PREPOSITIONS OF PLACE

1 ) AT - IN - ON  
   
General Information  
   
AT ON
We use at for a point: We use on for a surface:
at the window - at the entrance - at the door on the wall - on the ceiling - on the floor - on a page
at the end of the street - at the station - at the top on a cover
Bill is waiting for you at the bus stop. Have you seen the notice on the notice board?
   
IN  
We use in for an enclosed space:  
in the garden - in the house - in London - in the water  
in her bag - in a row - in a town  
There is nobody in the room. She lives in a small village.  
   
Special Information  
   
AT  
1. We say that someone is at an event: 2. We say at with buildings when we say where the event (film, concert,...) takes place:
at a party - at a pop concert - at  a conference - at a meeting Where were you yesterday? At the cinema.
Tom is at a party. The meeting took place at the headquarters.
   
3. We say at someone's house: 4. We say at for a place which is a part of our journey:
We were at Bill's house last Thursday. We stopped at a very nice village. Does the train stop at Nashville?
   
ON  
1. We use on with small islands: 2. We say that a place is on the coast / on a river / on a road:
She spent her holiday on a small island. London is on the river Thames.
  Portsmouth is on the south coast of England.
   
IN  
1. We say in when we talk about a building itself. 2. We usually say in with towns and villages:
The rooms of Tom's house are small. His parents live in York.
   
Note these expressions
   
AT  
at home - at work - at school - at university - at college - at the station - at an airport - at the seaside -  at sea (on a voyage) - at reception - at the corner of a street - at the back / front of a  building / cinema / group of people, etc. - arrive at with other places or events
   
IN  
in the newspaper - in bed - in hospital - in prison - in the street - in the sky - in an armchair (sit) - in a photograph - in a picture - in a mirror - in the corner of a room - in the back / front of a car - arrive in a country or town
   
ON  
on a farm - on the left - on the right - on the ground floor - on the first, second,... floor - on the way - on the chair (sit) - on the radio - on television - on a horse - on the corner of a street - on the back / front of a letter / piece of paper etc.
   
2) TO - INTO - BY  
   
TO INTO
We say go / come / travel / fly / walk / return / drive / have been etc. to a place or event: We say go into / come into etc. = enter a room / building etc.:
Last year we flew to London. We went to work at seven. He opened the door and went into the room.
   
BY  
We say by to say how we travel:  
We went to Paris by plane. I usually go to work by bike / by car / by underground / by bus  
   
BUT:  
We say on foot  
We cannot use by if you say my car / the train / a taxi  
We use in for taxis and cars. I was in a taxi when she called me.
We use on for bike / public transport. I rode to school on my bike.

 

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