Prepositions of Places and Direction Usage

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Prepositions of place show the relationship of place between the nouns to the other parts of a sentence.

Common prepositions of places & direction: On, at, in, by, from, to, towards, up, down, across, between, among, through, in front of, behind, above, over, under, below, etc. are the most common.

IN, AT

IN:

In indicates something to be present in a place or enclosure. It does not say particularly where but gives an enclosure to the noun it connects with.

Example:

  • Your shirt is in the closet. (Does not indicate an exact place)
  • He lives in Australia.
  • Alex works in that building.

AT:

At indicates an exact place.

Example:

  • He is at the door.
  • I am standing at 13/4 George Street.
  • He is at home.

 

ON, ABOVE, OVER 

ON:

On indicates a position above but touching the object.

Example:

  • The phone is on the table. (Phone is touching with the table)
  • He is on the third floor.
  • Sit on the sofa.

ABOVE:

Above indicates a much higher position than the preposition on does. It also indicates something out of reach.

Example:

  • The sky is above my head.
  • Hold your hands above your head.
  • Stars are above the sky.

OVER

Over means a position between on and above which is not touching.

Example:

  • There are clouds over the hills.
  • A bird flew over my head.
  • My flat is over that shop.

 

UNDER, BELOW

UNDER:

Under is the opposite of on and means ‘below the surface of’ something.

Example:

  • The cat is under the table.
  • The carpet under my feet is very soft.
  • That book is under my glasses.

BELLOW:

Below indicates something at a slightly lower position than what under indicates.

Example:

  • I have a scar just below my right eye.
  • Do you see the line below the paper?
  • Please, don’t write below this line.

 

TO, FROM

TO:

To indicates a motion in the direction of a place.

Example:

  • He went to college.
  • We are going to Mexico.
  • We walked from the farm to the beach.

FROM

From indicates the point of place at which a motion, journey, or action starts.

Example:

  • He came from England.
  • We walked from the beach to the farm.
  • He drove here from Atlanta.

 

INTO, OUT OF

INTO:

Into indicates a motion towards/going inside something. It has many uses.

Example:

  • He came into the house.
  • The police broke into the bar.
  • My car crashed into a street sign.

OUT OF:

Out of means the opposite of into. It indicates a motion towards outside of something.

Example:

  • He is going out of the town.
  • Get out of my house.
  • Please, remain out of this. (Not indicating a place but an issue)

 

THROUGH,  ACROSS, BESIDE,  IN FRONT OF,  BEHIND, TOWARDS,  BY

THROUGH:

Through indicates a motion in the middle of something.

Example:

  • We drove through the tunnel.
  • They came through a forest.
  • He came through a wedding gate.

ACROSS:

Across means going to the other side of a river or road or something straight.

Example:

  • He went across the river.
  • I walked across the road.
  • My house is across the bank. (There is a road between the house and the bank)

BESIDE:

Beside means at the side of/ next to something.

Example:

  • The car beside the cycle is mine.
  • He is standing beside the shop.
  • I will always be beside you.

IN FRONT OF

In front of means a position facing someone/something.

Example:

  • He parked his car in front of my house.
  • I have a pool in front of my resthouse.
  • He was nervous in front of me.

BEHIND:

Behind means at the far side of something (might be out of sight). It is opposite of in front of.

Example:

  • He parked his car behind my car.
  • I have a pool behind my house.
  • Go behind that tree.

TOWARDS:

Towards means a motion in the direction of something literary or metaphorically.

Example:

  • Take five steps towards the post and stand there.
  • They moved towards the Labour Party.
  • I walked towards the car when you were standing.

BY

By means ‘near to or next to’ something or someone.

Example:

  • He has a house by the river.
  • I was standing by the car.
  • My flat is by the saloon.

 

UP, DOWN

UP:

Up means a motion towards a higher place or position.

Example:

  • We were climbing up the mountain.
  • Lift your hands up.
  • John is going up to London. (From a lower place of the country)
  • Climb up the stairs.

DOWN:

Down indicates the opposite meaning of up. It means a motion towards a lower place or position.

Example:

  • He was walking down the river.
  • I am climbing down the hill.
  • Go down the stairs.

 

BETWEEN, AMONG

BETWEEN:

Between indicates something/someone to be in the middle of two other things or persons.

Example:

  • Alex is sitting between Robin and Robert.
  • The cat is between the two boxes.
  • This matter is between you and him.

Among:

Among indicates something/someone to be in the middle of three or more other things or persons.

Example:

  • Alex is sitting among the patients.
  • He is the best among them.
  • Among all the people, John had the courage to speak up.

Read More: Prepositions of Time Usage

Read More: Use of Prepositions : Of, About, For, With, By

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