In Grammar By Catherine

Prepositions of place in the English language: at, in, on

Rules of using prepositions of place in the English language is not so much which is why they do not remember me as hard as it might seem at first glance, and even more so if you do not go into the details and all sorts of exceptions, which is famous for the English language. But this is not our case with you, which is why the details to be! I propose to understand the intricacies of using prepositions at, in, on, that this time will be related to the location. This topic needs careful consideration on the grounds that quite often the choice between one pretext or another depends only on the context or rather from our view on this or that place. So, consider some rules and examples.

  1. At
    • This excuse is usually used when we talk about a particular place, point or landmark rather than territory or area as a whole:

      There were a lot of people at a conference. — At the conference there were many people.

      I met him at Jack’s party. — I met him at a party at Jack.

      The proposals at a conference and at Jack’s party refer to specific places.

    • We can use that excuse with the city, meaning the names of institutions or events occurring in the city. In order to clarify this use of the preposition at, I propose to consider several pairs of sentences:

      There were a lot of artistic people at Dublin Theatre Festival. — At the festival in Dublin I had a lot of creative people.

      There are a lot of artistic people in Dublin. — In Dublin, a lot of creative people.

      I think the difference in meaning is obvious: in the first example refers to the name of Dublin Festival (Dublin Theatre Festival), in the second example, we are already talking about the city. In this way, such a seemingly minor detail, as a pretext, can change the meaning of the whole sentence!

      Here is another example to ponder:

      I study at Edinburgh. — I am a student at the University of Edinburgh.

      I study in Edinburgh. — I’m in Edinburgh.

      Using the excuse at the first sentence enables us to use the name of the city, referring to the school, whose full name is The University of Edinburgh; Using an excuse in the second example, we are talking only about the city.

    • We also use this excuse to mention the various organizations (usually with the name of the organization):

      She works at Gucci. — It works in Gucci.

      But at the same time, speaking directly to the place where someone works, use the preposition in, let’s compare a few suggestions:

      She works at River Island. — It runs in the River Island.

      She works in a shop. — She works in a store.

      Although both proposals we are talking about one of the same place, in the first sentence, we focus our attention on the company, in the second case — on-site work.

      Please note: should say work on a farm, but work in a factory.

    • Use the preposition at, speaking of buildings, such as, for example, at the dentist’s, at the supermarket, at school, at the shop, etc. In those cases, when you talk about these places like about certain points or orientirah.Ispolzuyte excuse in if you want to emphasize the fact that someone or something is inside the building:

      I stopped at the shop on my way home. — I stopped at the store on the way home. (there is a shop just a point on the way home)

      It was raining, so I decided to shelter in the shop. — It was the rain, so I decided to hide in the store. (important here is the fact that I went into the building itself)

    • It is often used before at the names of buildings in cases where it is important not the building itself, but rather the action that it takes place:

      I was at the cinema yesterday. — Yesterday I was in a movie theater.

      I eat at KFC on Mondays. — I eat at KFC on Monday.

    • Use a pretext to address at:

      Their shop is at 35 Park Road.

      • But do not zybyvayte that immediately before the name of the road, or on the pretext used in:

        The shop is on / in Park Road.

      • Sometimes you can find an excuse on the use in talking about the long streets or roads:

        My car broke down on the Melbourne Highway.

    • You can also use the preposition at the street in front of the name when talking about the establishment, located on this street:

      The ministers are meeting tomorrow at Downing Street. — Tomorrow will be a meeting of ministers in Downing Street. (we are not talking about the same street, and the official residence of the Prime Minister of Great Britain, located on this street)

      • Talk on Wall Street, meaning the financial institution is located in this street.
    • The preposition at is also used with the verb arrive:

      We arrived at the airport in time.

      • Speaking on arrival in a big city, use the preposition in:

        The train arrives in New York at 10.30.

    As you can see, the largest number of rules concerns the use of the preposition is at, we also examined the individual cases of the use of prepositions in and on, since differences in their use of it is visible when comparing the number of proposals to add quite a bit left.

  2. On
    • The preposition on should be used when speaking of the position of objects in space, when this same subject in contact with a flat surface (on the ceiling; on the wall; on the floor, etc.).
    • Or, when we perceive this space in a straight line, for example, when talking about the river or on the road:

      They built the house on the Humber River.

    • Also, on the pretext used when talking about the movements of the bus, train, plane.
      • Speaking of traveling by car or taxi, use the preposition in
      • You can also use the preposition in, if you want to emphasize the fact that someone or something is just inside the vehicle (in this case, the excuse can be used with any kind of vehicle) .Sravnite these suggestions:

        He always looks through his papers in the taxi. — He always view documents in a taxi.

        English people read newspapers everywhere, even on the bus. — The English reading newspapers everywhere, even on the bus.

        He was already in the train when I arrived. — He was already on the train, when I arrived.

  3. In
    • The preposition in is used in talking about the position of the object inside another object or more in three-dimensional space (where the object is surrounded on all sides):

      Let’s go for a walk in the woods.

      My keys are in my bag.

Well, I hope, the main differences between the use of prepositions of place you have learned, let’s test your knowledge with a small test.



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