IN, ON OR AT?
|preposition IN – use||examples|
|when something lies in the middle, surrounded on all side||in her bedroom|
in the car
in a box
|before the names of the city and country||(I live) in Scotland.|
(He was born) in New York.
|before the street name (British English)||He lives in Main Avenue.|
|in expressions||in prison/ hospital|
in the lesson
in a picture/ photo
in a book
in the country
in the middle
|preposition ON – use||examples|
|when we referring to something lying on the surface||on the shelf|
(spot) on her face
on the carpet
on the table
|when we referring to the location regarding other objects||on the right/ left|
(write) on one side of the paper
|in expressions||on page 55|
on the first floor
on the back of the envelope
on a farm
on the beach
on the island
on television/ the radio
|preposition AT – use||examples|
|to describe one’s location||(sitting) at the table|
(meet) at the entrance
(somebody) at the door
(waiting) at the bus stop
|to describe meetings, sporting events||at a party|
at the meeting
at a football match
|before some addresses with house number||(she lives) at 12 Main Avenue|
|in expressions||at work/ home/ school|
at the station/ airport
at the seaside
at the top/ bottom of
Prepositions “into” and “onto” means movement:
She came into the building.
I put my bags onto the luggage rack.
Prepositions “in” and “on” define a location:
She’s in the building.
My bags are on the luggage rack.
“Into” and “onto” are often replaced with “in” and “on” in a colloquial speech.
The preposition “to” is used to determine the destination.
She went to Spain last summer.
I go to school by bus.
The verb “arrive” is an exception where the use of other prepositions is required.
arrive + in + city/ country
She arrived in New York.
We arrived in France the next morning.
arrive + at + another place
The train arrived at the station half an hour later.
We arrived at the castle at night.
In structure verb expressing movement + home, we do not use any prepositions.
I came back home at midnight.
She got home late that night.
I went home by bus.
“Above” and “over” means that “something is higher than something.”
There is a picture above/over the sofa.
These prepositions can be used interchangeably, but if you are referring something that covers a certain area, use “over.”
There are thick clouds over the city.
“Over” also means “across.”
He jumped over the fence.
The road goes over the top of the mountain.
Analogously, prepositions “below” and “under” mean at a lower level or layer than and also can be used interchangeably.
The name of the author is printed below/ under the title.
But if something lies directly beneath something, apply “under.”
The ball is under your bed.
Put the thermometer under the baby’s tongue.
We travel “by car”, but “in my/ Lucy’s car.”
I went there by car.
She arrived in her father’s car.
We travel “by plane/ bus/ train/ taxi” and also “by air/ sea.”
We went to Spain by sea.
Why didn’t you go by plane? It’s quicker.
If our feet are our only transport then “on foot” shall be used.
It wasn’t much distance, so she decided to go on foot.
Cars, taxi, lorries require the use of prepositions such as “in, into, out of.”
The goods were carried in a huge lorry.
Get into the car!
She got out of the taxi and waved to us goodbye.
The rest of the transport facilities -buses, trains, planes and ships – require the use of prepositions such as “on, onto, off.”
She was sitting on the train reading a newspaper when I first saw her.
She got onto the coach and took a seat near the entrance.
I have to get off the train at the next station.