Saturday, July 17, 2010

Preposition | Preposition of Place at, on and in Explanations


AT - IN - ON

General Information:


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
  • Bill is waiting for you at the bus stop.


We use on for a surface:
on the wall - on the ceiling - on the floor - on a page
on a cover
  • Have you seen the notice on the notice board?


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:


1. We say that someone is at an event:

at a party - at a pop concert - at a conference - at a meeting
  • Tom is at a party.

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

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

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


1. We use on with small islands:
  • She spent her holiday on a small island.
2. We say that a place is on the coast / on a river / on a road:
  • London is on the river Thames.
  • Portsmouth is on the south coast of England.


1. We say in when we talk about a building itself.
  • The rooms of Tom's house are small.
2. We usually say in with towns and villages:
  • His parents live in York.

Note these expressions:

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 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 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.

See the exercise: Exercise 1