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English Prepositions: “In,” “On,” and “At”


The English prepositions in, on, and at are among the most typical phrases in our language, however they’ll simply get blended up. Confusion can come up as a result of not solely are all of them prepositions of place, however they’re additionally all prepositions of time; being prepositions of each time and place could make these two-letter phrases troublesome to make use of.

On this information, we clarify learn how to use in, on, and at. We focus on the principles for every as prepositions of each time and place and share some examples of in, on, and at sentences. Let’s begin with reviewing how English prepositions work basically.

English prepositions: in, on, and at

In English, prepositions are a kind of phrase class that exhibits relationships between different phrases in a sentence. Prepositions can describe when one thing occurred (“in the morning”) or the place one thing occurred (“at the workplace”), in addition to clarify connections (“mom of three puppies”) or give additional particulars (“a film with subtitles”).

Prepositions are at all times adopted by a noun. This noun acts because the object of a preposition as a result of it’s what the preposition refers to. Combining the preposition and the item of the preposition creates a prepositional phrase, which additionally contains any adjectives or determiners the noun makes use of.

For instance, the prepositional phrase “behind the tall tree” contains the preposition behind, the item of the preposition tree, the article the, and the adjective tall.

There are 4 kinds of prepositions:

What makes in, on, and at difficult is that they’re prepositions of each time and place. Meaning every one has not less than two totally different meanings, and all of these meanings can simply get blended up. To make issues harder, in, on, and at are usually not interchangeable—you need to study all of the usages for every to keep away from complicated them.

English preposition: in

In: preposition of time

As a preposition of time, in is used with the next phrases and ideas:

  • instantaneous and second
  • seconds, minutes, and hours
  • quantities of days
  • months
  • seasons
  • years
  • teams of years (many years, centuries, and many others.)
  • the previous, current, and future
  • instances of day: morning, afternoon, night
  • night time (particular time)

In: preposition of time examples

  • in a couple of moments
  • in a few minutes
  • in 5 days
  • in August
  • in the summertime
  • in 3200 BCE
  • in lower than a decade
  • sooner or later
  • within the night
  • in the course of the night time

In: preposition of place

As a preposition of place, in is used with the next phrases and parts:

  • basic areas
  • areas inside massive locations like cities, nations, and continents
  • class
  • the sky and ambiance
  • outer area

In: preposition of place examples

  • within the eating room
  • in Tanzania
  • in my third class
  • within the blue sky
  • within the farthest reaches of area

English preposition: on

On: preposition of time

As a preposition of time, on is used with the next phrases and ideas:

  • days of the week
  • instances of day used with days of the week
  • yearly occasions like birthdays and holidays
  • particular dates
  • weekend (American English)

On: preposition of time examples

  • on Tuesday
  • on Saturday night
  • on our anniversary
  • on Lunar New Yr
  • on January 19 (on the nineteenth of January)
  • on the weekend

On: preposition of place

As a preposition of place, on is used for the next phrases and concepts:

  • issues on the floor of one thing else (tables, partitions, and many others.)
  • areas close to a physique of water
  • mountains
  • flooring of a constructing
  • corners
  • streets
  • planets

On: preposition of place examples

  • on the ceiling
  • on the Amazon River
  • on Mount Hood
  • on the fifth flooring
  • on Essential Road
  • on Mars

English preposition: at

At: preposition of time

As a preposition of time, at is used for:

  • clock instances
  • mealtimes
  • instances of day: daybreak, nightfall
  • night time (unspecific time)
  • weekend (British English)

At: preposition of time examples

  • at 8 p.m.
  • at dinner
  • at nightfall
  • at night time
  • on the weekend

At: preposition of place

As a preposition of place, at is used with these classes:

  • exact areas
  • occasions
  • particular addresses

At: preposition of place examples

  • on the dinner desk
  • on the homecoming dance
  • at 720 Essential Road

When to not use in, on, or at

Don’t use with subsequent and a time

When utilizing subsequent as an adjective earlier than a time, you possibly can omit in, on, or at. The sentence will work and not using a preposition of time.

Don’t use the final and a selected time

Equally, you too can omit in, on, or at when utilizing final as an adjective earlier than a time interval, so long as you might be speaking a few particular time.

Nevertheless, for those who’re utilizing final with an unspecified time, you continue to want a preposition. Sometimes, if the phrase with final makes use of an article or different determiner, it’s unspecific and will embody in, on, or at.

Needless to say the phrase “eventually” acts as an adverb, so these guidelines for prepositions don’t apply to it.

Final night time, at our final assembly, we picked a gaggle identify eventually!

In, on, and at FAQs

What are English prepositions?

In English, prepositions are a kind of phrase class that exhibits relationships between different phrases in a sentence. Prepositions can describe when one thing occurred (“in the morning”) or the place one thing occurred (“at the workplace”), in addition to clarify connections (“mom of three puppies”) or give additional particulars (“a film with subtitles”).

What kind of prepositions are in, on, and at?

The phrases in, on, and at are prepositions of each time and place. Meaning every one has not less than two totally different meanings, and all of these meanings can simply get blended up.

Can in, on, and at be used interchangeably?

The prepositions in, on, and at are usually not interchangeable. Every has its personal guidelines and prompt usages. Nevertheless, generally the identical phrases or sentence can use totally different prepositions, though the that means will change barely.

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