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:

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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