English Grammar Prepositions

Prepositions

IN – ON – AT

The first thing I want you to recognize, and try your best to visualize as you learn these, there is a general flow with both time and location from general to specific. I`m going to explain it in the following way, first with time, then with location:

The TOP, which is BIGGER and more GENERAL (IN)

The MIDDLE, which is SMALLER and MORE SPECIFIC (ON)

The BOTTOM, which is SMALLEST and the MOST SPECIFIC (AT)

1

Prepositions of Time

IN- The pyramid’s TOP (wider), which is BIGGER and more GENERAL:

  • Description: Bigger periods of time: Centuries, Decades, Years, Months
  • Examplesin the 20th century, in the 1980’s, in March, in the third week of April, in the future
  • Exceptions: in the morning, in the evening, in the afternoon

ON- The pyramid’s MIDDLE part, which is SMALLER and MORE SPECIFIC:

  • Description: Days, or periods of time shorter than three days
  • Exampleson my birthday, on Saturday, on the weekend (United States), on June 8th
  • Exceptionson my lunch break, on time

AT- The pyramid’s BOTTOM (pointed), the SMALLEST, and the MOST SPECIFIC:

  • Description: Specific times or small time periods.
  • Examplesat 9:00 PM, at lunch, at dinner, at the start of the party, at sunrise, at the start of the movie, at the moment
  • Exceptions: at night, at the weekend (England) 

Prepositions of Location

IN – The TOP (wider), which is BIGGER and more GENERAL:

  • Description: In larger areas (countries, states, cities, neighborhoods)
  • Examplesin the United States, in Miami, in my neighborhood
  • Exceptions: in downtown (“I work in downtown”)

ON – The MIDDLE, which is SMALLER and MORE SPECIFIC:

  • Description: a longer area, street, beach, river
  • Exampleson Broadway Street, on the beach, on my street 

AT – The pyramid’s BOTTOM (pointed), the SMALLEST, and the MOST SPECIFIC:

  • Description: the address or specific location, specific points.
  • Examples: at 345 Broadway street, at the store, at my house

2

Prepositions of Placement

The mind map pyramid below explains TIME in the same way we did above (only this one is not inverted), but it also introduces prepositions PLACE/PLACEMENT, which we will focus on here.

IN – for enclosed spaces and personal modes of transportation

  • Enclosed Space: in the kitchen, in the house, the water is in the glass
  • Personal Modes of Transportation: get in the car, my friend is in the taxi

ON – for surfaces and public modes of transportation

  • Surfaces: on the floor, on the wall, the book is on the table, on a page, I put on my clothes (my clothes are on my body)
  • Public Modes of Transportation: on the bus, on the plane, on a boat, on a ship,
  • Exceptions: on my motorcycle, on my bike (these are personal modes of transportation, but we use “on”)

AT – for specific point (the same as prepositions of location)

  • at the bus stop, at the cinema, at the corner, at the top of the hill, at the mall

3

Here are some more examples for you how to use prepositions:

        5

 

 6

Join Online Virtual Classrooms today. Click on the following link to register yourself for the free demo class.

1 Hour Free Demo

0
 in News

Comments

Please wait...

Book Free Live Assessment

We will email you sample lesson & live assessment.Enter your email address and name below.