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Prepositions of Location IN-ON-AT_01Prepositions of Place: at, on, and in

We use at for specific addresses.

  • My English class is at 404 Avenida Branco in Florianópolis.


We use on to designate names of streets, avenues, etc.

  • She lives on Avenida Beira Mar.


We use in for the names of land-areas (towns, counties, states, countries, and continents).

  • She lives in Miami.
  • Miami is in Dade County.
  • Dade County is in Florida.
  • Florida is in North America.


Prepositions of Time: at, on, and in

We use at to designate specific times.

  • The train is due at 12:15 p.m.
  • He always has lunch at noon.


We use on to designate days and dates.

  • My brother is coming on Monday.
  • We’re having a party on the Fourth of July.


We use in for nonspecific times during a day, a month, a season, or a year.

  • She likes to jog in the morning.
  • It’s too cold in winter to run outside.
  • He started the job in 1971.
  • He’s going to quit in August.

Prepositions of Movement: to and No Preposition

We use to in order to express movement toward a place.

  • They were driving to work together.
  • She’s going to the dentist’s office this morning.


Toward and towards are also helpful prepositions to express movement. These are simply variant spellings of the same word; use whichever sounds better to you.

  • We’re moving toward the light.
  • This is a big step towards the project’s completion.


With the words home, downtown, uptown, inside, outside, downstairs, upstairs, we use no preposition.

  • Grandma went upstairs.
  • Grandpa went home.
  • They both went outside.

Prepositions of Time: for and since

We use for when we measure time (seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years).

  • He held his breath for seven minutes.
  • She’s lived there for seven years.
  • The British and Irish have been fighting for seven centuries.


We use since with a specific date or time.

  • He’s worked here since 1970.
  • She’s been sitting in the waiting room since two-thirty.

Prepositions: for (not related to time)

We use for to express doing something on someone’s behalf.

  • I hurt my hand and cannot carry my books. Can you carry them for me?
  • She has to work so I am buying tickets for

Prepositions with Nouns, Adjectives, and Verbs.

Prepositions are sometimes so commonly linked to other words that they are used as one word. This occurs in three categories: nouns, adjectives, and verbs.


    approval of, awareness of, belief in, concern for, confusion about, desire for, fondness for, grasp of, hatred of, hope for, interest in, love of, need for, participation in, reason for, respect for, success in, understanding of.
    afraid of, angry at, aware of, capable of, careless about, familiar with, fond of
    happy about, interested in, jealous of, made of, married to, proud of, similar to, sorry for, sure of, tired of, worried about.
    apologize for, ask about, ask for, belong to, bring up, care for, find out, give up, grow up, interested in, look for, look forward to, look up, make up, pay for, prepare for, study for, talk about, think about, trust in, work for, worry about.

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