MarkESOL 5 minute grammar lesson – PREPOSITIONS OF PLACE – USING AT, IN, ON

Here is another video for your lockdown learning.

Below the exercises is the Google Doc transcript from today’s 5-minute grammar lesson. Extra teacher talk from the video not included!

Prepositions of place – IN, ON and AT. Small words = big problems.

But no more. Spend 5 minutes watching this and never make a mistake again! Maybe…

Here are your online exercises:

  1. https://test-english.com/grammar-points/a1/at-in-on-prepositions-of-place/
  2. https://www.grammarbank.com/prepositions-exercise.html
  3. https://esl.writingexercises.co.uk/prepositions1.php
  4. https://agendaweb.org/grammar/prepositions-exercises.html

Today’s video Google Doc transcript

MarkESOL 5 minute grammar lesson. 

PREPOSITIONS OF PLACE – USING AT, IN, ON for DIFFERENT PLACES.

Today we’re going to be covering:

  1.   Prepositions of place basics
  2. Talking to Mark on the phone
  3. When to use IN.
  4. When to use ON.
  5. When to use AT.
  6. In hospital / at the hospital
  7.  On the bus? In a car?
  8. WATCH THIS TWICE IF IT’S TOO FAST. I’VE ONLY GOT 5 MINUTES!!!
  9. The first thing to say is: I’m not going to try to explain BETWEEN and NEXT TO by typing and speaking.

I would have to do it like this:

Where is the potato?

Carrot POTATO spinach

Yes, potato is BETWEEN carrot and spinach.

Where is the potato now?

Brocolli POTATO

Yes, potato is next to broccoli – or potato is ON THE RIGHT OF broccoli. 

No, no, no, no. Today we’re going to look at REAL LIFE prepositions that we use for places.

We’re going to make it EASY.

EASY PEASY PUDDING AND PIE as I like to say. 

After watching this video you will never get IN, AT, ON confused again. Hopefully.

  1. Imagine you are talking to me on the phone. You are lost. You are worried. You need me to give you a lift. Then your phone rings. I’m calling you, “Hi, mate. I’m waiting at the cafe.  I thought we were going for a coffee and some cake! Hurry up! Where are you?”

You need to tell me where you are so I can come and find you.

Are you ON a mountain?

Are you IN a mountain?

Are you AT a mountain?

These PREPOSITIONS OF PLACE are very little words but VERY IMPORTANT if I am going to come and find you!

In this case, they mean EXACTLY THE SAME as when we use BASIC prepositions of place.

‘Hi, Mark. I’m on the mountain.’ I AM ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN.

‘Hi, Mark. I’m in the mountain.’ I AM INSIDE THE MOUNTAIN. In a cave?

‘Hi, Mark. I’m at the mountain.’ I AM STANDING AT OR RIGHT NEXT TO THE MOUNTAIN.

EASY PEASY LEMON SQUEEZY!

In general, we use IN for BIG places, ON for smaller and AT when we want to be very specific.

  1. IN = we use this when you are IN somewhere BIG or really INSIDE somewhere:
  1. INSIDE – My wallet is in my bag. My phone is in my pocket. Oh! No! It isn’t! I left my phone in the classroom.
  2. You’re inside a room – ‘I’m in the bedroom.’ You’re in a lift.
  3. A building – ‘I’m in a hotel.’ ‘I’m in the Trafford Centre.’ This gets confusing because we also say AT. (more in a minute!) In this case, you’re INSIDE these buildings. ‘Sorry, I can’t speak, I’m in class!’
  4. A big space. In a field. In a park. In space? ‘I’m in a rocket. Look up in the sky. I’m in space! I’m near the moon. I’m going to Mars.’
  5. A city, town or neighbourhood. ‘I’m in New York.’ I’m in Shiraz. I’m in Cheetham Hill. Is it a big place? Is it a small place? Where IN the world are you? Are you in the countryside or are you in a big city?
  6. Transport where you are INSIDE: He’s in a taxi. She’s in her car. They’re in a plane / a helicopter / a boat 
  7. BUT NOT A BUS!!!!!

4. ON = on as a basic proposition means ABOVE + TOUCHING. The cat is on the table. The elephant is on the car. Or ON TOP of the car. An elephant can’t get IN a car, unless it’s a very big car. 

But Mark, we don’t care about ELEPHANTS! Come on, hurry up!

  1. Ok, elephants. ‘I’m riding ON an elephant.’ It’s a type of transport you get ON. You’re on top of this big animal. You’re ON a camel. On a horse. You don’t want to be INSIDE a horse. It has to be on.
  2. All things you ride. So you ride a donkey. You ride a bike. You don’t drive a motorbike – you ride it. Put one leg over and get ON. On a skateboard, on a scooter.
  3. ON A BUS! You want rules but just remember this one. THIS IS THE CRAZY ONE! The bosses of the English language say it’s ON  because you step ONTO a bus,  or because 100 years ago a bus didn’t have a roof. So you were on top of it. 
  4. You also step onto a PLANE, a TRAIN, a BOAT. So you can say, ‘I’m on the tram.’ Or you can say, ‘I’m in the tram.’ You get ON it. You sit IN it. Both are fine. A car you get in. Don’t say, ‘I’m on my car.’ People will think you are sitting on the roof. Weird. Dangerous!
  5. Roads. You can be on a road. ‘I’m on Langworthy Road. The cafe is on the right.’

5. AT = an exact position or a place.

  1. An exact position. Where are you on the road? I’m AT the traffic lights. Where are you in the supermarket? I’m AT the checkouts. I’m AT the back of the cafe. I’m AT the bar. I’m AT the playground in the park.
  2. At home. At work. At college. Here you’re saying you’re AT a place. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the bedroom, in the garden or standing ON the roof. The where you are is AT HOME. It’s the same at work, you can be inside or outside the building but you are AT WORK. At the beach.
  3. At for a specific location. At 38 Dickenson Road, at the Eiffel Tower. I am sitting at my desk. At = right next to it. At the bus stop not ON the bus stop or IN the bus stop.
  4.  Hospital. Now this one is a little confusing. You are IN hospital when you’re IN a bed. You’re at the hospital when you are visiting or working there. They mean very different things!

Bye-bye!

MarkESOL xxx

Complaining about the weather is a full-time job – Entry 3 Group 2 class notes 8th June 2016

Loud bursts of thunder and brilliant flashes of lightning were captured by residents on mobile phones on Tuesday night as the humid, sunny weather gave way to violent thunderstorms.

Objectives:

  1. Find a fan to keep the classroom cool!

  2. Why do British people always talk about the weather?

  3. Discuss the most annoying things in Britain today

  4. When was the last time you complained?

  5. Formal letter writing style

  6. Write a complaint letter to a restaurant

What is most annoying for you?

Spam email?

Litter?

Or traffic jams?

Formal letter format:

 

Today’s words:

insist verb [I]

B1 to say firmly or demand forcefully, especially whenothers disagree with or oppose what you say:[+ (that)] Greg still insists (that) he did nothing wrong.Please go first – I insist!She insisted on seeing her lawyer.

inconvenience noun [C or U]

C1 a state or an example of problems or trouble, oftencausing a delay or loss of comfort:We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the late arrival of the train.We had the inconvenience of being unable to use the kitchen for several weeks.Having to wait for ten minutes was a minor inconvenience.

convenient adjective

B1 suitable for your purposes and needs and causing the least difficulty:Our local shop has very convenient opening hours.A bike’s a very convenient way of getting around.

near or easy to get to or use:a very convenient bus serviceOur new house is very convenient for (= near to) the kidsschool.

reserve verb [T]

B1 to keep something for a particular purpose or time:I reserve Mondays for tidying my desk and answeringletters.These seats are reserved for the elderly and women with babies.I reserve judgment on this issue (= I won’t give an opinion on it now) until we have more information.

B1 If you reserve something such as a seat on an aircraftor a table at a restaurant, you arrange for it to be keptfor your use:I reserved a double room at the Lamb Hotel.
  • reservation noun (THING KEPT)

B1 [C or U] an arrangement in which something such as aseat on an aircraft or a table at a restaurant is kept for you:I’d like to make a table reservation for two people for nine o’clock.

chaos noun [U]

B2 a state of total confusion with no order:Snow and ice have caused chaos on the roads.Ever since our secretary walked out, the office has been in astate of total/utter chaos.