Archivo de la categoría: Prepositions

Preposition Focus


What common errors do Spanish speakers make when using verbs with prepositions?
eg. Explain TO
Listen TO

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Prepositions of place

prepositions of place






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Prepositions of time exercises

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Prepositions of time


We use at with times: We use on with dates and days:
at 5 o’clock – at 11.45 – at midnight – at lunchtime on 12 March – on Friday(s) – on Friday morning(s)
Tom usually gets up at 7 o’clock. on Sunday afternoon(s) – on Saturday night(s)
  on Christmas Day (but at Christmas) 
We use at in these expressions:  
at night – at Christmas – at the moment / at present – at the same time – at weekends – at the age of…  
We use in for longer periods of time: We use during + noun to say when something happens:
in April – in 1986 – in winter – in the 19th century – in the 1970s – in the morning(s) / in the afternoon(s) / in the evening(s) during the film – during our holiday – during the night
In + period of time = a time in the future: I fell asleep during the film.
Jack will be back in a week. We met a lot of interesting people during our holiday.
The train will leave in a few minutes.  
In + how long it takes to do something:  
I learned to drive in four weeks.  
We use for + a period of time: We use since + a period of time:
for six years – for two hours – for a week since April – since 1992 – since 8 o’ clock
I’ve lived in this house for six years. They have been watching TV for two hours. It has been raining since one o’ clock. They’ve known each other since they were at school.
We use until/till to say how long a situation continues: We use from – to + beginning and end of a period:
Let’s wait until it stops raining. I stayed in bed until half past nine. Last evening we watched TV from 5 to 8 o’ clock.

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A preposition links nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words in a sentence. The word or phrase that the preposition introduces is called the object of the preposition.

Prepositions work with other words in prepositional phrases. A prepositional phrase usually indicates where (by showing direction or location), how (in what way or by what means), or when (at what time or how long) the action in the sentence took place.

Prepositions are hard for most students. Why? Because there are hardly any rules as to when to use which preposition. The only way to learn prepositions is looking them up in a dictionary, reading a lot in English and memorizing useful phrases.

Ready? Let’s start!

Prepositions That Express Time And Place

The following are a few examples of using in, at, and on to show time and place:


• In a month or a year
Example:  ”I moved here in 2007 in September”

• In a specific period of time
Example: “She will be in Rome in a few days (seconds, months, etc.)”

• In a specific period of the day
Example: We are going to the park in the afternoon (morning, evening exception: at night)”

• On a specific day
Example: “The party is on Saturday, on your birthday”

• At a specific time or specific period of time
Example: “We will eat at 3:00 at noon (at night at dawn at lunch)”


• In a location surrounded by something else
Example: ” I live in the state of Nevada (in the livingroom in my apartment in the closet in the tub in downtown New York)”

• At a specified location
Example: “Let’s meet at my house (at the store at the corner of Main St.)”

• On a surface
Example: “The poem is on page 32 (on Broadway on street level on the third floor)”
Exceptions: in the attic or in the basement.

Using Prepositions in Common Expressions

There are many expressions in English which include prepositions. This is a list of a few you may often use when writing:

ability in – different from – involved with [someone]

access to – faith in – knowledge of

accustomed to – familiar with – made of

afraid of – famous for – married to

angry with or at – frightened by – opposed to

authority on – happy with – patient with

aware of – in charge of – proud of

based on – independent of – reason for

capable of – in favor of – related to

certain of – influence on or over – suspicious of

confidence in – interested in – time for

dependent on – involved in [something] – tired of

Prepositions in Verb Phrases

Verb phrases are two-word or three-word verbs that combine with prepositions to deliver their meaning. In some verb phrases the verb and the preposition should not be separated by other words: Look at the sky (not Look the sky at). However, there are verb phrases where the verb and preposition can be separated: I threw away the trash is as correct as I threw the trash away. The following is a list of common verb phrases. The ones that cannot be separated are marked with an asterisk(*).

Common Verb Phrases

ask out – get along with* – look into

break down – get back – look out for

bring about – get off* – look over

call back – get over* – make up

drop off – hand in – run across*

figure out – keep up with* – speak to*

fill out – leave out – speak with*

fill up – look after* – throw away

find out – look around – throw out

Many of these verb phrases are informal and are used more in speaking than in writing.

To practice the pronunciation of the most popular prepositions, just watch the video below.

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