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Learning Zone
Learning Zone

Prepositions of place, direction & location

Level: B1


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 bed
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.

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