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Grammatik auf Englisch - Genaue Ortsangaben: Präpositionen

Schlagwörter: Grammatik auf Englisch, Englisch Grammatik, Englische Grammatik, Englisch Grammar, Gramatik auf Englisch, Englisch Gramatik, Englische Gramatik, Englisch Grammar, In Englisch, At Englisch, On Englisch, Präposiiotn Englisch, Englische Präpositionen, Ortsangaben, prepositions of place

It’s amazing how the three simple prepositions at, on, and in can cause so much confusion for English learners. The problem is exacerbated for native German speakers because it’s so easy to confuse the similar sounding English on and
German an. The confusion is not without ground: the usage seems arbitrary rather than governed by understandable rules. This is actually not the case, and there is a way to gain more confidence with your use of these prepositions of place.

How to use at
Use at for addresses
Microsoft has an office located at 80 Victoria Street in London.
I live at Berlinerstrasse 93, Munich, Germany.
Use at for shops and public places
I’ll meet you at the entrance to the park at 9.
We met at the supermarket.
Susan is at university.
Mark will pick you up at the airport.
At is also used for events
I’ll see you at the partner conference next week.
Jessica got pissed at Jason’s party.
At is especially used with specific places or locations
Let’s meet at the reception desk before we go to lunch.
Martha is still at home recovering from a bad flu.
Turn right at the third light.
You’ll find a complete listing of data sources at the end of the report.

How to use on
Use on to describe position with respect to a surface
I laid my letter of resignation on my boss’s desk.
There’s no data on the USB stick you gave me.
Martin was shocked to be accused of harassment in the workplace after having placed his hand on his secretary’s shoulder.
If you put wallpaper on outside walls, you might create a good environment for mould to grow.
Please write your name on the small card in front of you. This will serve as your name badge.

Use on to describe location with respect to streets or land formations
The shop is on 42nd Street.
There’s a Chinese restaurant on every corner.
Sharon doesn’t feel safe driving on the freeway.
We have an office on the east coast.
Cleveland is located on the southern shore of Lake Erie.
London is on the Thames.

How to use in
Use in when referring to towns, cities, and large areas with unclear boundaries
We took our last holiday in the Outback.
Every time I try to find my way to the ladies’ room on the third floor, I get lost in Accounting.
Most of our employees live in the immediate vicinity.
My mother-in-law lives in Sheffield.

Use in when referring to locations that represent geographic positions
I used to live in Italy.
I grew up in the suburbs.
My wife grew up in a small town in the Andes.

Use in when referring to a space that surrounds people or objects on all sides.

I spend every Sunday morning in the church.
The seminar will be held in the Rose ban quet room at the hotel.
I forgot my smartphone in my office. I think I left it in my desk drawer.

Use in to describe what substances contain
There is gluten in this bread.
There are antibiotics in the animal food.
There is too much oil in this pasta sauce.

It’s a matter of dimension

Sometimes it’s difficult to choose which preposition is correct. Which of the following, for example, would you say is correct, and why?
We met at the restaurant.
We met in the restaurant.


It depends on what you mean. If you meant that you met while you were inside the restaurant, and the fact that the meeting happened inside is important, then in is correct. If you meant that you met inside or outside the restaurant, and that having met there instead of somewhere else is important, then at is correct.
In most cases, you can decide which preposition is correct by thinking in three dimensions:

At refers to a point in space not defined in relation to any other space.

No ones lives at that address.
I’m usually sitting at my desk around 3.

On refers to a point in space defined by a square, which usually represents a
surface, or a line.

My laptop is usually on my desk.
A photo is hanging on the wall.
There are only three stops on that railway line.

In refers to a point in space defined by a cube, which usually represents a container or surroundings.
The train stops in Leeds.

There are 300 chairs in the room.
Consider the meaning of these examples and why they use the indicated
Visualize the space created by the preposition.
The flight stops in Sydney before continuing to Adelaide.
There is a single projection screen at the front of the room.
The projector is mounted on the ceiling.
We arrived in Newcastle yesterday.


We met at the training seminar yester day. ( It’s an event! )
Tip! Often you’ll hear native speakers say ‘in school’, talk about someone walking ‘on the street’, or violate the rules in some other way. Such usage is not always incorrect. When not, it’s an exception. Learn the rules and stick to them, and you’ll always be correct!

Schlagwörter: Grammatik auf Englisch, Englisch Grammatik, Englische Grammatik, Englisch Grammar, Gramatik auf Englisch, Englisch Gramatik, Englische Gramatik, Englisch Grammar, In Englisch, At Englisch, On Englisch, Präposiiotn Englisch, Englische Präpositionen, Ortsangaben, prepositions of place

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