Preposition Guide For IELTS
Preposition is a vast area in English language. You need preposition almost in every sentence you use. It is beyond of our scope to discuss here everything about preposition. We will just cover some important ones that you will need frequently in your writing. Let's dive in:
Express Time using at/on/in
In for longer periods (months/years etc.) On for days and dates. And at for the time of a day.
She was born in 1994
She was born on Friday
She slept at 6 pm and woke up at midnight.
Do not use at/on/in before last/next/this/every:
Please, come here next Sunday.
He completed graduation last August.
I'm going home this week.
Use on time if something happens exactly at the time that was planned. If you say that something is going to happen soon, you need to use in time.
The train left the station on time.
I will be home in time for the lunch.
Express Position using at/on/in
If you mean something is getting inside from outside, use Into. If something is already there inside, use in.
The thief broke into the house and took away everything.
Mike had been sleeping in his room, he didn't notice that a thief broke into their house and took away everything.
If a location is identified as a point of place rather than a whole area, use at.
It was a dark midnight. He was standing at the door and kept calling us to go outside. We were afraid in the room sensing the imminent danger.
If something is attached to something else, use on. If it's not attached on, and moving, use over. Use above if it's neither attached nor moving, though over and above are interchangeable most of the time.
All the books are on the table.
Don't write on the wall.
The birds flew over my head.
Water was leaking from above.
Important Prepositions in Use
Spend a few minutes in the following expressions that are written with appropriate prepositions. I guarantee you, if you can remember these few rules/expressions, you will be damn confident in preposition usage. Here we go:
He woke up at 10 o'clock in the morning.
He will come here on Friday.
He was born in September.
He was born in 1995
He was born on 18 July, 1995.
I will come there at the weekend/at weekend/on the weekend (all three are correct)
Use IN and ON as:
in the morning
but on Sunday morning
in the afternoon
but on Wednesday afternoon
in the evening
but on Tuesday evening
Use ON as:
On the right, on the left, on the right-hand side, on the left-hand side, on a map, on a website, on a page, on a list, on a road, on the coast, on a river (as: London is on the river Thames), on the ground floor, on the first floor, and so on.
Use at the end as:
At the end of something, at the beginning of something
Example: At the end of February. But, in the beginning of the film.
But for in the end,
"In the end" means "finally". That means final result/outcome of something.
Example: I wanted to buy a new laptop with more advanced configuration. I needed more money for that, but I had no money. In the end I sold my old laptop and made some money.
Use IN as:
We see somebody or something is in a newspaper/in a book/ in a picture/ in a photograph/ in a row/ in a queue/ in a department/ in the sky/ in the world.
Use at as:
at the bottom, at the end, at the top of the page, at the other end,
If something is in the car, you should say in the front/ in the back of the car.
If you mean you are at a theatre/ building/ group of people etc. you should say at the front/ at the back. As in "he is waiting at the front of the theatre", and "the statue is at the front of the house."
If you mean these issues in case of a piece of paper/ an envelop, use, on the front/ on the back, as in "he wrote her address on the back of the envelop."
You can check the following resources: