Prepositions of place answer the question where. Prepositions of place describe the location of someone or something in reference to something else. The prepositions of time in, on, and at is also used as prepositions of place. This article explains the usage of prepositions of place.
Uses and Examples of Preposition of Place in, on and at
Uses of Preposition AT
Preposition at is used to describe a particular place (Describe point in a large area)
- He is waiting at the bus stop.
- I’ll meet him at the entrance.
Use at to describe places where things happen, group activities, and address. All these places indicate a point within a town or city.
- at the station/restaurant/hospital/park etc.
- at the door/counter/desk/table/window etc.
- at home/school/church/work
- at the mall road
- at a party
- at the meeting/concert/conference/dance
- at the cricket match
- at the top/the bottom
- at the beginning/the end
- at the front/the back (of)
- They spent the whole day at a football match.
- There is a house at the top of the hill.
- Write your number also at the end of the letter.
- She lives at the end of the street.
- We haven’t met each other at school for one month.
- His office is situated at the mall road.
- We are planning to open a school at 28 Lees Road.
We use at to indicate the direction.
- He threw the ball at the window.
- She smiled at me.
When the definite article ‘the’ omitted after the preposition ‘at’ it means the person or thing is doing the action at that time.
- She’s at work. (She is working.)
- He’s at dinner. (He is eating dinner)
Uses of preposition IN as a Place
The preposition in shows location inside, i.e. someone or something is located inside something else.
- She lives in California.
- India is located in South Asia.
- There is nothing in his bag.
- We were in the home when he arrived.
- He has worked in the USA.
We use the preposition ‘in’ to say someone or something is
- In a line
- In a row
- In a department
- In the world
- In the book
- In the sky
- In hospital
- In bed
- In a mirror
- They are standing in a line.
- She goes to school in a taxi/in the car.
- She lives in Jinnah street.
- I have read several success stories of students in the economist magazine.
In sometimes used as a preposition of movement.
- She threw him in the swimming pool.
Related: Prepositions of Time
Uses of Preposition Of Place ON as a Place
We use the preposition on to indicate the position of something that is located above something else and touching it.
- The accident happened on the motorway.
- Hang this picture on the wall.
- The book is lying on the desk.
- I like travelling on a bus.
We use on in certain other expressions describe a specified side and delimited area surrounded by a larger one for example
- On the left/right
- On the ground/first/second floor
- On a list/menu/map/farm
- Their room is on the third floor of the building.
- They didn’t mention my name on the list.
- It’s the first shop on the right.
- She is working all day on a farm.
Comparison ON and AT
- Put your book on the table.
- She sat at the table.
Comparison IN and ON
- Give me water in the bottle.
- There is a label on the bottle.
Comparison AT and ON
- I think someone is standing at the door.
- He has written his name on the door.
Comparison at school and at the school
The two phrases at school and at the school have different meanings.
At school means someone is at school place perhaps inside or outside the building. The person at school is probably a student or teacher.
At the school, describe the location of someone inside or outside the school building. The said person doesn’t need to be a teacher or student.
Comparison in school and in the school
In school, indicate a person’s location inside the school building. The said person is probably a teacher or student.
In the school means someone is inside the school building. It is not necessary the said person is a student or teacher.
Uses and Examples of Other Prepositions of Place
Uses of Between and Among
Between describe the position of someone or something in the middle of two things or people. Among is used when there are more than two persons or things.
- Pakistan is situated between India and Afghanistan.
- The teacher sat among students.
We can also use Between with more than two people or things when talking about individual relationships.
When we talk about things or people as a whole or part of a group of people or things, we use among.
Other Uses of Between and Among
These prepositions aren’t used only as a preposition of place. They are also used to describe what a group or groups of people or things done.
- We split the food bill among ourselves.
- She distributes the apples between the two girls.
- Ali and Hakim divided the money between themselves.
- I must choose between a red, black and blue shirt.
- There is a trade agreement between Pakistan, India, and Turkey.
- She must choose among colleges in Lahore. (we aren’t talking about individual colleges)
To specify the individual of a group of peoples or things using singular noun we use between.
- The annual budget was distributed equally among all states in India.
Between can also be used for comparison or showing the relationship.
- There is a good friendship between the two countries.
We use among to mean where something occurs or to mean some of or one of or out of something.
- She is among the best singer in India.
Uses of Above and Over
Over and above, both describe things that are at a higher level than something else. But ‘over’ describes the vertical position (directly overhead) above, describing that one thing is higher than the other.
Over can also refer to something directly in contact with and covering something beneath it.
- This is the longest bridge over the river.
- The bird flew over the house.
- There is a tower on the hill above the village.
- His name listed above is mine in the merit list.
- She put a blanket over my head.
Uses of Prepositions Of Place Below and Under
Both these prepositions of place describe the position of something that is lower than something else. But under also represent the lower position of something that is directly in contact with the thing that is on the top of it.
Below and under are the opposite of above and over, respectively.
- We both stood under the umbrella.
- The baby hid under the blanket. (the baby and the blanket are in contact)
- The pen is under the book.
- He lives below our flat.
Beneath/underneath is sometimes used instead of under. But the use of under is more common.
- My shirt was beneath the blanket.
- The tunnel runs beneath the sea.
- She put a pillow underneath his head.
Uses of Prepositions Of Place Next to, Beside, Close to, Near to, By
These prepositions describe a lack of distance between two or more things. When something isn’t far away from something else, we can use any of these prepositions to refer to it. But close to or near to are commonly used for nearer things.
- They live near to/close to the train station.
- The students are sitting close to one another in the class.
We use Next to, Beside, and by to describe the position of something at the side of the other.
- He built his hose right beside a river.
- The child stood by her side.
- We hope she will stay by us.
- Come and sit next to me.
Uses of Prepositions Of Place Opposite, behind, in front of, In back of
Behind describe the location of something that is located at the back of something else.
We use ‘in front of ‘When something is located before something.
‘Opposite’ describes the location of something facing another thing or someone which is located on the other side.
We use ‘in back of ‘to talk about things located behind.
- The school is opposite the hospital.
- The dustbin is behind the door.
- He sits in back of me in class.
- There is a road in front of our school.
Uses Of Prepositions Place Around, Round
Round and around are both used to mean surrounding or in many different places.
- He is the most famous man round/around the world.
- The virus spread round/around the whole village.