Prepositions of PLACE  👉  IN / ON / AT / BY  👈  Common English Grammar Mistakes

Prepositions of PLACE 👉 IN / ON / AT / BY 👈 Common English Grammar Mistakes


Hello! This is Emma from mmmEnglish, back with another lesson on the mmEnglish Youtube channel. Now in English, we say “The school is on Bay Street.” Not “The school is at Bay Street.” “They live at 10 Park Road.” Not “She lives in 10 Park Road.” “The museum is in the city.” Not “The museum is on the city.” “I live at 300 King Street, in an apartment, on the fourth floor.” These little words can cause lots of headaches if English is not your first language. They’re called prepositions and there are lots of them in English. In, on, at, by, with, for, over, under, of, to. They all help to give information about the time, location or direction in your English sentences. in, on, at and by In this lesson, we’ll take a closer look at these small but very common, very useful English words. And we’ll concentrate on how you can use them to give information about the place or location of something. Now, the bad news is that there’s no clear way of knowing which preposition you need to use. In fact, different prepositions can be used with the same words but this can change the meaning of your sentence. Am I at the car? At the location of the car? Am I in the car? Or am I on the car? All of these sentences are okay but the meaning is different in each question. Most of the time, you can’t just guess the correct preposition. It’s not really a good strategy to improve your English – unless you’re a really lucky person! The worst way to try and learn prepositions is to translate them from your native language. This can cause lots of problems. Prepositions must be learned in chunks of words or called collocations. Groups of words that are often used together. Like, “In the morning.” “At night.” “It depends on… (something)” “He’s keen on football.” Learning this way will help you to make fewer mistakes with prepositions. Instead, pay attention to how native speakers use these prepositions. How are they used in the newspaper articles that you read or stories? What words are they used with? And pay close attention to the general rules that I’ll teach you in this lesson, so that you can make the right choices when choosing prepositions of place. Let’s get started with “in” Now the best way to think about the preposition, “in” is being within something inside the edges of something. So let’s start really simply with containers or spaces that are enclosed. I’ve got the key in my pocket. There’s some milk in the fridge. She left it in the top drawer. There’s nothing left in my cup. Now, it’s easy to think about all of these examples as being inside something because the edges are really clear. You can see inside them. There’s a clear inside and an outside. Right? Take our earlier example, I’m in the car. The car has clear edges, I’m definitely inside the edges of the car. We can use “in” with buildings or rooms and places that can surround a person or an object on all sides. Can you take a seat in the waiting room please? I’ve left my bag in your office. Why don’t we have a picnic in the park? But there are lots of times when you need to use this preposition when the edges are less clear. So for example, with areas or regions or cities and towns. I’m filming this video in Spain. I grew up in Melbourne. Holidaying in France is easy if you speak French! Regolisa is a small village in the mountains. We’re going for a drive in the country. Lots of people were swimming in the lake. Now, all of these nouns have borders or edges, even if they’re not really obvious or clear. We can physically be located inside the edges of this space. Now when talking about groups of people, you can often use “in”. She works in the finance team, surrounded by people. He got selected to play in the national team. But there’s an exception for important high-level groups where members are often elected. He’s on the board. Or they’re on the committee, or on the council. We can also use “in” with liquids and other substances to show what they contain. Careful! There’s a lot of chilli in that sauce. There’s too much sugar in soft drinks. Do you have milk in your coffee? Now the preposition “on” is used to talk about the position of something on surfaces or things that can be thought-of as surfaces like walls or tables. My phone is on the table. You can see a painting on the wall behind me. We live on the fourth floor of the building. Can you write it on that piece of paper? He’s spilled ice cream on his new jumper! Now, keep thinking about this idea of flat surfaces because it includes roads and streets and rivers. The supermarket is on the corner of Martin Street. Nice is on the south coast of France. Now the idea of flat surfaces also includes water, so rivers, oceans, lakes. What’s that on the water? Floating on the water. We’ll take you out on the lake – in our boat. We’ll be on the lake, in our boat. Okay, now let’s talk about the preposition “at”. It’s used to talk about specific places or points in space. Sarah’s still at school. I’ll meet you at the bus stop. Turn left at the traffic light. Now it’s also used with public places and shops. For example, I studied design at college or school or university. Let’s meet at the station. We have to stop at the supermarket on the way home. There was a crazy guy at the library today. We also use it with addresses. They live at 14 Eagle Road. I’ll meet you at the corner of Beach Street and Park Road. I had a coffee at Helen’s house. At her house, right? Careful, not to confuse the preposition with another, “with”. I had a cup of coffee with Helen. That means Helen, the person, not Helen’s house. We can use “at” with events. We met at a party. He’s speaking at a conference later this week. So in all of these examples, the preposition “at” is used to talk about specific places or points in space. Okay I went through quite a few examples there, but let’s just stop and review the rules for a minute. “At” is one-dimensional. Think of a map. When you’re looking at a map, you’re referring to a specific place or position in space. “On” is more two-dimensional. You have a flat surface and you’re referring to the position of something or someone in relation to that surface. So you’re recognising the space around you a little more when you’re using that preposition. Now “in” is the sort of three-dimensional preposition. So when you use it, you need to think about the position of something in relation to what surrounds it. Now of course, there are grey areas and many exceptions that will make you scratch your head and wonder, what?! When you hear that expression, “grey areas” it means that something is unclear. It’s not black and it’s not white, it’s somewhere in the middle but we don’t know exactly where – it’s unclear. That’s a very common expression. Now there are many grey areas for prepositions when you’re talking about the place or the location of something. It’s on the corner. Or it’s at the corner. These two examples mean almost the same thing. The museum is on the south side of the city. So this expression, on the south side or on the right side or on the left side, it always uses the preposition “on”. Your seat is on the left side. Now I said before that Nice is on the south coast of France but Nice is also in the south of France. Now there is a difference here when we’re referring to the flat surface and the region or the area. So it’s that spatial difference. On the south coast or in the south of France. It’s a little hard to get your head around, right? But France is a space that has edges. It’s enclosed so we use “in”. I’ll see you at Melanie’s house. So that’s the place right? But I’ll meet you in the kitchen. It’s an enclosed room or enclosed space. I’ll meet you at the corner of Beach
Street and Park Road. I saw it in the corner of the room. So that’s an enclosed space, right? How about this one? Write it on the paper in your notebook, at the top of the page or in the corner. We say I’m in the car and I’m on the bus or the train. So there are also times when you can use two different prepositions and the meaning is actually really similar especially between “at” and “on” Sarah’s still in school. Or Sarah is still at school. Now these sentences mean almost exactly the same thing. “In” school suggests that Sarah is inside the school buildings. She’s a student, she’s learning there. “At” suggests that she’s at the location of the school but she could be inside a building or outside and she’s not necessarily a student either. She could be a parent visiting the school, for example. I think they’re at the beach Or I think they’re on the beach. “At the beach” is the place. “On the beach” means the sand. But you can’t use “in”. If you say “in” you need to use the water. You can be in the water. She’s in the sea. She’s in the lake. She’s in the water. One more two-lettered preposition to add to this lesson about place is “by”. I’m waiting by the car. Put your bag by the door and sit down. Here, “by” is used to mean next to something or beside or near. These are all prepositions that give us detail about the location of something. They live near the school. They live next to the school. They live by the school. So there are definitely a few confusing things about prepositions, right? To successfully learn to use prepositions really well, learn them with the words around them. Don’t try and learn them on their own. The general rules that we talked about during this lesson, will help you to make better choices – most of the time! Well I hope this lesson has helped to make a few things clearer for you. If you’ve got any questions at all, just pop them in the comments under this video. If you love this channel and you enjoy my lessons, then please make sure that you subscribe to my channel right here or here. And check out some of the other lessons that I’ve made in these playlists, right here. See you next week and thanks for watching mmmEnglish. Bye for now!

100 Comments

  • paul twum

    August 2, 2019

    cool

    Reply
  • Davy Jones

    August 3, 2019

    This is a great explanation. This topic is so confusing. Thank you, now it's clearer in my mind.

    Reply
  • Chandan krdas

    August 3, 2019

    Enjoying ur lessons.thx

    Reply
  • Johas Mejia

    August 3, 2019

    I love you,thank you so much

    Reply
  • Johas Mejia

    August 3, 2019

    You're the best❤❤😘😘

    Reply
  • MisterPunisher22

    August 3, 2019

    You're amazing! Thanks for this.

    Reply
  • Omar Hafud

    August 4, 2019

    Plus your lecture is amazing, you are so beautiful and lovely. Thanks for much clarified way of teaching.

    Reply
  • Andrey Yablokov

    August 4, 2019

    Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  • Pure Magic by FS

    August 4, 2019

    you really work hard on the editing of the video!
    #thumbsup

    Reply
  • Ritchie Bercasio

    August 5, 2019

    I love you 😘

    Reply
  • Junaid Baig

    August 7, 2019

    The best English lesson I ever saw.

    Reply
  • shahd

    August 7, 2019

    Thank you.

    Reply
  • Rustam Khan

    August 7, 2019

    Good but fast…

    Reply
  • Moises Pineda

    August 8, 2019

    Beautiful princess!!!

    Reply
  • Joe Szabó

    August 8, 2019

    Thank you very much Emma! It(also) was very useful to (or for ?) me. I am Joe from Hungary.

    Reply
  • misganaw tolanie

    August 9, 2019

    thank you Emma ! for this helpful prepositions

    Reply
  • Yassine Khaled

    August 9, 2019

    Thanks for this lesson, see you next time.

    Reply
  • Narayan Singh

    August 9, 2019

    U are so amazing 💓💓💓

    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
  • Grateful Lally

    August 10, 2019

    Wow, you explained it so well.

    Reply
  • C Manikandan

    August 10, 2019

    'On the website say on Facebook on Youtube' was a confusing usage for me.

    Reply
  • Victor Lopez

    August 10, 2019

    Teacher you're so cute

    Reply
  • Victor Lopez

    August 10, 2019

    Teacher what i have to use when i show slides…on this slide or in this slide

    Reply
  • Linda Ismail

    August 11, 2019

    Please help me with this doubt
    I live in Cochin in Kerala
    I live at Cochin in Kerala
    Which is correct

    Reply
  • Injamul Sekh

    August 11, 2019

    i am not undetstand this launge

    Reply
  • elmar aliyev

    August 11, 2019

    I am sorry, i dont Understand here (3:53), She left it in the top drawer —- this is means>> She take something from top drawer..clear?

    Reply
  • Patrik Stakem

    August 11, 2019

    Im a native English speaker (I teach english abroad and was watching your video for ideas for this same lesson) and actually learned something, haha. I naturally know which of the prepositions to use, but had no idea what the rules were

    Reply
  • osamudiamen ejiagbonlamhen

    August 12, 2019

    COMMON SENSE.

    Reply
  • Witek Robert

    August 12, 2019

    OMG gorgeus face

    Reply
  • Sahil Geiger

    August 12, 2019

    Superb!!

    Reply
  • Eder fernando

    August 14, 2019

    Você é linda demais. You are is very very Beautiful… y love you Emma

    Reply
  • Oly Bellen

    August 15, 2019

    I really like this video, I learned a lot. So informative. Thank you so much… 😊

    Reply
  • ali veli

    August 16, 2019

    English is headache. No language is easy though

    Reply
  • Yatt Izaham

    August 16, 2019

    Thank you, Emma. It is a very helpful video. Now I see the distinctions between all those prepositions. Love from Malaysia! ❤

    Reply
  • Shah Xad

    August 17, 2019

    Thank U

    Reply
  • Shiv Mohan Singh Rajput

    August 18, 2019

    Hey madam i'm from 🇮🇳 india 🇮🇳 i can't speak English but i'm understand everything what you are saying
    Nice to meet you. 🇮🇳Jay Hind 🇮🇳

    Reply
  • Gaurav Butola

    August 18, 2019

    Gracious Emaa..

    Reply
  • Moulid Farah

    August 18, 2019

    Hi, Thank you for your support and teaching preparation. I has really helped me this lesson.

    I would like to ask do you do online teaching?
    Thank you

    Reply
  • amit_ murmu

    August 19, 2019

    One thing I learnt from all these is you can't learn or understand English completely just from a class or online course. You also have to understand the English culture because English is all about "context". Same sentence could mean different in different context, you just have to understand the culture how they use the "sentences" in different situations. For an Indian it is sometimes difficult to understand the usage of certain phrases in different situations. I always wondered " why do they use this phase in this situation? " . Then I understood; it's how the English culture is. And the culture builds the structure of the sentence. If I would learn Italian, may be I would have learnt it faster.

    Reply
  • Sara Seif

    August 19, 2019

    Don't you think Emma your explanation about in school and at school was vice versa?

    Reply
  • E & M

    August 19, 2019

    Thank you ,you are the best ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Reply
  • YOF AZI

    August 19, 2019

    Mmm English…… I like that

    Reply
  • English ustad

    August 21, 2019

    👌👌👌👌👏👏👏

    Reply
  • Max Andre Almeida

    August 21, 2019

    Great class Emma!

    Reply
  • okunowo lateefat

    August 21, 2019

    Hi Emma, am an English studies teacher in Nigeria. I love all your videos. They're so educating.

    Reply
  • Asad khan

    August 21, 2019

    Thanks Emma your English grammar is really helping me

    Reply
  • Subhashini Godagama

    August 22, 2019

    You are an amazing teacher. Thank you Emma.

    Reply
  • ppp ggg

    August 22, 2019

    You are wonderful i understand what you say although im arabic

    Reply
  • Mary Ellen Fernandez

    August 22, 2019

    You teach so clearly. Im loving you already😘

    Reply
  • Dan Kris Ferrer

    August 22, 2019

    Could you explain about the sentence you said: in the corner of the page (of the book) why is it not "ON" the corner of the page? Thanks

    Reply
  • Waseem Mughal

    August 23, 2019

    Best tesching and explain Love for you
    From Pakistan

    Reply
  • Emily kozikoglu

    August 23, 2019

    💎💎💎💎💎💫💫💫💫💫

    Reply
  • Cristina Mota

    August 23, 2019

    Excellent way of explaining the prepositions, which I would never have known how to put it in better terms. Thank you, very helpful.

    Reply
  • youssef123 12345678zx

    August 23, 2019

    please translate the fidio to the arabic

    Reply
  • Hadroug Ali

    August 23, 2019

    Hello Emma are you mariage .

    Reply
  • Marcos Antonio De Barros

    August 23, 2019

    You're such an agreeable person. Your friends must adore you!

    Reply
  • omar khaled

    August 24, 2019

    thanks my thechr you are very kind and buteful and gorgs to i lave you

    Reply
  • sachin sharma sachin sharma

    August 24, 2019

    Hello ma'am plz. Make a video for TENSES.
    I LIKE THE WAY YOU TEACH.
    THANK YOU.

    FROM INDIA

    Reply
  • Eduardo Passos

    August 25, 2019

    Perfect explanation! Thanks a lot

    Reply
  • Queen 123

    August 25, 2019

    thank u for Serbian title. You are the best❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
  • Dale N

    August 26, 2019

    Still useful for me as a native English speaker at 1.25x speed

    Reply
  • James elangovan James elangovan

    August 26, 2019

    Thank you. God bless you.

    Reply
  • Oumar Fofana

    August 26, 2019

    Thanks once more! You're making my holidays special

    Reply
  • aquadotnets

    August 27, 2019

    Nicely done 👍

    Reply
  • Sarad Bista

    August 29, 2019

    ur so cute ..i love ur video thank so mhh

    Reply
  • Etelvino França

    August 29, 2019

    Thank you teacher Emma! Your lesson help me a lot!!! Frequentely, I hear the lessons in my car after to convert one to mp3! Congratulations !!!

    Reply
  • Maryam Sediqi

    August 30, 2019

    Awesome
    Thank you so much ❤️

    Reply
  • mk meetei

    August 30, 2019

    M from India 🇮🇳 love ur smile n teaching method.. I hope u will teach us more and easier method of preposition..

    Reply
  • nmm nmmnmb

    August 31, 2019

    thanks a lot from Algeria
    it is very nice wonderful channel 😙

    Reply
  • JOSÉ NILTON FORTES MACHADO

    September 1, 2019

    You're a great teacher! Thanks for your lessons!

    Reply
  • Nipun nipun

    September 1, 2019

    that is very useful to me . thank you so much

    Reply
  • THE ART

    September 1, 2019

    Thank a lot miss Emma
    Developed a video " With & by " preposition

    Reply
  • Hari Babu

    September 1, 2019

    for water,,,, if something is immersed, what to use ,,, in or on.. i think in is correct ,, for floating we can use on.. is it correct?

    Reply
  • Jean claude Piessevaux

    September 1, 2019

    Why "IN the photograph" ?

    Reply
  • Bahar Ali

    September 2, 2019

    on is used fro River ,,ocean and lakes but you have write there ,,,,she is in the lakes ….in or on is correct one
    and
    other sentences you write .. what they on the water…plz make sure the confusion
    thanks

    Reply
  • Dawaasangi Zoljargal

    September 3, 2019

    Hello. Thank you for your useful lessons. I have a question about preposition. Can i write in the office or at the office? Also, in the restaurant, in the swimming pool. Please, correct me.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  • Wajid Afridi

    September 3, 2019

    Great way of teaching for learning

    Reply
  • B Size Indian

    September 4, 2019

    TV is not flat. But news paper is. Still why 'ON TV' and 'IN the news paper?'

    Reply
  • Nafees Ahmad

    September 4, 2019

    Difference in do and work

    Reply
  • VishaL SondotrA

    September 4, 2019

    Hello mam in this case which is correct??? Have fun in/at music???????

    Reply
  • North Garcia

    September 5, 2019

    Your explanation is better than the others. However, there is some situation that I encounter which I still hardly understand. For example, a sentence that says " The awards will be presented on December." or a sentence that says " Candidates are judged by Swedish and Norwegian academies and institutes on the basis of their contribution to mankind." My question is how did it become "ON"?

    Reply
  • HAROUN FF

    September 6, 2019

    I think You are vry vert beautiful and nice teacher

    Reply
  • HAROUN FF

    September 6, 2019

    You are vert vert beautiful English teacher

    Reply
  • 파브리 치오

    September 6, 2019

    Your accent confuses me.
    But i love it.. 💗
    감사합니다.. ❤

    Reply
  • Lee Whitney

    September 7, 2019

    Thanks for sharing sissy

    Reply
  • Nazir Ullah

    September 7, 2019

    love you mim…My best teacher

    Reply
  • Saful Ali

    September 8, 2019

    Nice 👍👌 👌 thank you ❄💮💮🌀😄🍌🔥🍖🌸🌸mmmmm💜💜💜 Bangladesh 🌸 🌸

    Reply
  • Keerti Suresh

    September 8, 2019

    Nice lesson Emma teacher !

    Reply
  • Peter Kmit

    September 8, 2019

    i like you slowly speak.

    Reply
  • Sajjad Adnan

    September 9, 2019

    Thanks mis Emm your liesons very important to me

    Reply
  • Dahiru Aminu Kano

    September 9, 2019

    Aware some!

    Reply
  • M. Potter

    September 9, 2019

    Thanks 👌❤️

    Reply
  • حمزة الخلوفي

    September 9, 2019

    💙❤️👍Thank you.

    Reply
  • 雪YUKI TONO

    September 10, 2019

    That's really me.. 😊
    I often misplaced conjunctions (at) (in) (on)
    especially when talking fast in certain situations.

    Reply
  • Constantine Panin

    September 10, 2019

    I'm in a confusing.

    Reply
  • LORI Z

    September 10, 2019

    Can I say I left my jacket inside my car?

    Reply
  • MARWAN AL-HADDAD

    September 10, 2019

    I really enjoy watching your video thank you very much for sharing this video

    Reply
  • اسعد الكناني

    September 10, 2019

    شكرا جزيلا لك من العراق

    Reply
  • ويبقى الأمل

    September 10, 2019

    She is very good at /or / in explaining things.

    Reply
  • Mirudhula a

    September 11, 2019

    Y do we use…at night'

    Reply

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