English Grammar: The Prepositions ON, AT, IN, BY

English Grammar: The Prepositions ON, AT, IN, BY


I’m having a hard time reading
on the train right now. Unh. Hold on. I’ll
start the lesson. Hi. James from engVid.
Sorry, I was on the train. I want to teach you
a lesson about four basic prepositions that we use in English
that sometimes get confused, and I understand why, so I’ll keep it basic. But because it’s
basic, it’s going to be 80% correct. That’s a good thing, that means you can go to the
website and learn more from other lessons we have. But just know that sometimes there’ll
be exceptions, and I may not cover it here today. I’ll even give you two exceptions
to help you, but why waste time? Let’s go to the board. Here’s Mr. E. You’ll notice he has
a calendar, he has a clock, and: “You are here”? Oh, here. “Here” is a location. We’re here right now,
doing a lesson. That’s the location: engVid. Let’s go to the board and do the
rest of the lesson, shall we? Here’s: “at”, “on”,
“in”, and “by”. “At”. I love it because
it’s very specific, so you always know where you are, exactly. Problem: For
transportation, “at” doesn’t have anything. Hmm. So let’s go to the next one.
Let’s go to “on”. On. “On” is used for, let’s say, large vehicles or large ways of travelling,
such as buses… Sorry. Trains, buses, planes, and boats. I’ll come back to boat in a second;
it’s an exception. On the train, on the bus, and on the plane, unless you’re Bill Gates,
Donald Trump, or me-I’m not in that list-you don’t have your own train, plane, or bus, so
you usually share it with a bunch of people or a few people. It’s large.
So we say: “You’re on the bus”, because
it covers a big area, so there are many people sitting in that area.
When I get to location, you’ll see what I mean. Boat is a small exception. For many people in
the world, they have their own boats because maybe they do fishing, or rowing, which is
a type of boat that you go by yourself. In that situation, you can use “in”. So,
if the boat is small enough, say: “in”: “I’m in a boat right now.” But if it’s a big boat,
you have to say: “I’m on a boat.” Another exception for the “on” rule is bicycle. You’re always
“on” a bicycle. I know, I said big vehicles, but remember: a bicycle is small, and it doesn’t
really have a motor or an engine, so we kind of give it its own thing, because you have to
sit on the bicycle, and you can never really be in a bicycle. Is that good? Now, let’s go to “in”. “In” is funny because
there are only two things for “in”. “In” we use for car and taxi. The easy way to think about it
is usually you own your own car; it doesn’t belong to a group of people. People
just don’t get on your car every time you stop it, they go in and
say: “Take me somewhere.” And a taxi, well, when
you’re in a taxi, it is kind of your car. You pay the driver and
you keep the car. So, this is one of those few cases where, because it belongs to me, I
am in my car or I am in the taxi, because the taxi belongs to me as long as I pay the
money. It’s one of these funny exceptions. I don’t know why, because you can put more
people in a car, but I guess because you can actually own this transportation, it’s yours.
Think of it like the small boat. The small boat, one person is in it, you can
be inside of it. All right? Cool. The last one we’re going to do is “by”. This
is how you get there. So, “by” is different. When we talk about “in” and “on”, you are… We
are talking about how you are in the vehicle. Are you sitting on the bicycle? I can see you
on it? You know, a boat is on water. But “by” just means: How did you get here? So,
when someone responds to you with: “By car”, “by plane”, they’re telling you how they got
here. Not if they’re in the plane, or on the plane. They are just… That’s how they got
there. So, how did I get here to do this video? Wouldn’t you like to know. I’m kidding. I
came here by car. So, yes, I was in my car and drove here, but I would tell somebody:
“I got here by car, not by bus”, and that would tell them the difference in the transportation
I took. “How did you get here?” You like that? Good, so that’s “by”, this is how you did
it; and the way you travelled is here, “in” and “on”. Remember there is a small exception
for small vehicles, so a small boat you can be in. Remember small. And a bicycle, you’re
always on the bicycle, because people see you sitting on it. We good? Excellent. Now,
that is the lesson for transportation. Let’s look at location. You’ll notice
that the same rules or ideas apply. Remember I said I liked “at” because it’s
specific? Notice the dot, it’s very specific. “Meet me at my house.” That
does not mean down the street, that does not mean in another city.
It means: My house, you. Meet me at my house, specific
location. Or I’ll give you an address: “Meet me at 51 Eglington.” Not: “In 51 Eglington”, no.
“At”, that means right there. You can see the number and the place.
Like it? I do, too. “On”. If you notice, this is a dot, and this
is like a carpet or an area. This is why I said on the bus, the train, and the plane –
they are big, they have an area. And because of that, we say “on” because you stand in
an area. So, “on”. We put things on a table. Imagine… Nope. How about this? This is a better
table. I’m going to put something on the table. You can see it on, and here is an area.
Cool? That’s for “on”. “In” I can use the same thing. That’s the
next one. “In”, there is a surface, but you have to go over and in something. Remember I
said “on” here? This is now “in”. You can’t see it anymore, can you? Because it’s inside
with a bunch of markers. It’s inside. But when it’s on the surface, you’ll notice “on”, you
can see it. “In”, like magic, it disappears. Okay? So, “in”, usually you have walls or
something surrounding you that you can look up and see the walls. You’ll see there’s the
board here, and there are three other walls, so I’m in a room. But I’m on the floor because
I’m standing on the floor. Okay? So if the floor was here, this would be me. Ta-da. But
I would go in the room, and now you need a door to see me. Okay?
So, “in” and “on”. “By”. Many of you know “close” and “near”. So,
if you think of two things… Okay? Here’s one thing, here’s two things.
We can say: “This is by the red marker.” Similar to saying “close” or “near”.
We just say “by”. There’s 8% of this marker.
I said 80% lesson, but it seems it’s gone down. [Laughs] Well, “by” is
similar to “close” or “near”. And you notice the arrows, here, show you, if I say I’m close
to your house or by your house, it’s similar to saying “by” or “near”.
Okay? Cool. Now I’m going to deal with time. When we deal
with time, we’ll start at “at”. “At”. Remember I said very specific, that’s why I like it?
This is when you say things like: “At 9:15”, “At 12:00”. It says very specific time
when we deal with hour and minute. -“What time will I meet you?” -“At 10:30.” Specific.
That doesn’t mean 12:00. That’s not “at”. Okay? Day… Sorry. “On”. When we talk about “on”,
we talk about days. “On Monday”, “On Tuesday”. And if you’re confused, think of it this way: A
day has 24 hours. It’s kind of got a surface to it. It’s not just one specific time; it’s
got a little bit of time on it. So, on that day-okay?-anything can happen on that day
on the surface. We stand on it, and we walk across it. You wake up, then you go to sleep.
So, on that day. Funny enough, you can say things like: “On Christmas day”, “On Monday”,
“On my birthday”. So if you have a word that has a day in it, you can use “on”. Told you
I’d make it easy. It’s 80% true, there’ll be exceptions. I know, someone will say one.
But just think: “Did I say ‘day’ in there? ‘On’ the holiday.” Right? You can say it,
because it’s got “day”. Make it easy. Okay, now we’ve talked about
specific time with “at”, and on the day with “on”,
but let’s look at “in”. When I say something like: “In September”,
what I’m talking about are long periods of time. We can say that for years,
months, and weeks. So, for instance, I can even go back in the past and say:
“In 1992, I came to Canada.” Or: “In September,
I will buy a hat.” Now, we’re talking about specific time,
as we did in “on” and “at”, but this time we’re talking about longer periods
of time, and we’re being very specific. Now, I’m going to go to one more for you and
we’re going to go by “by”. “By” is fantastic because it’s the end of a specific time.
If I say: “I need it done by tonight”, that is the time, it’s specific, and
that’s the end time or your limit. And funny enough, that’s the end
of my lesson. I’m at the limit. I hope you’ve enjoyed it.
E has been helpful, bringing out the calendar and the
clock, and giving us a location. Quick recap: You can use
“at”, “on”, “in”, and “by” for transportation,
location, and time. When we deal with transportation, there are a
couple of exceptions you want to remember. “On” is used for large groups of people travelling
by train, bus, plane, or boat. But sometimes a boat can be for one person, and you can
say “in”. We also use bicycle for “on”, and that’s because you sit on the bicycle. When we
talk about “in”, we use it for car and taxi, because that’s usually your private
vehicle. Even though you say taxi’s public, when you’re in it, it’s yours as long as
you pay for it, and it’s also small. Okay? “By” is how you get there;
by car, plane, or train. When we went for location, we talked about
specific with “at”. On the surface or in an area for “on”, like a carpet, think like carpet.
“In”, think like a box, you go in a box. And “by” is similar to “close” or “near”
or “close to” when you used it. And finally, for time, we talked about
specific time-okay?-using these prepositions. “At” is one time only; “on” is for
days: “On Monday”, “On Christmas day”; “in” is used for longer periods of time, like:
“In September”, or we can go back into the past: “In 1992”; and finally, end time when we use “by”.
Okay? And we say that’s the end. And that’s the end of
this particular lesson. So, I’d like to thank you, once
again, for coming to engVid. And what did I say? I need you to go
to www.eng as in engVid… English. V, as in video.com (www.engvid.com) where you can go do the quiz
and see how well you learned your lesson. Okay? And by now, I think
you’ve got 80% of it correct. Okay? See ya later.

100 Comments

  • Joel Lemos

    July 8, 2019

    ok, i understood all, thanks very much…..i'm from brasil…and also your class is very nice

    Reply
  • Abdalla ahmed Abdalla

    July 9, 2019

    I so you better teacher in my counter

    Reply
  • mãräm mãräm

    July 9, 2019

    Thanks a lot .

    Reply
  • Reginald Gonzales

    July 11, 2019

    Thanks for your video I understand it clearly.

    Reply
  • matuteff

    July 11, 2019

    GREAT! I speak spanish and I am taking english classes, prepositions are dificults for me!!

    Reply
  • manou paul

    July 12, 2019

    I didn't understund the relation between (near/close) and by can someone help me please!

    Reply
  • Dimmi V

    July 14, 2019

    Can we appreciate the fact That he always wear formal clothes

    Reply
  • yamite HH

    July 16, 2019

    Mrs. E you Retard

    Reply
  • goran kurda

    July 16, 2019

    Thank you, this is very important for us.

    Reply
  • Jesus R_28

    July 16, 2019

    Thank you!! Good class I am a native speaker form Spanish Language and I understand all you class!! Excellent teacher! Too useful!

    Reply
  • Вадим H

    July 18, 2019

    Thank you

    Reply
  • Toleen Aldaja

    July 19, 2019

    Nice moving on

    Reply
  • suraj kumar

    July 19, 2019

    Excellent awesome

    Reply
  • Caritas Polox

    July 23, 2019

    Clearly you are lN shape with nerd clothes ON, never seen that combination AT school. BY the way, good class👍

    Reply
  • Zeynep GÜR

    July 24, 2019

    turkish people ?

    Reply
  • Alexander Antonov

    July 24, 2019

    Perfectly, it’s best explanation

    Reply
  • Mungiwara 3019

    July 25, 2019

    I wacth him when I was struggle in English thank to your video, now I'm fluent.

    Reply
  • Joseane Bickel

    July 25, 2019

    I am a Brazilian law studant make plans to live in England and work there as a lowyer but my English skill is not a 100%. Thak you so much for the lessons. You really do a great job on that. I am working hard to improve my English level and your lessos help me a lot. X

    Reply
  • Arslan Aslam

    July 25, 2019

    i wish i could get you as a teacher in my high school.

    Reply
  • Marvelous Misha

    July 25, 2019

    Umm you repeated a clip

    Reply
  • Isolde Deig

    July 25, 2019

    Thank you!

    Reply
  • Chandu Teja

    July 26, 2019

    Where we use since and in?? What is the difference between the both of them??

    Reply
  • Văn Cường Nguyễn

    July 26, 2019

    Hi, what is defference between change in and change for ? Thank you.

    Reply
  • Vanessa Alverio

    July 27, 2019

    I have almost watch about this item but this is the best explanation so far. Clearly explained, easily to understand and most important is easy to remember..😉

    Thanks for the information..

    Reply
  • John 213

    July 27, 2019

    What about chair? Do you sit on or in a chair

    Reply
  • Maha Ahmed

    July 27, 2019

    Congratulations 2M 🦋☀️

    Reply
  • Adilio Peregrino

    July 28, 2019

    Good lesson

    Reply
  • Abdulrahman Omar

    July 28, 2019

    I can't understand why you teach like that😁😁

    Reply
  • Humor Mike

    July 28, 2019

    Great explanations. I never thought about the logic of why we use these words in this way.

    Reply
  • SURINDER KUMAR

    July 28, 2019

    Nice grammar

    Reply
  • SURINDER KUMAR

    July 28, 2019

    Lakcher

    Reply
  • ShineLine3

    July 29, 2019

    Very good. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Sidharth RK

    July 31, 2019

    I love the way you teach, you're so talented.

    Reply
  • Luan Marques

    July 31, 2019

    Great tips and you are the best of all!! Thank you Mr James

    Reply
  • raisa presfana

    August 1, 2019

    How if i want mention the postal code, which one should i use? Thanks in advance

    Reply
  • Luz Lòpez

    August 1, 2019

    thank you

    Reply
  • Arjun Sharma

    August 3, 2019

    Thanks for this!!
    I'm having a 45 marks test on Wednesday..
    Hope I'll find good 🖤

    Reply
  • KUYA SONGBIRD

    August 3, 2019

    HOT

    Reply
  • Eliane Cieplinski

    August 3, 2019

    Great class!
    I guess we use "on" when you can walk inside; ON the bus, ON the train..

    Reply
  • Udo Raphael

    August 5, 2019

    Why say "23andMe is one of the most popular DNA testing kits on the market"
    Why not "in the market"?

    Reply
  • L R

    August 5, 2019

    Tnx it’s really useful especially with transportations I was a bit confused 🤦‍♀️ so tnx 💗

    Reply
  • Karen Ruiz

    August 6, 2019

    It is not clear to me the preposition by when you are talking about the end time….could you add another example, please and thanks a lot

    Reply
  • Beriehun Kiedie

    August 7, 2019

    That good for the lesson English

    Reply
  • HenryKeat

    August 9, 2019

    "Morning" , "Evening" , "Afternoon" , "Night" & "Midnight" = in?

    Reply
  • Hing Navy

    August 9, 2019

    Near the snake I saw WTF. Like if you saw too.

    Reply
  • abo hazim

    August 9, 2019

    my question is :When I say “I have lived in this house for 10 years “Does this mean I don’t live in it anymore right now or what?

    Reply
  • Angelo Lazaro

    August 10, 2019

    superb

    Reply
  • Dansephir Apontei

    August 12, 2019

    Great lesson and a very practical way to explain the differences between those prepositions. Thank you!!!

    Reply
  • Sahil Geiger

    August 12, 2019

    Excellent

    Reply
  • bishal rai

    August 13, 2019

    When he called ,i was ______the lift.

    Reply
  • Alone

    August 13, 2019

    Ничего не понял…

    Reply
  • David Chang

    August 15, 2019

    Handsome teacher.

    Reply
  • Riku Riku

    August 17, 2019

    Great

    Reply
  • Qurbanlı Ədalət

    August 17, 2019

    Thanks. İ am from Azerbaijan.This video is very useful for me. Great

    Reply
  • What Ever

    August 17, 2019

    We will be meeting in the park, or We will be meeting at the park? Which one is correct?

    Reply
  • jack yadav

    August 18, 2019

    Superb James….only focus on learning not bullshit gossips like others…go ahead for both kids and adult…

    Reply
  • Pedro Ruokonen

    August 19, 2019

    A perfect video to watch before my english exam starts 😀

    Reply
  • Kenzie Summer

    August 21, 2019

    Watching before my test tomorrow..

    Reply
  • ali mohamadi

    August 22, 2019

    good joob

    Reply
  • Fante_Fiero

    August 22, 2019

    Is this sentence correct?

    "If you are introducing yourself IN the night time.."

    Cheers

    Reply
  • Francisco valbuena manzanilla

    August 23, 2019

    Hi, I would like to have conversational class with you two day for week using something like skype. It's possible? What's the price for houre?

    Reply
  • Touma Lauengladthavong

    August 24, 2019

    good and thank so much

    Reply
  • AkoSi Hero

    August 25, 2019

    Thanks for the free lesson.

    Reply
  • Saurabh Kumar

    August 25, 2019

    You're just awesome
    Doing very great job Sir.🙏

    Reply
  • Yertayev Medet

    August 27, 2019

    love you so much

    Reply
  • Nissrine Rez

    August 27, 2019

    I wish my teacher were like u 😫

    Reply
  • filon gunio

    August 27, 2019

    We also use on for social media platforms like: on Facebook, on YouTube, on Instagram, etc.

    Reply
  • aditya mishra

    August 28, 2019

    James u r very cool teacher

    Reply
  • Shan Khokhar

    August 28, 2019

    righting sahi kar le

    Reply
  • Bruno Caetano

    August 28, 2019

    Great job! Thanks!

    Reply
  • Dórii

    August 29, 2019

    How about truck? Is that in the truck or on the truck?

    Reply
  • amina hussein

    August 29, 2019

    Thank you ! I gained!

    Reply
  • krizialene Espino

    August 30, 2019

    Wow! awesome. thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. It helps a lot. I understand better.

    Reply
  • zafarbek sattorov

    August 30, 2019

    Highly qualified tutor 👍🥋🏅

    Reply
  • kelly2015

    August 31, 2019

    Thank you so much for your solid great work(and ur talent for teaching! English leaning isn't boring to me anymore. It's way more fun and effective!

    Reply
  • Josh Potter

    August 31, 2019

    Ssssso fantastic! It is so clear and direct to understand. But how about "at night " ? Is this an exception?

    Reply
  • Marco Fialho

    September 2, 2019

    Thanks for the vídeo ❤❤❤
    Can I suggest a useful book for English students?
    'Irregular Verbs. The Ultimate Guide. '/ Amazon.
    A book simple in form but rich in content!
    See you!

    Reply
  • Wahab

    September 2, 2019

    Simply, an intelligent teacher. I keep being amazed on how he explains a certain point that I found hard to explain!

    Reply
  • M T.

    September 3, 2019

    It is good for Japanese

    Reply
  • Random Gaming

    September 3, 2019

    can appreciate the fact that behind james the calendar says wtf

    Reply
  • Bennie Fisher

    September 4, 2019

    Will people hate me because I suck in english grammar?

    Reply
  • Dextrog Dexter

    September 4, 2019

    It is a very useful lesson, Thank you, James!

    Reply
  • Rinjen Tamang

    September 4, 2019

    ur teaching iz excellent

    Reply
  • M H S

    September 4, 2019

    Do native speakers misuse them too?

    Reply
  • Andrew Eremeew

    September 5, 2019

    can we say: we have a lot of rain this week? Without preposition ?

    Reply
  • Marlene Navarro

    September 5, 2019

    Hi! Someone can me explain again the preposition BY? Thank you! :3

    Reply
  • Vishal Singh

    September 5, 2019

    Wtf

    Reply
  • Moh Sha

    September 5, 2019

    Even bill gates doesn't have his own bus.

    Reply
  • America Latina

    September 6, 2019

    Thank you very much,
    I liked your video. I appreciate the contrast between the board your shirt and the color of your skin.. Your voice is so sexy, but your jokes are fatal. You are a good English Language Teacher. I wish you wrote to me someday.

    Reply
  • Estrella lopez muñoz

    September 6, 2019

    Thanks …..👩👍

    Reply
  • Sirak Demissie

    September 7, 2019

    Wow I just like it

    Reply
  • Kevin Valte

    September 7, 2019

    Man is my first of yours video i've ever seen,and you're amazing

    Reply
  • Naif Almarwany

    September 7, 2019

    Thanks

    Reply
  • ودالحاج

    September 7, 2019

    Thank you so mic

    Reply
  • Aamir Khan

    September 8, 2019

    Very nice video sir…. 😊

    Reply
  • anonymous solver

    September 8, 2019

    My english grammar was destroyed by indian people on youtube

    Reply
  • Игорь Якушев

    September 8, 2019

    Is hi an American?

    Reply
  • Patrick Kristensen

    September 9, 2019

    I have a question!
    I am a bit confused. Which preposition is right to use in the text below?
    On/at the bottom/top.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  • DollarJonny

    September 9, 2019

    Хорошо сказано !

    Reply
  • Amandeep Kaur

    September 10, 2019

    I checked your video on thursday in this september at 8:30 pm. I came up there by God 's grace. Thanq and pleased to see a humble person like u

    Hey everyone … english isnt my first language … plz correct this sentence if its wrong … thnq

    Reply

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