Mastering Prepositions: Time and Place in English

Prepositions of Time and Place in English (with Examples)

A preposition is a word used before a noun or pronoun to indicate place, position, time, or method. Let's explore prepositions of time and place and their usages:

Prepositions of Time

Prepositions of time refer to different time expressions.

In

  • Usages: Centuries, Seasons, Years, Months, Parts of the day
  • The event happened in the 20th century.
  • She was the only writer born in the 19th century.
  • I'm going to France in the winter.
  • He likes going to the beach in the summer.
  • He was born in 1990.
  • This house was built in 2000.
  • We'll take the test in June.
  • They are getting married in December.
  • He usually has a snack in the afternoon.
  • I get up at 6 am in the morning.

On

  • Usages: Days, Dates, Particular days
  • My mom always goes shopping on Mondays.
  • He doesn't go to school on Sundays.
  • Her birthday is on the first of May.
  • He's leaving on the fifth of October.
  • I wish to get a doll on my birthday.
  • Jim gave his girlfriend a rose on Valentine's Day.

At

  • Usages: Clock time, Short and precise times
  • My grandpa goes to bed at 9 pm.
  • My wife starts working at 8 am.
  • Don't stay up late at night.
  • See you at lunchtime.

Prepositions of Place

Prepositions of place refer to different positions and directions.

In

  • Usages: Room, town, country, car, taxi, picture, book, the world
  • The baby has gone. She isn't in the room.
  • He's working in New York now.
  • Nina is American. She was born in America.
  • There's a doll in the car.
  • I'm in the taxi now. I'll get there in 5 minutes.
  • Who's this sexy lady in the picture?
  • What can you see in the picture?
  • I saw this writer in the book Harry Potter.
  • There are lots of lively illustrations in the book.
  • Which is the longest river in the world?
  • Have a look at the three best countries in the world. What do you think?

On

  • Usages: Streets, islands, surfaces (table, floor, wall), a certain side (left, right), public transports, TV, radio
  • My house is on Jackson Street.
  • The kids are playing on the street.
  • He lives on this island.
  • There are not many people living on that island.
  • My teacher put the books on the table.
  • Please put your shoes on the floor.
  • The picture on the wall is fantastic.
  • Max is the tall boy standing on the right.
  • The human heart is on the left side.
  • We're on the bus.
  • Please switch your phone into airplane mode if you're on a plane.
  • I saw her yesterday on TV.
  • There have been lots of advertisements on the radio these days.

At

  • Usages: For events, meaning "next to," somewhere typical
  • My grandpa goes to bed at 9 pm.
  • My wife starts working at 8 am.
  • Don't stay up late at night.
  • See you at lunchtime.
  • I am at school, while my parents are at work.
  • Jim is watching a movie at the cinema.

Behind

  • Usages: At/toward the back of something/someone
  • There is a big box behind the car.
  • Can you see the street behind the building?

In front of

  • Usages: The opposite of behind
  • The rabbit is in front of the tree.
  • The girl is standing in front of the mirror.

Under

  • Usages: Below the surface of something/covered by something
  • The ball is under the tree.
  • There are some flowers under the chair.

Above

  • Usages: To a higher level than something/someone (opposite with below)
  • The plane is flying above the tree.
  • Please turn on the projector above your head.

Across

  • Usages: From one side to the other side of something
  • The duck is swimming across the lake.
  • The boy helped his grandma walk across the crowded street.

Into

  • Usages: To a position in/inside something
  • Throw the trash into the dustbin, please.
  • I can't go into the water since it's too cold.
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