1. Prepositions of Place
relationships between things. For example: "The
lamp is on the table" contains the preposition
"on". This word shows the spatial
relationship between the lamp, and the table.
The most common prepositions
of place are: in, on, under, next to, in front
of, behind, at.
at the following pictures to learn their meaning:
In, on, under,
in front of, and behind are clear
from the pictures above. Example sentences are:
- The dog is in the box.
- The cat is under the table.
- The man is next to the building.
is a more abstract concept - it is used to refer
to a point in space, usually a point on a line.
See below for more explanation.
2. In, On, At
In is used
to show somethng that surrounds or encloses
us. For example:
- I sleep in my
- The desk is in the room.
In is also
used for geographical areas such as cities and
countries, for example: "I live in London"
or "I live in England".
On is used
to show something that is on a surface. For
- I sleep on my
- The paper is on the desk.
On is also
used for street names, for example: "I
live on Orchard Road".
At is used
to show something that is at a particular point,
often as part of a line. For example:
- He is at the bus
The bus stop is one point in a line of bus stops.
- John is at the bank.
John is at a particular place or point, the
bank. The bank is part of his journey and also
part of a street, both of which can be seen
At is also
used for complete addresses, for example: "I
live at 22 Orchard Road, London, England."
So why do we live
"on a street" but "in
a city"? And how can you know for sure
when to use in, on, or at?
It depends on the perspective of the speaker,
and what is considered acceptable in English.
These are questions that all English learners
encounter and they cannot be completely answered
through rote memorization or lists of rules.
As your exposure to English grows you will gain
enough experience to be able to decide for yourself
which is correct. Simply keep trying to understand,
and eventually you will.
Now give some exercises
- Next Page - Grammar Exercises - >>
Back to our Online English Course Index Page