Prepositions: In, At and On

There are many prepositions in English and today we are going to study three prepositions that you can use to speak about time and place.

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 the preposition 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 the preposition In to:

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

We use the preposition 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 about how the prepositions In, At and On are used in sentences

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 the preposition 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 the preposition 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 the preposition 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

These are some exercises to see how much you know about the prepositions in, at and on

  1. at, in, on – Prepositions in expressions of time – Exercise
  2. Prepositions – at, in, on – Test
  3. Prepositions of place, direction, and time – Exercise
  4. In, On, At – Prepositions of Place
  5. Basic English Prepositions of Time and Place: At, In, On, and To
  6. Time Prepositions Exercise

Manuel Campos, English Professor

Manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English