Unit 6.2

Prepositions of Place

Introduction

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.

Form

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.

Example

  • I am waiting for you at the zoo.
  • They love staying at home with their dog.
  • You put many posters on the walls.
  • We are not allowed to smoke on the bus.
  • You can find wonderful paintings in this church.
  • They lived in Canada for 10 years.
  • His dog is always walking by his side.
  • The house is by the swimming pool.

Use

We use prepositions of place to express the location of something or someone.

The main ones are: at, on, in and by.

At

It is general, to refer to bigger places:

  • exact position at a point (at the bus stop…);
  • before the name of group activities (at the partyat the match…);
  • with homeworkschooluniversitythe topthe bottom

On

It  is more specific, to refer to smaller places:

  • position on a surface (on the floor…);
  • on a line (on the pathon the wayon the river…);
  • public transport;
  • directions (the right and the left…).

In

It is very specific, to refer the smallest places:

  • position inside large areas;
  • three-dimensional space and areas surrounded on all sides (in a forestin the office…);
  • continents, states, countries, buildings…

By

It is used to refer to:

  • left or right of somebody or something;
  • next to somebody or something;
  • not far away in distance (near).

Summary

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

The main prepositions of place are: at, on, in and by.

For example:
— “I work at home today.” = We use at to talk about a specific point or place.
— “I work on the left of the corner.” = We use on to talk about directions.
— “I work in this building.” = We use in to talk about 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.

Exercises