ENGLISH 4U
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Prepositions of Place

AT - IN - ON

General Information

AT

We use at for a point: at the window - at the entrance - at the door - at the end of the street - at the station - at the top
Example: Bill is waiting for you at the bus stop.

ON

We use on for a surface: on the wall - on the ceiling - on the floor - on a page - on a cover
Example: 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
Example: There is nobody in the room. She lives in a small village.

Special Information

AT

1. We say that someone is at an event: at a party - at a pop concert - at a conference - at a meeting.
Example: Tom is at a party.

2. We say at with buildings when we say where the event (film, concert,...) takes place.
Examples: Where were you yesterday? At the cinema. The meeting took place at the headquarters.

3. We say at someone's house.
Example: We were at Bill's house last Thursday.

4. We say at for a place which is a part of our journey.
Examples: We stopped at a very nice village. Does the train stop at Nashville?

ON

1. We use on with small islands.
Example: She spent her holiday on a small island.

2. We say that a place is on the coast / on a river / on a road.
Example: 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.
Example: The rooms in Tom's house are small.

2. We usually say in with towns and villages.
Example: 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.

TO - INTO - BY

TO

We say go / come / travel / fly / walk / return / drive / have been etc. to a place or event.
Examples: Last year we flew to London. We went to work at seven.

INTO

We say go into / come into etc. = enter a room / building etc..
Example: He opened the door and went into the room.

BY

We say by to say how we travel.
Examples: 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.

 


EXERCISES

Prepositions of place - Exercise 1 - at, on, in
Prepositions of place - Exercise 2 - at, on, in
Prepositions of place - Exercise 3 - at, on, in, to, by
Prepositions of place - Exercise 4 - at, on, in, to, into, by
Prepositions of place - Exercise 5 - to, at, on, in
Prepositions of place - Exercise 6 - to, at, on, in, into