Prepositions link nouns, pronouns, or noun phrases to some other part of the sentence.
Prepositions can be tricky for English learners because there is no definite formula to choose a preposition. Reading and listening in English are very useful ways to recognize when to use a preposition, and you can always follow our tips here below:
How to use ‘On’
To specify days and dates:
- The garbage truck comes on Mondays.
- I was born on the 25th day of July in 1956.
To indicate a part of the body:
- The stick hit me on my knee.
- He kissed me on my lips.
- I wear a ring on my finger.
To talk about the surface of something:
- I put an egg on the kitchen table.
- The paper is on my desk.
To indicate a device or machine, such as a phone or computer:
- He is on the phone right now.
- She has been on the computer since this morning.
- My favorite movie will be on TV tonight.
To indicate the state of something:
- Everything in this store is on sale.
- The building is on fire.
How to use ‘At’:
To point out a specific time:
- I will meet you at 12 p.m.
- The bus will stop here at 5:45 p.m.
To indicate a place:
- There is a party at the club house.
- There were hundreds of people at the park.
- We saw a baseball game at the stadium.
To indicate an email address:
- Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To indicate an activity:
- He laughed at my acting.
- I am good at drawing a portrait.
How to use preposition ‘In’:
For unspecific times during a day, month, season, year:
- She always reads newspapers in the morning.
- In the summer, we have a rainy season for three weeks.
- The new semester will start in March.
To indicate a location or place:
- She looked me directly in the eyes.
- I am currently staying in a hotel.
- My hometown is Los Angeles, which is in California.
To indicate a shape, color, or size:
- This painting is mostly in blue.
- The students stood in a circle.
- This jacket comes in four different sizes.
To express while doing something:
- In preparing for the final report, we revised the tone three times.
- A catch phrase needs to be impressive in marketing a product.
To indicate a belief, opinion, interest, or feeling:
- I believe in the next life.
- We are not interested in gambling.
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