In – areas, regions, cities, groups, liquids

Use for something that has borders and edges. ‘In’ is three-dimensional. So when you use it, you need to think about the position of something in relation to what surrounds it.

  • areas, region, cities
  • groups of people – ( except important high level groups where people are selected, e.g. He is on the board, They are on the commitee )
  • liquids.
  • Longer period of time – ( in July )
  • areas, regions, cities
  • groups of people
  • except important high level groups where people are selected
  • liquids
  • On – surfaces, rivers, oceans, lakes, a day

    Used to talk about a position of something. ‘On’ is two-dimensional. For example, you have a flat surface and you are referring to the position of a person or thing in relation to that surface.

    • surfaces/ flat surfaces.
    • rivers, oceans, lakes. ( e.g. in the boat, on the lake )
    • a day ( on Monday )
    flat surfaces
    oceans, rivers, lakes

    At – specific places, public places, shops, addresses, events

    Used for specific places or points in space. It’s one-dimensional. For example, when you are looking at a map, you are referring to a specific place or a position in space.

    • specific places, points in space.
    • public places, shops
    • addresses
    • events
    • One moment in time – ( at noon, at 9 everyday )

    When we speak about something next to something, we use at.
    When we speak about something inside space which is around something, we also use at.

    specific places
    public places
    public places

    Grey areas

    In the below example, at the beach means, they probably reached the location of the beach, but not necessarily on the sand, they be outside.

    In the beach means, they are definitely on the sands of beach.

    By – next to something, beside or near.

    To – direction, destination, distance, time b/w 2 pts, preference, limit, belonging

    • direction/ destination/ distance ( something is being moved from one place to another )
    • time between two points.
    • preference
    • limit or endpoint
    • belong (to)
    • ask ( to ) someone
    • travel ( to ) somewhere.

    For – benefits, duration of time, help someone, function/use, motive/reason

    • benefits
    • duration of period of time ( for 10 hours )
    • help someone
    • function/use
    • ask ( for ) something
    • travel ( for ) something
    • Examples, reason for joy
    duration of time
    help someone

    To & For Comparision



    • together – people or object ( I was with Jane yesterday )
    • having something – ( I am looking for a new house with a pool )
    • (to) use something
    • (to) show feeling
    • agreement

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