Prepositions before particular words and expressions

This is a list of a few common expressions which often cause problems. For information about other common preposition + noun combinations, see a good dictionary.

At the cinema; at the club; at a party; at the theatre; at university.

We were classmates at university.
I first met him at a party.
What’s on at the theatre this week?

A book by Hemingway (= a book written by Hemingway)
A film by Spielberg (= a film directed by Spielberg)
A concerto by Beethoven
A painting by Picasso

Have you read anything by Dickens?

Means of Transport

By car / by bike / by bus / by train / by boat / by plane / by land / by sea / by air
On foot / on a bus
In a car etc.

We came by train.

In the end = finally, after a long time

In the end, he got a good job.

At the end = at a point where something stops

The novel is a bit weak at the end.

In pen / in pencil / in ink etc.

Fill in the form in ink.

In a suit / in a raincoat / in a shirt / in a skirt / in a hat etc.
On the radio / on TV / on the phone

There is a good program on TV tonight.
John is on the phone.

On time = neither late nor early

It is essential that the meeting starts on time. (NOT … in time.)

In time = before the last moment