Prepositions of Place

Introduction to Prepositions of Place

A preposition of place is a preposition used to indicate location. They often tell us where something is or happens. Some common prepositions of place include ‘at’, ‘on’, ‘in’, ‘under’, ‘above’, ‘near’, etc. This tutorial will unwrap the nuances associated with prepositions of place and how correctly using them can greatly improve your sentence construction skill.

Understanding the Basic Usage

Using 'in'

The preposition 'in' is generally used to denote something inside an area. This area can be a line (political boundary), three-dimensional space (a room or a box), or it can be a period in time. Here are some examples:

  • I live in Canada. (line)
  • We are sitting in a room. (three-dimensional space)
  • I finished the assignment in two hours. (period)

Using 'at'

The preposition 'at' is usually used to point towards a specific place or a specific time. Here are few examples:

  • We were at the concert. (specific place)
  • I was born at 9 o'clock in the morning. (specific time)

Using 'on'

The preposition 'on' is employed to denote a surface, a line (equator, border), or a particular day or date. Let's see some examples:

  • The book is on the table. (surface)
  • The town is on the border. (line)
  • I have a meeting on Friday. (day)
  • My birthday is on September 30th. (date)

Other Prepositions of Place

Using 'above' and 'over'

'Above' and 'over' both usually suggest 'higher than'. However, there's a subtle difference:

  • 'Above' implies that one thing is not directly over another. Example: The airplane is flying above the clouds.
  • 'Over' is used when something is directly above another thing. Example: Hang that picture over the couch.

Using 'below' and 'under'

Both 'below' and 'under' are used as the opposite of 'above' and 'over' to suggest 'lower than'. However:

  • 'Below' is used when one thing is not directly under another. Example: The temperature is ten degrees below zero.
  • 'Under' is used when something is directly beneath or covered by another thing. Example: The cat is sleeping under the table.

Using 'near', 'next to', 'between', and 'among'

These prepositions are often used to denote relative place:

  • 'Near' indicates not far away in distance. Example: The bank is near the post office.
  • 'Next to' suggests directly adjacent. Example: The pharmacy is next to the supermarket.
  • 'Between' is used to show position for more than two things when they are in a line. Example: My house is between the library and the school.
  • 'Among' is used when something is included or surrounded by a group of things. Example: The thief was hiding among the crowd.

Using Prepositions of Place in Sentences

While the rules mentioned above will give you a basic understanding of how to use prepositions of place, practice is the key to mastery. Don't be afraid to use them while writing or speaking. Remember, errors are the stepping stones to learning. Keep practicing and soon you'll find that you are using prepositions of place with ease and accuracy.

Mistakes to Avoid

Though prepositions are small and seemingly insignificant words, incorrect usage can change the meaning of the sentence entirely. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Confusing 'on', 'at', and 'in'. Remember the rules and practice using sentences.
  • Remember that 'under' and 'below' can't always be used interchangeably. The same is true for 'over' and 'above'.
  • Don't forget that 'between' is used for more than two things in a line, and 'among' is used when something is included or surrounded by a group or variety of things.

Prepositions of place are a fundamental part of English language. Correct usage of prepositions can greatly enhance your language skills. Don't forget to practice as that's the best way to learn and remember the rules.

Leave a Reply