http://skypenglish4u.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/SE4U2-2-4.jpg 0 0 Jessica http://skypenglish4u.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/SE4U2-2-4.jpg Jessica2013-03-13 12:38:252013-03-13 12:38:25Prepositions of Place: at, in, on
Prepositions of Place: at, in, on
I’ve seen many ways to help students understand prepositions and I have come to the conclusion that EnglishClub does it the best!
In general, we use:
- at for a POINT
- in for an ENCLOSED SPACE
- on for a SURFACE
|at the corner||in the garden||on the wall|
|at the bus stop||in London||on the ceiling|
|at the door||in France||on the door|
|at the top of the page||in a box||on the cover|
|at the end of the road||in my pocket||on the floor|
|at the entrance||in my wallet||on the carpet|
|at the crossroads||in a building||on the menu|
|at the front desk||in a car||on a page|
Look at these examples:
- Jane is waiting for you at the bus stop.
- The shop is at the end of the street.
- My plane stopped at Dubai and Hanoi and arrived in Bangkok two hours late.
- When will you arrive at the office?
- Do you work in an office?
- I have a meeting in New York.
- Do you live in Japan?
- Jupiter is in the Solar System.
- The author’s name is on the cover of the book.
- There are no prices on this menu.
- You are standing on my foot.
- There was a “no smoking” sign on the wall.
- I live on the 7th floor at 21 Oxford Street in London.
Notice the use of the prepositions of place at, in and on in these standard expressions:
|at home||in a car||on a bus|
|at work||in a taxi||on a train|
|at school||in a helicopter||on a plane|
|at university||in a boat||on a ship|
|at college||in a lift (elevator)||on a bicycle, on a motorbike|
|at the top||in the newspaper||on a horse, on an elephant|
|at the bottom||in the sky||on the radio, on television|
|at the side||in a row||on the left, on the right|
|at reception||in Oxford Street||on the way|
Can we sometimes use “at” or “in/on” interchangeably?
Here are two phrases from a book I’m reading where “at the farm” and “on the farm” are used pretty much to express the same meaning:
“Darla had built this bicycle-powered gristmill not long after we arrived at the farm.”
“Everyone but Aunt Caroline and I had celebrated a birthday since I arrived on the farm.”
Sure, but there is more to this one than meets the eye. “On the farm” is a common phrase. It ‘just goes together’, a collocation if you will 😉 You don’t say, “Animals on the zoo”… you say, “Animals in the zoo”.
Yes, I knew that “on the farm” is an exception to the rule that we have to use “in” for enclosed spaces. Like I read the other day on Quora: “The only rule without exceptions in English is that there are no rules without exceptions”