Prepositions of Place

Prepositions of place are used before a noun or a pronoun. They say where someone or something is:

  • There is a pen in the box.
  • Let’s meet at the beach.
  • A beautiful picture is hanging on the wall.

Common prepositions of place

There are many prepositions of place with different meanings:

prepositions of place

To talk about place, we often use the prepositions ‘in‘, ‘on‘, and ‘at‘.

Preposition ‘AT’

We use the preposition at to talk about the exact point where something happens:

– an exact position or particular place
– events
– place where you are to do something typical (watch a film, study, work)

  • The train arrives at the station at 6 o’clock.
  • Yesterday I met Jane at the supermarket.
  • Look, someone’s standing at our door.
  • We met yesterday at the concert.

Preposition ‘IN’

We use the preposition in to talk about something that is inside something bigger:

  • Mary lives with her parents in Canada.
  • I’ve been sitting in the library for 2 hours.
  • There are many shops in the city center.
  • This is the best team in the world.

Preposition ‘AT’

We use the preposition at to talk about something on a surface, in line with something (like a river or road), or attached to something else:

– attached
– next to or along the side of (river)
– used to show that something is in a position above something else and touching it
– left, right
– a floor in a house
– used to show some methods of traveling
– television, radio

  • There are 8 plates on the table.
  • The cars are on the road.
  • He is wearing a hat on his head.
  • This is my favorite program on TV.

Other prepositions of place

To describe the exact location of something compared to something else, we use precise prepositions of place. Here is a list of the most common prepositions of place with examples.

ABOVE / OVER / ON TOP OF→ higher than something else, but not directly over it.

  • The clouds are above our heads.
  • He held the umbrella over both of us.
  • Your suitcase is on top of the wardrobe.

BELOW→ lower than something else.

  • You have a spot just below your mouth.

BY, NEXT TO, BESIDE, NEAR → close in distance.

  • There’s a bank next to the train station.
  • There is a beautiful forest near our village.

BETWEEN → in or into the space which separates two places, people or objects.

  • The town lies halfway between Rome and Florence.

BEHIND → at the back (of).

  • Tom is hiding behind that tree.

IN FRONT OF→ further forward than someone or something else.

  • I can see the supermarket in front of me.

INSIDE → within a container, place or area.

  • The pencils are inside the box.

OPPOSITE → in a position on the other side of a specific area from; facing.

  • There is a small bakery opposite our house.

UNDER → lower than (or covered by) something else.

  • The puppy is sitting under the table.

Here’s a good video from 7ESL showing the meanings of prepositions of place in pictures:

Read more about prepositions:

Prepositions: Overview

Prepositions of Time

Prepositions of Movement

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