English Grammar – Prepositions of Place: AT, ON, IN


Prepositions of Place - AT, ON, IN

Hello, my name's Alex and welcome to this lesson on prepositions.

Now, you may ask yourself: What is a preposition?

Simply speaking, a preposition is a word that is used to show where something is located

either in space or in time. Today we're going to be looking at three very very common English prepositions

and those prepositons are: At, On and In. These are all prepositions of place for location

and all of them have very very very special uses in English language.

So, let's look at a graphical representation of each prepositions before we start looking at some examples.

So let's start with AT. Now, when we're talking At, we're talking about something being at a specific location

or a specific point, in place, in space. Okay? So you can say "I live at 123 fake street" if that's your address

or "I am at the movie teather"; "I am at the house"; "Where is Bob", "He is at uncle George's birthday"

Okay? So refers to a very specific location and if you want to give a graphical representation of that

We can draw an arrow, over here, and we see it pointing at a very specific point of location

Okay? Now we're talking about On. We're talking about something being on, either a horizontal or a vertical surface

So there's a method of contact there. So when we show that graphically

Here's how we can draw that. Draw a surface, and draw the arrow poiting onto the surface.

So the arrow is poiting the surface. There's contact when you're using the preposition "on".

Now in relation to in, we're discussing something that is enclosed in a geographical area,

are not necessarily geographical, but something in an enclosed area

So we can show that drawing a box

and having arrows poiting inside the box

So you can this as visual cues to help you recall when to use "at", "on" and "in"

So let's drill, let's do some examples of each one

Now for at, we use an example of being at someone's house. So I will write an example with that. So

"I am at John's house"

Okay so I'm at a specific place -- A specific location, a specific point

Okay so we're talking about on, we're talking about something being on a surface

So let's use this example. If you're watching TV, the TV scream is a flat surface. So you would say

"My favorite show is on TV" (Favourite for British)

Ok so let's just underline these here

Ok so again, we mentioned that the television is a flat surface, the screen is a flat surface

You can also say that this black board -- white board, I apologize -- is also a flat surface,

although it's vertical, you still use the term on

"I'm writing on the board"

So let's look at "in". So again, "in"refers to enclosed areas. So,

"I'm in school"

and if you are standing inside the classroom you say "I'm in school", but again, you have to be in the class.

or you can also say "I like to study in my bedroom"

Okay, again, your bedroom is in an enclosed area. So I'll just let you guys have a better look at that

Ok. Now, when we're using specifically "at"and "on" it can become very confusing when we're talking about addresses

So use the example of "I live at 123 fake street".

But however, when you're talking about living on the street

So if you're just talking about fake street in general, the entire street

You'd say "I live on fake street"

"I live in.." let's say, I live in Canada, personally. So I'd say

"I live in Canada on fake street at 123"

at the address of 123 fake street, okay?

So I hopefully that gives you guys a better understanding of "at", "on" and "in"

very common prepositions in English language and let's see you guys give this one a try

Could you get them? Let's check.

Ok, so remember when we're talking about at, on and in.

AT refers to something at a specific location;

ON refers to something that is on a horizontal or vertical surface;

and IN refers to something that is in and enclosed area;

So let's look at the first one

"They were driving (something) the road"

Hmm, which one did you put?

So "They were driving ON the road". Now again, we know it's ON because the road is a horizontal flat surface.

So if they were driving in the car, which is likely scenario, the tires of the vehicle were on the road.

Let's look at No. 2. "My brother is (blank) the teather"

Hmm, I'd say that the teather is a specific place, so "My brother is AT the teather".

AT the teather.

And finally, if we look at the third one: "I forgot my phone (blank) my car"

"I forgot my phone IN my car"

Again, the car is an enclosed area. You're inside the car. Okay?

So I hope you enjoyed that and if you'd like to check out more videos, specially on prepositions.

And English prepositions for times specifically, please check out engvid.com

Have a good one, I'll see you later

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