"The students study at school."
Translation:학생들이 학교에서 공부합니다.
Great question! Here is how Talk to Me in Korean explains it in Level 1 Lesson 18:
"에 is a location marking particle, but it is not only used to mark locations. It means “at”, “to” and etc, and it can be used to mark a location, a time, a situation, and many other things, but here, let us just focus on its role of marking locations.
에서 [e-seo] expresses: 1. a location where an action is taking place (ex. I studied in the library. / I met my friends in Seoul.) 2. the meaning of “from” a place (ex. I came from Seoul. / This package came from Spain.)
에 expresses a location where something “is” or “exists” or a direction that you are going toward. 에서 expresses a location where some action is taking place."
In short, 에서 is only for when an action is occurring at that location or where something is from.
집에서 일해요 - I work at home
남자가 공원에서 책을 읽고 있다 - The man is reading at the park
And 에 is for a destination or when something exists at that spot.
Check out their website for a podcast and pdf that cover the difference in more detail. Hope this helps!
~에 is more of a placement particle. Like 나는 학교에 가요 is I go TO school. It can also mean at, as in 나는 집에 있어요 (I am AT home). ~에서 is sort of the same thing but it indicates that you are doing something at the place. So in this sentence they are studying at school which is why they used ~에서. An example: 나는 미국에서 일해요. (I work in the US.) Anyone feel free to correct me if u see something wrong :D
I would like to point out a discrepancy in lessons. An earlier exercise had "The singer sings at the park." As 가수는 공원서 노래합니다. This lesson has "The students study at school." As 학생들이 학교에서 공부합니다. While the function and usage of "at" in both original English sentences are the same, the apparent expectation of 에서 vs 서 in the Korean translation is unclear or inconsistent. Any further clarification is welcome, thanks!