English for Beginners: Prepositions are short words that help us express location, time, and other relationships between people and things. Some examples of prepositions are: on, at, in, and by. Do you know how to use them? For example, do we say, "I am on a taxi" or "in a taxi"? Do you like to travel "in a plane" or "by plane"? After watching this simple but useful lesson, you will know exactly which preposition to use in any situation.
Test yourself with our quiz: www.engvid.com/english-grammar-the-prepositions-on-at-in-by/
I'm having a hard time reading on the train right now. Unh. Hold on. I'll start the lesson.
Hi. James from engVid. Sorry, I was on the train. I want to teach you a lesson about four basic prepositions that we use in English that sometimes get confused, and I understand why, so I'll keep it basic. But because it's basic, it's going to be 80% correct. That's a good thing, that means you can go to the website and learn more from other lessons we have. But just know that sometimes there'll be exceptions, and I may not cover it here today. I'll even give you two exceptions to help you, but why waste time? Let's go to the board.
Here's Mr. E. You'll notice he has a calendar, he has a clock, and: "You are here"? Oh, here. "Here" is a location. We're here right now, doing a lesson. That's the location: engVid. Let's go to the board and do the rest of the lesson, shall we?
Here's: "at", "on", "in", and "by". "At". I love it because it's very specific, so you always know where you are, exactly. Problem: For transportation, "at" doesn't have anything. Hmm. So let's go to the next one. Let's go to "on". On. "On" is used for, let's say, large vehicles or large ways of travelling, such as buses... Sorry. Trains, buses, planes, and boats. I'll come back to boat in a second; it's an exception. On the train, on the bus, and on the plane, unless you're Bill Gates, Donald Trump, or me-I'm not in that list-you don't have your own train, plane, or bus, so you usually share it with a bunch of people or a few people. It's large. So we say: "You're on the bus", because it covers a big area, so there are many people sitting in that area. When I get to location, you'll see what I mean.
Boat is a small exception. For many people in the world, they have their own boats because maybe they do fishing, or rowing, which is a type of boat that you go by yourself. In that situation, you can use "in". So, if the boat is small enough, say: "in": "I'm in a boat right now." But if it's a big boat, you have to say: "I'm on a boat." Another exception for the "on" rule is bicycle. You're always "on" a bicycle. I know, I said big vehicles, but remember: a bicycle is small, and it doesn't really have a motor or an engine, so we kind of give it its own thing, because you have to sit on the bicycle, and you can never really be in a bicycle. Is that good?
Now, let's go to "in". "In" is funny because there are only two things for "in". "In" we use for car and taxi. The easy way to think about it is usually you own your own car; it doesn't belong to a group of people. People just don't get on your car every time you stop it, they go in and say: "Take me somewhere." And a taxi, well, when you're in a taxi, it is kind of your car. You pay the driver and you keep the car. So, this is one of those few cases where, because it belongs to me, I am in my car or I am in the taxi, because the taxi belongs to me as long as I pay the money. It's one of these funny exceptions. I don't know why, because you can put more people in a car, but I guess because you can actually own this transportation, it's yours. Think of it like the small boat. The small boat, one person is in it, you can be inside of it. All right? Cool.
The last one we're going to do is "by". This is how you get there. So, "by" is different. When we talk about "in" and "on", you are... We are talking about how you are in the vehicle. Are you sitting on the bicycle? I can see you on it? You know, a boat is on water. But "by" just means: How did you get here? So, when someone responds to you with: "By car", "by plane", they're telling you how they got here. Not if they're in the plane, or on the plane. They are just... That's how they got there. So, how did I get here to do this video? Wouldn't you like to know. I'm kidding. I came here by car. So, yes, I was in my car and drove here, but I would tell somebody: "I got here by car, not by bus", and that would tell them the difference in the transportation I took. "How did you get here?" You like that? Good, so that's "by", this is how you did it; and the way you travelled is here, "in" and "on". Remember there is a small exception for small vehicles, so a small boat you can be in. Remember small. And a bicycle, you're always on the bicycle, because people see you sitting on it. We good? Excellent. Now, that is the lesson for transportation.