Posted by : Barbara Volz Monday, October 7, 2013

It is a constant reminder to anyone who is taking any English competency examination to have a good background in grammar. Grammar is the basic foundation one must have to be able to speak and write in English. There are eight parts of speech in English namely; nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, interjections and the considered one of the most difficult because of its varied rules in grammar – prepositions.

What are prepositions?

Prepositions are words that link a word or a phrase to a part of the sentence. It is entirely different from a conjunction as a conjunction connects two grammatically alike sentences. Meaning to say, conjunctions connect a word to a word, a phrase to a phrase and a clause to another clause.

Prepositions are used in grammar very often. Hence, it is important for us to know the rules on the basic and most commonly used prepositions – in, on, and at.

Prepositions In, On, At as Time prepositions
"in" can be used with the following:

•    parts of the day

I was here in the morning.

I have set a meeting with Mr. Bo in the evening.

In the afternoon, the children take a nap in the living room.

•    months, years, seasons
The Kims are going back to Korea in December.
In 1985, my younger brother was born.
My parents usually hire a cabin in the woods in spring.
"on" can be used with:
•    days and dates
The president is said to have a meeting with his cabinet members on Tuesday.
Philippines got its independence from the Spaniards on June 12.
•    special days

On Christmas, we always go to the ski resort.
There is a big feast in my aunts on Independence Day.
"at" can be used with:
•    specific time of the day
I usually get up at 8 o’clock in the morning. How about you?
Class starts at 7.20 am.
•    the following expressions: at night, at midnight, at noon, at sunrise, at sunset, at the moment
I can hear wolves howling at night by the cliff.
Do you eat lunch at noon?
Prepositions In, On, At as Place prepositions

The preposition in is used to describe an object or a person within the area of something or within the confines of something.


    The children are busily doing an experiment in the laboratory.
    Davao City is in Mindanao.
    What is in your bag?

The preposition on is used to describe that something is on or against another surface of something.


    The books that I bought are placed on the table.
    The cat is sleeping on the sofa.
    A huge wall clock is placed on the wall.
Finally, the preposition at is used when writing a complete address.

    I live at 34 St. Coral Avenue, Toril, Davao City.
    Her favorite flower shop is at 1423 Main Street.
In addition, you can also use at to show a specific point or location.


    Rhea is working at her desk.
    I work at a bank.
    I saw her standing at the entrance of the building.

Being familiar with the basic usage of these prepositions is essential in writing and in speaking. Practice more on these and remember the rules very well.

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