The use of prepositions  in English (EFL/ESL Grammar: Rules, use and practice).

The use of prepositions  in English (EFL/ESL Grammar: Rules, use and practice).

Prepositions in English are one the most difficult things. Learning preposition is quite hard. Yet, there are many rules. If you learn them and practice, you will no more have problems with prepositions.

What is a Preposition?

A preposition is a word that shows you where something is located in either space or time.



  • AT is used with specific time

For example: at 8:00 p.m., at midnight, at noon..etc.

  • AT is used with holiday periods.

For example: at Christmas, at thanksgining day, at Halloween..etc.


  • ON is used with days.

For example: on Sunday, on Monday, …etc.

  • ON is used with specific dates.

For example: on the 1st of October, on the third of November , on the 16th, on the 3rd of January…etc.


  • IN is used with months, years, decades, and centuries.

For example: in November, in 1990, in the sixties, in the 19th century…etc.

  • IN is used with seasons.

For example: in summer, in winter…etc.

  • IN is used with parts of the day.

For example: in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, (this is an exception: at night).

  • IN is used with time periods.

For example: in six hourse, in two days, in three weeks…etc.



  • AT is used with specific places.

For example: At the top, at the door, at the bottom, at traffic lights, at the corner..etc.

  • AT is used with places where specific actions happen.

For example: at the library, at the office, at the cinema, at the theatre, at the police stations…etc.

  • AT is used with events.

For example: at the party, at the conference, at a meeting, at a wedding, at a concert…etc. 


  • ON is used with a surface/flat space. If you think of a place that is flat either vertically or horizontally, you can use ON with.

For instance: on the wall, on the desk, on the ground, on the table, on the page, on the floor, on street…etc.

  • ON is used with large vehicles.

For example: on the ship, on the plane, on the bus, on the train, on the boat…etc.

  • ON is used with the following words.

For example: on TV, on the radio, on websites, on the internet, on the computer, on the list, on the map, on an island, on the left, on the right..etc.


  • IN is used with enclosed spaces.

For example: in the bag, in the class, in the house, in the pocket, in taxi, in the car, in the kitchen, in the garden, in the room…etc.

  • IN is used with large places.

For example: in the city, in the village, in sea, in the forest, in the desert…etc.

  • IN is also used with these words.

For example: in the sky, in bed, in the newspaper, in the photo, in the hospital, in a latter, in a book..etc.



Check your understanding here..  


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