Prepositions of Place

Prepositions can be used to show where something is located.

The prepositions at, on, and in

We use at to show a specific place, location or position.

For example:
Someone is at the door.
They met each other at a friend's house.
I used to live at 51 Portland Street.

preposition at
The owls are waiting at the bus stop.

We use on to show position on a horizontal or vertical surface.

For example:
The cat sat on the mat.
The picture is hanging on the wall.
The satellite dish is on the roof.

preposition on
The owl is standing on the box.

We also use on to show position on streets, roads, etc.

For example:
I used to live on Portland Street.

We use in to show that something is enclosed or surrounded.

For example:
The dog is in the garden.
She is in the taxi.
They live in a flat.

preposition in
The owl is sleeping in the box.

We also use in to show position within a general area (towns, counties, states, countries, and continents).

For example:
I used to live in Nottingham, but now I live in Germany.

More prepositions of place

Prepositions of Place


She slammed the door after her.
They ran after the thief.
I enjoy being among my friends.
I found my handbag among my luggage.
The secretary was sitting at her desk.
The man was staring at the picture.
The car park is behind the building.
He never won a race. He was always behind the others.
The prisoner sat between the two policemen.
I held the pen between my thumb and fingers.
The pen was in the drawer.
He lives in South Africa.
in front of
The teacher stands in front of the class.
The car was parked in front of the garage.
next to / beside / by
In my English lesson I always sit next to / beside / by my friend.
The bank is next to / beside/ by the hotel.
The painting was hanging on the wall.
The boy was sitting on the chair.
The sign hanging above the door read 'No smoking'.
I put the tablecoth over the table.
under / below / beneath
The temperature outside was below 0°.
They kissed under the mistletoe.
The ground shook beneath her.


We say in a car / taxi, but on a boat, train, bus etc. Why? Because.

If it helps: When you get in a car or a taxi, you climb in and sit straight down, but you have to get onto public transport and then walk to your seat / carriage etc.