn more about the difference between "work at" and "work on" below.
work at
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
1. (to work in a place)
a. trabajar en
Ana works at a supermarket.Ana trabaja en un supermercado.
2. (to put work into)
a. trabajar en
I've been working at the design for this company's logo all day.Llevo todo el día trabajando en el diseño del logo para una empresa.
3. (to strive for)
a. poner empeño en
With the help of her therapist, Rachel has been working at controlling her anger issues.Con la ayuda de su terapeuta, Rachel ha estado poniendo empeño en controlar sus problemas con la rabia.
b. practicar
Daniel still needs to work at the sonata more before the audition.Daniel todavía tiene que practicar la sonata más antes de la audición.
c. darle duro
If you keep working at it, you'll be a great gymnast.Si le sigues dando duro, serás un gran gimnasta.
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work on
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
1. (to be busy with)
a. trabajar en
William is working on developing an application for smart phones.William está trabajando en el desarrollo de una aplicación para teléfonos inteligentes.
2. (to try to persuade)
a. tratar de convencer
Chelsea has been rather negative lately, so I'm working on her to be more positive.Chelsea está bastante negativa últimamente, así que estoy tratando de convencerla de que sea más positiva.
3. (to practice to improve on)
a. esforzarse en
If Brooke is going to continue to be a teacher, she needs to work on being more patient.Si Brooke va a continuar siendo maestra, debe esforzarse en tener más paciencia.
4. (to consider as given)
a. partir de
Clark works on the theory that if he does all of his homework assignments, he'll surely get good grades.Clark parte de la teoría de que si hace toda la tarea, seguramente tendrá buenas calificaciones.
b. basarse en
We didn't have much to work on when we first started our research.Teníamos poco en qué basarnos cuando comenzamos nuestra investigación.
c. atenerse a
In business, Stewart always worked on the same principle: the customer is always right.En los negocios, Stewart siempre se atenía al mismo principio: el cliente siempre tiene razón.
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