Using prepositions properly is a cumbersome task especially for the ESL ( English As Second Language) learners. The Most common prepositions that we use in our daily lives are – In, At and On. These three prepositions can be called the master of all the “prepositions” So, here in this post, I will give some idea as to where and when to use these three prepositions properly.
Please note, there is no any hard and fast rule behind using prepositions. So, listening to english conversations and engaging in such conversations is the best means to increase the accuracy of using prepositions.
#1 AT – Preposition
The preposition “at” is normally used in the following cases.
- We use “at” before the names of small towns/places. For example, I live at Rowta (Because rowta is a small town). But if we write or say, I live in Rowta, it would be wrong.! We add “in” before the name of big places or cities.
- The “AT” preposition is also used before Specific time. For example, I wake up at 3.50 AM. But, if we write I wake up in 3.50 AM, it would be wrong.
- “At” preposition is also used before “Home”, “hotel” etc.
#2 IN – Preposition
- The “In” preposition is used mostly to mean “inside” of something. Example: There is a cat in the kitchen — it literally means that there is a cat “inside” the kitchen.
- This Preposition is also used before the name of “Big Places and Towns”. Such as – I live in New York ( Not, I live at new york)
- “In” is used before “Time Periods”. Such as, I read in the morning (Not, I read at morning).
- With years/months, we use “IN” Example: I went home in 2017. In 2020, we will visit Goa. In January, we enjoyed seafood.
#3 On – Proposition
- When something is above something else touching its surface, we use “on” to mean it. Example: The cat is sitting on the table.
- Before the names of the days of the week, we add “on” preposition. Such as, I came here on Sunday (Not, I came here in sunday)
- Others: in many other cases, we use “on” preposition but no explanation can be given as to why we use it in such cases. Example: I told you on this occasion. (Why don’t we use “IN” here? ). The general use of the “on” preposition is included in this category.
How to increase the accuracy of using prepositions?
Here are some things you can do to increase the accuracy of using these three prepositions:
- Listen to English Conversation From Authentic Sources. Engage yourself in English conversations. This will make you more familiar with the common usage of these prepositions.
- Read, Read and Read. Read Newspaper, books, magazine, online articles and so on and this will easily increase the accuracy of using these three prepositions.