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:
To talk about place, we often use the prepositions ‘in‘, ‘on‘, and ‘at‘.
We use the preposition at to talk about the exact point where something happens:
– an exact position or particular place
– 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.
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.
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:
– 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: