Understanding what prepositions are, and when to use them. 

Prepositions are about connecting, and they are used mainly to prompt or specify detail or information.


You can use ‘at’ to relate to the time, for example..

What time will you arrive?

I’ll be there at 5pm.

It works for specific, structural places too…

Where were you yesterday ?

I was at the library.

Further examples of structured places include: restuarant, university, a friend’s house.

In the library
Teaching basic English - prepositions


‘Around’is used when the information is less specific. So if you are unsure of an exact time, you could say…

I will arrive around 5pm.

He lives around that area.

Around the houses
Teaching basic English - prepositions


Used for literal speaking, when the subject is physically on something, this can apply for other landscapes that are bigger and/or less specific.

I was on a mountain.

The whiteboard  is fixed on the wall

‘On’ can also be used with the date…

I got married on the 25th June, 1980

I was born on a Friday

And before mentioning a holiday…

We usually have dinner with the family on Christmas Day.

A man on a mountain
Teaching basic English - prepositions


‘In’, similar to ‘on’,is used mainly in a literal sense, so…

She’s in the kitchen

I’m inside the academy

There is coffee in the cup

Whether you are talking about country, city, county or region, ‘in’ is always the preposition to use…

I was born in the United Kingdom

I’m on vacation in Canada

Coffee in a cup
Teaching basic English - prepositions

Now, for further practice, try to guess the correct answers below…

I was born in/at/on London.

I will arrive in/at/on 8.30am.

I will be in/at/on England in/at/on March 4th

In/at/on summer, in/at/on July, I often visit foreign countries.

Come in were open sign
Teaching basic English - prepositions

Answers: in, at, in, on, in, in.

Leave a Reply