Prepositions to, into, by

  • TO

We say go/come/travel to a place or event.

e.g.  go to America        return to Italy      drive to the airport

come to my house    take him to hospital        to be sent to prison

we also say: on my way to…/ a journey to …/a trip to…/welcome to…


We say “I’ve been to Italy”, “He has just been to the bank”


We say “get to” a place– get to London

BUT we say “arrive in” or “arrive at”– arrive in a town, arrive at the hotel.


We don’t say “to home”  BUT we say go home/come home/ get home/arrive home/ on the way home

  • INTO

go into/get into = enter (a room/a building/a car…)

get into the car    go into the room

  • BY

We use by  to say how we do something.

do something by hand

send something by post

pay by credit card, by cheque BUT in cash

OR something can happen

by accident       by chance        by mistake

We use by to say how we travel

by car    by train      by plane    by boat     by ship

by bus    by bicycle   by road   by sea   by rail    by air  by underground

BUT  we say on foot

Did you come here by car or on foot?

We say by car/by train  BUT in my car, on the train, in a taxi

We say something is done by somebody.

The door was opened by somebody.


The door was opened with a key.

We say a painting by Rembrandt/ books by Agatha Christie/novel by Tolstoy.

BY also means next o/beside.

Come and sit by me.

The light is by the door.


1.Put  to/at/in where necessary.

1.What time does the train get to London.

2.What time does the train arrive in London.

3.What time did you get home last night?

4.What time do you usually arrive at work?

5.When did you get to the cinema?

6.We arrived home felling very tired.

7.Have you ever been to China?

8.We had lunch at the airport while we were waiting for our plane.

9.He has just returned to France.

10.Are you going to that party next week?


2.Put in/to/into where necessary.

1.Three people were taken to the hospital.

2.Shall we take a taxi to the station or shall we walk?

3. I’m tired. As soon as I get home, I’m going to bed.

4.Welcome to the hotel. We hope you enjoy your stay here.

5. He opened the door and I  got in the car.

6. A bird flew to the kitchen through the window.

7.Don’t wait outside! Come into the house.


3.Complete the sentences using by+ one of the following words.

Chance    credit card     chance    hand      mistake 

1.We hadn’t arranged to meet. We met by chance.

2.I didn’t intend to take your umbrella. I took it by mistake.

3.If you haven’t got any cash, you can pay by credit card.

4. I never suspected anything. It was only by chance that I found what had happened.

5. I didn’t put the pullover in the washing machine. I washed it by hand.


4.Put in by/in/on/ or with

1.He usually goes to work by bus.

2. I saw Jane. She was on the bus.

3.How did you get here? Did you come by train?

4. How did you get here? Did you come on the train?

5. Sorry, we are late. We missed the bus, so we had to come on foot.

6. I came home in a taxi.

7. “Romeo and Juliet” is a play by Shakespeare.

8. “War and peace” is a book by Tolstoy.

9. I don’t mind going there by car, but I don’t want to go in your car.

10. I know that music is by Beethoven, but I don’t know how it is called.

11. The photo is taken by a friend of mine.

12. There was a small table in the bed with a lamp and a clock on it.

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