36 Prepositions of Place


Prepositions are small words that connect elements in a sentence. They are essential because they provide additional details about the sentence.

We use prepositions of place to locate an event in a space frame {see Common Prepositions of Time and Place, A1 level}.


Prepositions of place don’t stand alone but act with other elements of the sentence to create what we can call prepositional phrases: at, on, in and by.


  • At
    • I am waiting at the metro station in the rain.
    • He was at the game when it was snowing.
    • They love being at home with their dog.
  • On
    • You put many posters on the walls.
    • There was a rose on the way home.
    • We are not allowed to smoke on the bus.
  • In
    • You can find wonderful paintings in this church.
    • There is a wild animal in that forest.
    • They lived in Canada for 10 years.
  • By
    • His dog is always walking by his side.
    • The house is by the coast.
    • They are talking by the pine tree.


Prepositions of place are used to express the location of something or someone. The main ones are:

  • At (general, to refer to bigger places)
    • Exact position at a point (at the bus stop…);
    • Before the name of group activities (at the party, at the match…);
    • With home, work, school, university, the top, the bottom
  • On (more specific, to refer to smaller places)
    • Position on a surface (on the floor…);
    • On a line (on the path, on the way, on the river…);
    • Public transport;
    • Directions (the right and the left…)
  • In (very specific, to refer the smallest places)
    • Position inside large areas;
    • Three-dimensional space and areas surrounded on all sides (in a forest, in the office…);
    • Continents, states, countries, buildings…
  • By
    • Left or right of somebody or something;
    • Next to somebody or something;
    • Not far away in distance (near).


Prepositions of place are used to locate an event in a space frame.

The main prepositions of place are:

  • At: exact position at a point, before the name of group activities, with some words.
  • On: position on a surface, on a line, public transport, directions.
  • In: position inside large areas, three-dimensional space and areas surrounded on all sides, continents, buildings.
  • By: left or right of somebody or something, next to somebody or something, not far away in distance.

For example:
— “I work at home today.” = We use at to express a specific point or place.
— “I work on the left of the corner”.” = We use on to express directions.
— “I work in this building.” = We use in to express the position inside a 3-dimensional place.
— “I work by this building.” = We use by to express that a place is near to the other.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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