So, it is "i hamnen" but "på en fabrik." What exactly is the difference? Both translations from Duolingo say "in the port" or "in a factory." Why is one of these locations "i" and the other of these locations "på," when as far as I can tell you are communicating the exact same information, just changing the location of the job. (For the record, the other sentence I refer to is "Min bror arbetar i hamnen.")
Is it the building vs. the outdoor locale? Or are i/på interchangeable in these situations? (Kind of like in English, you could also say "at the port" or "at a factory"?)
Some nouns take i, others take på for location. The underlying idea is, much like in English, that i/'in' stands for being 'inside' something whereas på/'on' stands for being 'on top of something'. If we take very clear examples, such as på golvet 'on the floor' and i en låda 'in a box', they're usually the same in both languages. But when it comes to more abstract things where it isn't that obvious, it's just down to what's been codified in language. For instance, both in English and in Swedish we say på tåget 'on the train', although you could argue you're more like inside the train than literally on it.
I find it really interesting how learning another language makes me notice just how much of my own is potentially arbirtary. I just have to find similarities to hang things on. With this one I think I'll remember it as "on the factory floor" - Let's see how well it sticks :) Tack, Arnauti.
People will understand what you mean, but it's wrong for what this sentence probably wants to say in English. If you do want to say that she's working inside a factory but not employed by the factory, you can say i en fabrik. For instance if she's a graffiti artist making murals on the walls in a factory.