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There is a lot of confusion about the prepositions of place  –  AT, IN, ON. They are used to locate something; however, it is not always clear when to use which preposition. 

Here are some explanations altogether with example sentences.

AT

AT is used to describe the position of something at a particular place. It refers to a specific spot.

  • at the desk/table/computer
  • at the bus (railway) station, airport
  • at the entrance /door /gate
  • at the crossroads /junction
  • at the top of the mountain/hill/ building
  • at Clare’s house/at home

Example sentences:

  • They were very proud when they arrived at the top of the mountain.
  • You can call me on my stable phone. I’ll be at home all day.
  • Jane was standing at the door when she saw them coming.

IN

IN is used to describe the position of something within a closed space.

Examples:

  • In a bus / car / taxi
  • In a building / restaurant/ cafe / school / hospital
  • In a bag / suitcase / wallet
  • In London / New York
  • In Mexico / the UK
  • in the news / magazine / newspaper

Example sentences:

  • She found some clothes in her wardrobe.
  • She was watching around while driving in a taxi.
  • I’ve never lived in Mexico.

ON

ON is used to describe a position on top of a surface of something.

Examples:

  • On the wall/ ceiling
  • On the table / desk / shelf
  • On the floor / carpet / rug
  • On a street / road
  • On a river / beach / coast / island
  • On the website / page / screen

Example sentences:

  • They hang a picture on the wall.
  • Your keys are on the table.
  • You can find more information about ticket reservations on this website.
Prepositions of place - at, in, on
Prepositions of place at, in, on

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