“The Art of Conversation” Rene Magritte, 1950
Prepositions are short words that show the relationship between things. Prepositions of place in English are not difficult, but take some practice to use correctly. Here are some rules to make these place prepostions easier to use accurately:
Use “at” for an exact address. For example, “Bob lives at 342 Mission Street.”
A corner is also an exact place, so say “I’ll meet you at the corner of Fifth and Market.” Use “at” for a place such as a restaurant, hospital, or a store. You’re calling your friend who asks you where you are, and you say, “I’m at school, right now. I’ll call you later.”
Use “in” for cities, states, countries. “I used to live in Nicaragua. I live in the United States now.” “Oh, where?” “I live in San Francisco.” “My friend Jose lives in California, also.” Also, “in” is appropriate for objects inside a box or a drawer.
“This is a beautifully wrapped present. What’s in it, I wonder?”
Use “on” when you talk about a street without using a specific address. “Our campus is on Valencia Street.” Use “on” for the location of an object that is on top of another object. “What’s that on your head?” “It’s my new hat. Don’t you like it?” “It looks like a bird.” “Where are the car keys?” “They’re on the table.”
Use “on” for a floor of a building. “The Language Lab is on the Third Floor.”
Use “between” when a place has a place on either side of it. “The bank is between the restaurant and the school.”
Use “across from” for locating a place on the other side of the street. “The gas station is across from the hotel.”
Use “to” to show the direction of an action. “He’s moving to Los Angeles at the end of the month.”
Use “from” to show a relationship to origin. “Mario is from Mexico.”
Choose the correct preposition in the following sentences. Check your answers.
1. Tom lives chooseinonattoanswerin Sacramento, California.
2. He didn’t give me his exact address, but I believe he lives chooseinonattoansweron B Street.
3. You can probably find him chooseinonattoanswerat the coffee shop chooseinonattoansweron C Street.
4. The tallest building chooseinonattoanswerin the world isn’t chooseinonattoanswerin New York City.
5. Our business office is chooseinonattoansweron the fourth floor. Our school is located chooseinonattoanswerat 1125 Valencia Street.
6. Maria is going chooseinonattoanswerto school chooseinonattoanswerat Ocean Campus of City College.
7. If you don’t drive faster, we’ll arrive chooseinonattoanswerat the airport late.
8. There’s a bank choosebetweenonacross from next toanswerbetween the restaurant and the laundromat.
9. Alejandro was born choosebetweenonacross from inanswerin Texas, but he moved choosetoonacross from inanswerto California last year.
10. Fred’s sister said he wasn’t choosetoonat inanswerat home, so he must be choosetoonatinfromanswerat school.
11. Aren’t these apples good? They’re choose
from Anderson Valley. You can buy some chooseatoninofanswerat the farmer’s market choosetoonatinfromansweron 24th Street.
12. Did Ed park his car choose
in front of his house or choose
on the driveway?
13. How far is Los Angeles choose
from San Francisco? I want to drive choose
to L.A. next weekend.
14. There’s a good restaurant choose near
across from the subway station.
15. The Smiths live choose
on West Chestnut Street choose next to
next to the shoe store.
16. They live choose
in Spain. They plan to travel choose
to Mexico next year.
17. My plane stopped choose
atonfrom next toanswer
at Paris and London and arrived choose
in New York five hours late.
18. I live choose
on the 7th floor choose
atonfrom next toanswer
at 21 Oxford Street choose
in Berkeley, California.
19. There is a “no smoking” sign choose
on the wall. It means you’re not allowed to smoke choose
in this building.
20. I waited for you choose
at the restaurant for a long time. When you didn’t show up, I went choose
to the bookstore.
21. The world’s tallest building is choose
Dubai, United Arab Emerates. It’s name is Burj Khalifa. I have an office
chooseatonfrom inanswerin that building choose
on the 50th Floor.
(Come back to this exercise later. I’ll be adding more questions)