Prepositions: on, in, at

AT

  • For the time of the day –at 5 o’clock, at midnight, at sunset
  • we use at with expressions – at night, at the weekend, at present, at the moment, at Easter, at Christmas
  • We say that somebody is at home, at work, at school, at university, at college, at sea

go home, walk home, come home BUT be at home, stay at home, do sth at home

  • We say that somebody is at a party, at a concert… at a conference, at the meeting, at a football match
  • We usually say at when we say where an event takes place  at the Moscow cinema, at the Royal festival Hall…
  • We say at the station, at the airport
  • We say at somebody’s house- at Tom’s house, at Tom’s, at the doctor’s, at the hairdresser’s/.
  • We say arrive in referring to large places – arrive in Italy, arrive in Paris BUT referring to small places we say arrive at the station, arrive at work, arrive at the hotel

ON

  • We use on for days and dates: on Friday, on April 15, On Christmas day, on my birthday
  • we say that somebody is on the left, on the right, on the floor,on a map, on the menu, on a farm
  • we say that a place is on a river, on the road, on the coast, on the way
  • we say on a bus, on a train, on a plane, on a ship also on a horse, on a bicycle,on a motor-bike
  • BUT in a car, in a taxi
  • we say on the shelf, on the floor, on the balcony, on the wall, on the door, on the ceiling

IN

  • In a room, in a shop, in the car, in the water, in the garden, in the city.…
  • We use in for longer periods– in October, in winter, in 1985, in the Middle Ages, in the 18th century, in the past, in the future
  • We use in to tell a time in the future– in a few minutes, in a week,in a moment, in 2 months
  • We say in the morning, in the evening, in the afternoon

  BUT we say on Friday afternoon, on Monday morning…

Exercises

1.Complete the sentences with in,at,on.

1. My office is on the first floor. It’s on the left as you come out of the lift.

2.I love to look up the stars in the sky at night.

3.Paris is on the river Seine.

4.It’s a very small village.You can’t find in on your map.

5.Have you ever worked on a farm?

6.Our flat is on the second floor.

7.We stopped at a small village on the way to London.

8.Portsmouth is on the south coast of England.

9.Nicola was wearing a silver ring on her little finger.

10.The headmaster of the company is in Milan.

2.Complete the sentences. Use in, at, on + one of the following

the door,   18 May 1991,   Saturday evenings,    the station,     6 months ,     

my way to work,     my guitar,   time,  the west coast ,    the river

  1. Look at those people swimming on the river.
  2. One of the strings on my guitar is broken
  3. Have you seen the notice on the door?
  4. San Francisco is on the west coast of the United States.
  5. I usually buy a newspaper on my way to work in the morning.
  6. My train arrives at 11:30. Can you meet me at the station.
  7. We got to the station just on time to catch the train.
  8. They are getting married in 6 months.
  9. Do you usually go out on Saturday evenings.
  10. Pauline got married in 18 May 1991.

3.Put in/on/at

1.Where is she?- in hospital.

2.Where are they? – at the airport.

3.Where is he?- in bed.

4.Where are they? – on a ship.

5.Where are the stars? –in the sky.

6.Where are they? – in the party.

7.Where is John? – at the doctor’s.

8.Where is the restaurant? – on the second floor.

9.Where is she? – at work.

10.Where are they? – on a plane.

11.Where are they? – in a taxi.

12.Where are they? – at a wedding.

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