Prepositions of place (like all prepositions) can be one of the hardest parts of English to use correctly because the rules are often quite difficult and there are lots of exceptions.
In this lesson, we are looking at the following prepositions of place:
Here are some example sentences using prepositions of place:
- There is a fly on the table!
- She lives in France.
- John is at school right now.
Here are a few rules that will help you use prepositions of place correctly:
Prepositions of place rule #1:
We generally use at to talk about a point or position.
- at the window – She sat at the window, waiting for him to arrive.
- at the door – There is someone at the door.
- at the end – There is a shop at the end of the street.
- at the beginning – We met him at the beginning of the night.
Prepositions of place rule #2:
We generally use in to talk about when something that has three sides or is enclosed.
- in a box – There are some pens in that box over there.
- in the house – She is in the house, go in!
- in New Zealand – I live in New Zealand.
- in a tent – We will be sleeping in a tent all weekend.
Prepositions of place rule #3:
We generally use on to talk about a surface or position on a line.
- on the floor – The dog was asleep on the floor.
- on the ceiling – There is a beautiful mural on the ceiling.
- on the screen – He couldn’t see clearly because there was dust on his computer screen.
- on the page – All the information you need is on page 42.
Example exceptions to prepositions of place rules
Here are some common phrases in English that use prepositions of place but that don’t really fit any rule:
- We say on a bus but in a taxi
- We say in the armchair but on the settee (sofa)
- We say on the left but in the middle