Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Proper Use of Prepositions When Indicating Time and Location

As defined by thefreedictionary.com, a preposition is a word or phrase placed typically before a substantive and indicating the relation of that substantive to a verb, an adjective, or another substantive. Examples of prepositions include at, in, on, in regard to, and from.

One of the most common mistakes in the IELTS is the improper use of prepositions in the writing and speaking exams. To minimize and eventually avoid getting this kind of mistake, let’s take a good look on how to use prepositions on our essays and speaking exam. Given focus on this article are the prepositions that are usually used when indicating time and location. 

When Indicating TIME

General (IN) 

The preposition “in” must be used when you are indicating time in general. For example:
·         centuries (the 1800s)
·         decades (the 80s)
·         years (1970, 1980)
·         months (July, April)
·         weeks (2 weeks)

Example sentences:

Inflation rate was very high in April and June

The board of directors has decided that a brand ambassador will be introduced in two weeks time.

More Specific (ON)

The preposition “on” must be used when the time is more specific. When it is more specific, the date is indicated, like:

·         Days (Monday, Friday)
·         Weekend
·         April 1, 2000

Example sentences:

Paolo will visit the cemetery on Sunday.

Trecia and Celine have decided to watch a movie on April 2, 2009.

Very Specific (AT)

When you are indicating an hour, the preposition “at” must be used.
·         9am
·         Two o’clock
·         6pm

Example sentences:

Christine wants to meet April at two o’clock.

The final game for UP’s volleyball tournament will start at 6pm.

When Indicating LOCATION

Same principle can be applied when using prepositions to indicate a location or a place.

General (IN)

When you are indicating countries, cities, and neighborhood in your sentences, don’t forget to use the preposition “in.”

·         Country (Prague)
·         City (Cebu City)
·         Neighborhood (Chinatown)

Example sentences:

The Sinulog festival is one of the most popular events in Cebu City.

The cheapest clothes and bags are in Chinatown.

Very Specific (ON)

Use the “on” preposition when you stating:

·         Streets (Oxford Street)
·         Avenue (Jones Avenue)

Example sentences:

The Davao office of JRooz Review Center Inc. is located on Bonifacio Street.

Nelly bought her bag on Jones Avenue.

Very Specific (AT)
·         Address (143 Elmer Street)
·         Specific location (the store)

Example sentences:

Katniss lives at 143 Seam, District 12, Panem.

James and Peter will meet at Gerry’s Grill to celebrate George’s birthday.


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