Last week we discussed how the small connecting words of the English language are just as important as mastering a larger vocabulary... but the correct usage of these tiny words can sometimes fall through the cracks for non-native English speakers. You may start to use words like “in,” “on,” and “at” interchangeably, when they actually each have a specific purpose. Incorrect usage of these prepositions can cause native English speakers to question your fluency, or become confused by your meaning.
In my last article, we looked at how to use “in,” “on,” and “at” when describing time... This time, we'll follow the same principle when using them to describe locations.
If you can remember this order, “IN, ON, AT”... then you can remember this general rule for how to describe places:
See again how “IN, ON, AT” progress from general to...
Have you ever asked a co-worker to join you “on 3:00” for a meeting?
Perhaps you mentioned to someone that your birthday was “at Friday.”
Though you may not have realized it, you were using these prepositions of time incorrectly!
In trying to grasp a larger vocabulary, a student of English may start to overlook the small connecting words that bind language together, but these prepositional words have a great impact on others’ perception of your mastery of the language. Using them incorrectly could cause confusion with co-workers or make you feel insecure in your speech.
If you can remember this order, “IN, ON, AT”… then you can remember this general rule for how to describe points in time:
See how “IN, ON, AT” progress from general to specific as you read their descriptions:
At the beginning of this article, the correct usage would mean the...