Place prepositions

To talk about place, we use the following prepositions.


In is used to talk about position inside large areas and in three-dimensional space.

  • He is in his room.
  • She grew up in a large town.
  • We went for a walk in the woods.
  • Put the money in the box.


Use on to talk about position on a line or a surface.

  • There is a spider on the wall.
  • Stratford is on the river Avon.
  • He put the books on the table.

On can mean ‘attached to’.

  • There are quite a few mangoes on the tree.


Use at to talk about position at a point.

  • The old man sat at the corner.

At is sometimes used with a larger place, if we think of it as a stage on a journey or a meeting place.

  • She got off when the train stopped at the next station.
  • I met her at a club.

Note that in is also possible in these cases.

Higher than a point

To indicate position higher than a point, we use the prepositions over and above. Usually they are both possible in most cases. However, in some cases there are subtle differences between the two.

  • He jumped over the wall.
  • Hang that photo above the sofa.

Lower than a point

To talk about position lower than a point, we use under, underneath, beneath and below.

  • This part of the city is below sea-level.
  • We rested in the shade beneath the branches.
  • The whole village was under water.