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What is a Preposition of Place? (Definition, Examples, List)

What is a preposition of place? Prepositions are words in English grammar and fall within a class of words to use temporal or spatial relations to other words (like nouns). As a result, prepositions combine with noun phrases. Prepositions also play a range of semantic roles in English speech and writing.

Prepositions of place
Prepositions of place

Understanding preposition of place

Preposition of place in English grammar is a preposition that refers to a place or a location at which something takes place. It also refers to any place at which someone or something is located.

In English, preposition of place plays a key role in informing others about the location of an individual or a thing.

In fact, place prepositions are important as they convey information about a location in relation to a thing or another individual.

Preposition of place
Preposition of place

What are the prepositions of place?

There are many words and phrases that fall within the category of “preposition of place” in English. Each serves distinctive purposes while speaking and writing. The key place prepositions are mentioned below:

  • At
  • In
  • On
  • Under
  • Over
  • Above
  • Below
  • Beside
  • In front of
  • Behind
Preposition of place
Preposition of place

The use of the preposition of place

The preposition of place can help to convey the exact location of something or someone. Place prepositions typically answer the question, “Where?”

For example, the answer to “Where is my shoe?” may be “Under the bed”. Besides the prepositions of place listed in the former section, the words “between”, “beneath”, “next to”, etc. are also considered prepositions.

Furthermore, the words “across” and “opposite” which tell you about locations are prepositions of place as well.

Preposition of place
Preposition of place

Main prepositions of place with examples

Below, the place prepositions are mentioned in greater detail, along with examples of how they occur in sentences. With the examples mentioned, a good idea of the use of any preposition of place might be grasped:

  • At – This shows the exact place or certain position, or a typical place to do something (watch a movie, etc.).

I met her at the entrance to the theater.

There is a large crowd at the bus stop this evening.

At university, we have a lot of fun.

  • In – The typical explanation of the preposition of place “in” is to denote that something or someone is inside.

Usually, I watch television in the living room.

Susan looks in the mirror all day.

Have a look at the boy in the picture.

In England, it snows in January.

  • On – The meaning of “on” implies attachment to something, or along the side of something. It is also used to display that something is in a location above another thing, among other uses.

The picture on the wall is creepy.

Cambridge is located on the River Cam.

The novel is on the table.

My house is on the right corner.

They love to travel on planes and are often on holiday.

Her favorite television programs are all detective shows.


Prepositions of place occur (usually) in front of the noun they qualify. For example, “behind the house”, “near” the school, “by” the window, etc. Nonetheless, depending on what is said or written, they may occur at the end of a sentence as well.

For instance, “The chair that you sat on was wet,”, or “Look at the clothes you are in!”. Prepositions can also occur at the beginning of sentences, such as “On the table, near the bench, you will find the torch”.

Unfortunately, regardless of the preposition of place, any preposition has very few rules that educate others about their purpose, and consequently, their use.

Using prepositions can be tricky, and there are several denoting a particular place. Nonetheless, using a good dictionary and finding out more through regular reading helps.


1. What is a preposition of place?

A preposition of place indicates a word that shows the position or location of something or someone. These include, but are not limited to, at, on, in, besides, in front of, behind, above, below, etc.

2. What are the most used prepositions in the English language?

The most commonly used prepositions used in English are at, in, and on. Other prepositions in use are under, above, below, near, close to, etc.


  1. Prepositions of place | LearnEnglish Kids (britishcouncil.org)
  2. Preposition Examples and How to Use Them | Grammarly
  3. Prepositions – Grammar – Cambridge Dictionary
  4. Preposition Definition & Meaning – Merriam-Webster

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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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