Welcome to your “In” / “At” / “On” 3 lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• “In hospital” / “At home” etc.
“At a party” / “At a concert” etc.
• “In / at buildings”
“In” / “At” a town
“On a bus” / “In a car” etc.
Take the quizzes when you’re ready! If you’re having problems, use the comment box to contact our English Teachers.

“In hospital” / “At home” etc.

We say that someone is “in hospital” “in prison” “in jail”:

My grandmother is in hospital for a check-up.”

We say that someone is “at home” “at work” “at school” “at university”:

My brother is studying English at university.”

I’m at work all afternoon, see you tomorrow?

We also say “at sea” (on a voyage). Compare “at sea” and “in the sea”:

It was a lovely voyage. We were at sea for three weeks.

I don’t like swimming in the sea.”

“At a party” / “At a concert” etc.

We say that someone is “at an event”:

There were lots of people at the party.

Did you have fun at the concert?

“In / at buildings”

You can often use “in” or “at” with buildings. For example, you can say that you ate “in a restaurant” or “at a restaurant”. You can go shopping “in a supermarket” or “at a supermarket”. We usually use “at” when we say where an event takes place:

We went to a concert at Wembley Arena.”

The conference took place at the headquarters.”

We say “at the airport” “at the station”:

Meet me at the station at four.

We say “at somebody’s house”:

There’s a party at James’ house tonight.”
(or “There’s a party at James’ tonight.”)

We say “at the doctor’s”, “at the hairdresser’s” etc:

I can’t answer the phone, I’m at the doctor’s.

However, we use “in” when we’re talking about the building itself. Compare these pairs of sentences:

We stayed the night at a hotel last night.”
All the rooms in the hotel have air conditioning.

I work at a school in London.”
It’s always cold in the school.

“In” / “At” a town

We normally use “in” with countries, villages, towns and cities:

They all live in Bournemouth.”

I have lived in Scotland since 2007.”

We use “at” when we think of these places as stops on a journey:

On the way to London we stopped at Surrey for a coffee.”

Does this bus stop at Westminster?

“On a bus” / “In a car” etc.

We normally say “on a bus”, “on a plane”, “on a train”, “on a boat”. But, we say “in a car” “in a taxi”:

Sorry I didn’t hear my phone, I was on the bus.”

I dropped my wallet while I was in the taxi.”

She met her husband on a train.”

We also say “on a bike”, “on a motorbike”, “on a horse”:

I drove past Bob, he was on his motorbike.”

Useful Links

“The” with Places
“By”

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