In, On, At

One of the most challenging parts of the English language to learn are the prepositions. Native speakers tend not to think about these or analyze them a lot.  Yet for people learning English, especially in the beginning stages, they can be confusing.

In: we use for specific locations.  Example: I am in my kitchen.

On: Objects, and people, “on” something: My keys are on the table. (Your keys can’t be in the table, but they can be in the drawer.)

At: general location: I am at the hospital.  Great, but where exactly?

My most common example I use with beginning learners:

I am at the hospital in the emergency room on the first floor.


2 thoughts on “In, On, At

  1. I remember first hearing, maybe it was 30+ years ago, the phrase, “where are you at?” Not sure where that came from. Things I see on Facebook now are writings by people who don’t know the difference between there, their, your, you’re, to, too, two. They might have been asleep in grade school for those lessons. The one funny thing I remember about a spelling test in those elementary school days was the word does. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember how to spell it, and then I got it wrong when I spelled it duz (which was the brand name of a soap powder at the time). I never got that wrong again. Lesson learned.

    Liked by 1 person

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