Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Prepositions of Place - In / At / On / Onto / Out of





Prepositions are used to show relationships between objects, people, and places. The prepositions 'in', 'on' and 'at' are often used to express these relationships. Here are explanations of when to use each preposition with example sentences to help you understand.

In

Use 'in' with indoor and outdoor spaces.
in a room / in a building
in a garden / in a park
I have two TVs in my house.
They live in that building over there.

Use 'in' with bodies of water:
in the water
in the sea
in a river
I like swimming in lakes when the weather is hot.
You can catch fish in the river.

Use 'in' with lines:
in a row / in a line
in a queue
Let's stand in line and get a ticket to the concert.
We had to wait in a queue to get into the bank. 

Use 'in' with cities, counties, states, regions and countries:
Peter lives in Chicago.
Helen is in France this month. Next month she'll be in Germany.

At

Use 'at' with places:
at the bus-stop
at the door
at the cinema
at the end of the street
I'll meet you at the movie theater at six o'clock.
He lives in the house at the end of the street.
Use 'at' with places on a page:
The name of the chapter is at the top of the page.
The page number can be found at the bottom of the page.
Use 'at' in groups of people:
at the back of the class
at the front of the class
Tim sits at the back of the class.
Please come and sit down at the front of the class. 

On

Use 'on' with surfaces:
on the ceiling / on the wall / on the floor
on the table
I put the magazine on the table
That's a beautiful painting on the wall
Use 'on' with small islands:
I stayed on Maui last year. It was great!
We visited friends who live on an island in the Bahamas. 
Use 'on' with directions:
on the left
on the right
straight on
Take the first street on the left and continue to the end of the road.
Drive straight on until you come to a gate.

Important Notes

In / at / on the corner
We say 'in the corner of a room', but 'at the corner (or 'on the corner') of a street'.
I put the chair in the corner of the bedroom of the house on the corner of 52nd Street.
I live at the corner of 2nd Avenue. 
In / at / on the front
We say 'in the front / in the back' of a car
I get to sit in the front Dad!
You can lay down and sleep in the back of the car.
We say 'at the front / at the back' of buildings / groups of people
The entrance door is at the front of the building.
We say 'on the front / on the back' of a piece of paper
Write your name on the front of the paper.
You'll find the grade on the back of the page.

Into

Use 'into' to express movement from one area into another:
I drove into the garage and parked the car.
Peter walked into the living room and turned on the TV.

Onto

Use 'onto' to show that someone puts something onto a surface.
He put the magazines onto the table.
Alice put the plates onto the shelf in the cupboard.

Out of

Use 'out of' when moving something towards you or when leaving a room:
I took the clothes out of the washer.
He drove out of the garage. 



Confusing Preposition Pairs

Learn the differences between these commonly confused prepositions
There are a number of confusing preposition pairs in English which make up some of the most common mistakes in English. This article focuses on some of the most common pairs of prepositions that are easily exchanged for each other. These pairs include:
in / into
on / onto
among / between
like / as
beside / besides
around / about
from / of
from / than
in / into 
'Into' and 'in' refer to three dimensional spaces. However, 'into' is used with movement from one place into another. 'Into' is often used to express that something moves from the outdoors into an inside space. For example, I walked into the house.  'In' is used when a thing or person is stationary 'in' a place. For example, I found the book in the drawer. 
Examples
Jose drove his car into the garage.
My friend lives in that house.
The teacher came quickly into the room and began the lesson.
The dishes are in that cupboard.


on / onto
'Onto' and 'on' are similar in their differences to 'into' and 'in'.
'Onto' indicates that something is placed onto something else. For example, I put the dishes onto the table when I set it. 'On' shows that something already rests on a surface. For example, The picture is hanging on the wall. 
Examples
I carefully placed the picture onto the wall.
He put the book onto the desk.
You can find the dictionary on the table.
That's a beautiful picture on the wall.
like / as 
'Like' and 'as' are easily confused. Use 'like' to state that someone is similar to another. Use 'as' to describe the function of a person or object such as a tool. For example, Jack enjoys golf like his father. Alan works as a teacher in that school.
Examples
My brother is like my mother, but I'm like my father.
Use that computer as your server.
Krish is just like Susan. They both love jazz.
He's employed as a bookkeeper. 
among / between 
'Among' and 'between' are almost exactly the same in meaning. However, 'between' is used when something is placed between two objects. 'Among', on the other hand, is used when something is placed among many objects. For example, The dictionary is among those books on the table.  My car is parked between the Mercedes and the BMW.
Examples
Josh is between Bipasa and Arya in that picture.
You'll find the letter among the papers on the table.
Seattle is located between Vancouver, Canada and Portland, Oregon.
Ali is among friends this weekend.
beside / besides
'Beside' and 'Besides' are easy to mistake because the only difference is the letter 's'. However, the meanings are very different. 'Beside' - without an s- means 'next to'. For example, Tom is seated beside Alice. 'Besides' - with an 's' - states that something is in addition to something else. For example, Besides math, Peter is getting an A in history.
Examples
Hang your coat beside mine over there.
There is so much work to do besides the normal tasks.
Come sit down beside me.
Besides potatoes, we need some milk.
around / about
'Around' indicates that something moves in a circular motion, or from one place to the next. For example, Peter walked around the room helping students. 'About' is used to state an approximate amount or number - University costs about $50,000 per year at a private school. That's crazy!
Examples
Drive around the block and pick up Tom.
I'd like to spend about an hour relaxing.
She flew around the US on vacation last year.
It'll cost about RS 3000 to fix your refrigerator. 
from / of
'From' is used to indicate the origin of someone or something. 'Of' on the other hand indicates possession or a property of something. For example, Alice comes from Seattle. She's the president of her hockey club.
Examples
Those tools are from Germany.
His parents love food from India.
What's the name of that city?
I'm the son of John and Margie. 


 

Prepositions In / On / At Quiz

Try this quiz to check your understanding. Check your answers below.
  1. My friend now lives _____ Arizona.
  2. Go down the street and take the first street _____ the right.
  3. That's a beautiful pictures _____ the wall.
  4. My friend lives _____ the island of Sardinia. 
  5. He's the man _____ the front the room.
  6. He drove the car _____ the garage.
  7. I'll meet you _____ the shopping mall.
  8. I like to sit _____ the back of the room.
  9. Tom went swimming _____ the lake.
  10. Let's stand _____ the line to see the movie.

Answers
  1. in
  2. on
  3. on
  4. on
  5. at
  6. into / out of
  7. at
  8. in
  9. in
  10. in