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Where is...?

Prepositions are such lovely little words. So small yet so significant. So forgotten yet so important if you want to speak properly. So insidious yet so magnificent. Okay I'm done. But seriously, prepositions are so important and SO confusing. Today we're reviewing prepositions of place. For the basics I've just put a lovely picture that you can even download and save if you like, but keep reading for some more tips on using prepositions at an advanced level.

 

Advanced preposition use


When we talk about where we are, sometimes just by changing the preposition, the entire meaning of the sentence changes. Here are some examples for you so that next time someone asks, "where are you?", you can answer like a native!


Prepositional phrase

Example

ON holiday - used when you will be absent from work for a period of time

She always goes ON holiday in September, after everyone else returns from their holiday.

AT school, home, work, church - used to answer the general question of "where are you?" (note, no article!)

I stayed AT home all weekend because it was raining.

IN the house, the office, the hospital - used when talking about something's specific location.

Oh no!!! I left my keys IN the house! Now I can't open my door!

IN the mountains - when you use the plural noun, the correct preposition is in

VS.

ON TOP OF the mountain

I live IN the mountains.


LOOK! the mountain goat is jumping around ON TOP OF the mountain.

AT the beach - general mention, can refer to the beach itself or the entire area/city around the beach

VS.

ON the beach - literally on the sand

She's on holiday AT the beach, her parents have a house there.


I laid ON the beach all day, now I'm sunburned.

ABOVE and BELOW - used to say that something is "on" or "under" but without touching the surface

The birds are flying ABOVE the mountains.


The river flows through the valley, BELOW the mountains.


 


 

Glossary

  • insidious: something unpleasant or dangerous

  • sunburned: red from too much sun

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