Ana
How can we know when to put in, on, at? Is there a rure?
Jul 3, 2015 3:06 AM
Answers · 6
There really aren't any rules. I think you just need to learn the context that each preposition is usually used in. This may help: http://www.talkenglish.com/Grammar/prepositions-on-at-in.aspx
July 3, 2015
Use 'at' with static (non-movement) locations within an area: - at the bus-stop, somebody is at the door, at the theatre, at the end of the street, at the corner (of a building, of an intersection) BUT: he's standing in the corner (of a room), he's standing on the corner (of a sidewalk) -- don't hurt me, I didn't make those up! - at work, at home, at the dentist when something will happen at a specific time: - at 5 o'clock, at 23:15, at noon, at midnight I probably forgot something. Do yourself a favour and get a grammar book. They are still useful, even if many people scoff at them today.
July 3, 2015
Many rules (but of course they have exceptions, this is English). Use 'in' with spaces that you can physically place something into: - in a box, in the car, in a room, in a building, in bed (when you're sleeping in it) also when talking about being in large unenclosed, but defined areas: - in the garden, in a park, in the village, in Tijuana, in Mexico, in the sky, in space, in the universe and in bodies of water: - in the ocean, in a river, in a lake, in the sea also when arranged along lines: - standing in line, in a queue, marching in formation, dancing in a circle when talking about cardinal directions: - in the west, in the east, in the north, in the south regarding time, when something will happen at some mildly "fuzzy" time: - in a few weeks, in a moment, in a year, in the morning, in 5 hours BUT: at dawn, at dusk, at night Use 'on' with surfaces that you can place something onto, or attach something to: - on the table, on the desk, on the wall, on the ceiling, on the floor, on the bed (when you're sitting on it, or laying something on it) also when you're floating on top of bodies of water: - waterskiing on the lake, sailing on the ocean the surfaces can be very large: - on an island (I live on Vancouver Island), on the moon, on earth use 'on' also with things that are located in reference to something: - on the left, on the right BUT: in front, in the back -- they break the rule. I hate English. ;) regarding time, with days of the week and other specific dates: - on Monday, on Saturdays, on the weekend, on Christmas, on Independence Day, on November 23rd (continued...)
July 3, 2015
These are examples of 'phrasal verbs' - I am told that they cause great difficulty for people learning English! There are numerous websites which will give you lists and examples of usage for phrasal verbs. I am not sure there is a clear rule (not rure) surrounding each one. To put in means to place something into something else - either figuratively or literally. He put in to the collection at church; she opened the lid of the washing machine and put in the laundry. He put in his two bob's worth (a colloquialism meaning he contributed his point of view to a discussion). To put on is used when a person puts something onto themselves, such as she put on her coat; he put on his hat; the child put on her shoes. It can also be used to say he put on a sour face; he put on a silly face to make the child laugh; she put on airs and graces, thinking herself better than others; he put on an exaggerated accent. Put on can also be used in the following way. The school drama club put on an excellent play last year. The marching band always puts on a good display. We don't use the phrase 'put at'. However there are other phrasal verbs using put - put off - to defer; put up - he put up with her hysterics; they put up a lot of money to mount that exhibition. http://www.vocabulary.cl/Advanced/Phrasal_Verbs/PUT.htm
July 3, 2015
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Ana
Language Skills
English, French, Spanish
Learning Language
English, French