In-At-On

One of the recurring problems for ESL (English as a Second Language) learners and other non-native English speakers is what preposition to use with regard to location—specifically, in, at, or on.

This varies seemingly unpredictably, so that one says:

  • in the room, but at the house, and on the street
  • in Parliament, but at the Legislature.

Although it seems unpredictable, there is a certain cyclical logic to it, which has to do with scale. As a general guide, the following spiral diagram may help:

1160101_in_at_on.png

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2 thoughts on “In-At-On

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