Prepositions of Position — in, at, on


Using “in” as a Preposition of Position

Look at the following examples of IN.

Prepositional Phrase Example
in a line
in a row
The flowers are planted in a line.
The seats are in a row.
in a field
in a park
in a garden
in a room
in a city
Look at that horse in the field.
Let's play ball in the park.
We have beautiful roses planted in a garden.
We keep our boxes stored in a room.
They live in San Diego.
in the lake
in the water
in the ocean
Greg went swimming in Elk Lake.
The dog dropped the ball in the water.
We had a wonderful time swimming in the Pacific Ocean.
in an armchair
Note the difference: on a chair
I like to sit in that red armchair.
It is more comfortable than sitting on the brown chair.
in a mirror
in a photo
in the sky
The actor is looking at himself in the mirror.
I can't see you in the photo. Are you in it?
Did you see that falling star in the sky?
Use in or at for a corner that is outside (on the street): at / on a corner.
Use in for a corner that is inside a room: in a corner

I will meet you on the corner by the bank.
Let's meet at/on the corner of Main Street and Hastings Street.
The desk is in the corner of the living room.
in (the) front of
in the front
in the back Note: We say: on the back of the envelope
on the back of the newspaper
on the front of the newspaper
in the middle of the newspaper
The park is in front of the lake.
I was sitting in the front of the class.
The children are in the back of the car. Write your address on the back of the envelope.
We read the story on the back of the newspaper.
The most popular story was on the front page of the newspaper.
We found the advertisement in the middle of the newspaper.

Using “at” as a Preposition of Position

Look at these examples of AT.

Prepositional Phrase Example

at the desk
at the window
at the door
at the train station
at the bus stop

Cathy is sitting at her desk and doing her work.
The cat sat at the window for most of the day.
Someone is at the door. Please answer it!
We met at the London train station.
The children waited at the bus stop.

Using “on” as a Preposition of Position

Look at these examples of ON.

Prepositional Phrase Example

on the chair
on the grass
on the floor
on the notice board
on the door
on the middle shelf
on your nose

The little boy sat on the big chair.
The dog is sleeping on the grass.
He dropped his pencil on the floor.
The soccer club put a poster on the notice board.
I put a notice on the door.
Please put the cup on the middle shelf.
There is a spot on your nose.

on the left (side)
on the right (side)
on the second floor

The flower shop is on the left side.
The coffee shop in on the right side.
Get out of the elevator on the second floor and look for it on the left.

on the way
on a lake
on a river
on a small island
on the coast

I often buy a coffee on my way to work.
We saw a beautiful boat on the lake.
They built a huge dam on the Colorado River.
Haley lives on Salt Spring Island on the Pacific Coast.
She loves living on the coast.

When you are sure that you understand the lesson, you can continue with the exercises.