Grammar Lessons: Prepositions In, At and On

Prepositions: In, At and On

The Prepositions In, At and on can be used to indicate place and time.

The following guide explains how to use these three preposition in both instances.

Prepositions of Place: In, At and On

We use at to

  • indicate the exact position in which a noun is located.
  • talk about locations at companies and workplaces
  • refer to group activities
  • talk about being at school / college and universities
  • refer to an address
  • refer to most shops

We use In to

  • indicate that a noun is an inclosed space 
  • to talk about workplaces when we see them as a physical location

We use On to

  • Indicate that the noun is on surface
  • describe a position along a road or river or by the sea or by a lake
  • to talk about a floor in a building
  • talk about being physically on public transport

Look at these examples

The Computer is on the Table
Dublin is on the east coast of Ireland
They live on the second floor
I was on the phone when she called me
I put my credit card on the desk
I live in Costa Rica
I am gonna stay in a hotel
There are two people in the room
There is a party at the club house
I will meet you at 4 at the Doctor’s office
I was at  Maria’s party, We had so much fun
She always does well at school
we saw a soccer game at the stadium

Preposition of Time: In, At and On

We use at when when we are talking about

  •  a precise time.
  • a particular point during the day
  • a particular point during the week
  • special celebration

We use on when when we are talking about

  • dates
  • specific day of the week
  • plural day of the week to refer to repeated events
  • special dates

We use in when when we are talking about

  • parts of the day
  • months
  • years
  • seasons
  • long periods of time

Look at these examples:

I have a meeting at 9 am.
Lisa went home at lunchtime.
What are you doing at the weekend?
Do you work on Mondays?
The supermarket is closed on sundays
What do you usually do on your birthday?
I am going to do exercises in the morning
We usually go camping in July or August.
The offices were built back in 2002
It often snows in December.

Exercises: In, At and On Quiz

Time and Place: In, At and On

Choose In, At or on to complete the statements