Prepositions: to / at / in

To = movement

Generally, to express movement, we use the proposition to.

I’m going to the restaurant.
Please take me to the station.
Go.. to … hell!!
Can I move my appointment to Tuesday?
Let’s go back to my place!
She sent an email to her coach.
He took a punch to the head!

Note: He punched him in the nose
= this is expressing the destination, not the movement.

Pass this message to Geese!  = the message will move to Geese!

Do not confuse with infinitive verbs

I want + to infinite + a noun
I want to play a game

I want + a noun
I want a coffee

Even with “to infinitive” verbs, the preposition to shows movement:

I want + to infinitive + preposition
I want to go to the arcade

I would like + to infinitive + preposition
I would like to take the train to Akihabara

Do not confuse with verb + to infinitive

There is no preposition here, it is the verb in the infinitive form:

subject + verb + to infinitive 
I decided to buy a ticket
I remembered to register early!

At + time

At is always used with time.

-Where will you be at 8pm?

At 8pm? I’ll be in the restaurant!

“IN” versus “AT”

These are used generally to define locations.  Subjects move to a location but the location does not move. In expresses that something is inside the location.

For example:

I’ll meet you in the station.

So, we clearly need to go inside.

I’ll meet you at the station.

This means: go to the entrance.

Use these expressions when we don’t have more information to precise the location such as near the ticket gates or by the coffee shop.


See you at the club grammar prepositions

I’ll see you at the club

This is not precise. It could be anywhere, inside or outside or around.  Only the general location is clear.  Use this when you don’t want to meet in a specific place, or to meet at all!

See you in the club

This specifies that you will definitely be inside.


Good English: avoid repeating prepositions, to create a more interesting expression.

I’ll be in the restaurant = specifically inside, most probably eating.
I’ll be at the restaurant = not specific where

X: I’ll be at the restaurant, in a table
O: I’ll be at the restaurant, at a table
Best: I’ll be in the restaurant, at a table


X: I’ll be in school, at class
O: I’ll be in school, in class
Best: I’ll be at school, in class.

Usual Expressions

We go to a country:
I’m going to China for the Asia Games.

We do something in a country / city / town / village (not at):
She lives in Toronto, in Canada.
He is flying to Guangzhou Shi, in China.

Areas are in a country:
Areas related to a direction are in a country
He lives in Hokkaido,  in the north of Japan.

but we move to an area:
Tomorrow I will travel to the north.

We can move inside an area :
I will travel in the north (starting in the north and finishing in the north)

at = not specifically inside, around a location:
See you at the top of the tower!

Use at to specify a general location, usually the entrance for meetings and to specify time:
Meet you at the cinema, at 7.30pm!

Use in to specify inside an area or location or event or even time:
See you in New York/ the parking lot / the tournament / two weeks!



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