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Sentence Patterns using "At / In / On and Other Prepositions"

A "be verb" can also be followed by a prepositional phrase. We can use these sentences in many different ways.

Here are some common prepositions that we will use with these kinds of sentences.

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These usually tell the time or location of someone or something.

Subject + be verb + prepositional phrase...
  • I am from America.
  • The cat is on the bed.
  • The concert is at 10 pm.
  • The child is under the tree.
  • The picture of my father is above the fireplace.
  • Ben is with his girlfriend at the restaurant.
  • The bank is near the hospital.
  • Mark is in the coffee shop.
  • Mary is at school now.
We can make the sentence negative by using "be verb + not" or the contraction form.
  • He is not at home right now.
  • They are not from England. They are from Australia.
  • Our office isn't next to the subway station.
  • Mark is not at the party. Do you know where he is?
  • The books aren't on the desk.
We can use this sentence pattern with other verbs tenses like past tense or future tense.
  • The dog was not in the house.
  • The children were not at the park.
  • My co-worker was not at her desk this morning.
  • The show was not at 10 pm, it was at 9 pm.
  • I was not with Bill. I was alone.
  • He will be on TV soon.
  • She has been at work for 18 hours.
Bonus Tips and Points

1. We also use prepositional phrases a lot with sentences that start with "there". We use these sentences to show what exists or does not exist in a place.

There + be verb + noun...
  • There is a bug on your face.
  • There are presents under the Christmas tree.
  • There is a pharmacy next to the bank.
  • There were 3 dogs in the garden this morning.
  • There are many children on the playground.
  • There is an empty cup on the table.
  • There is a banana on the book.
  • There are two laptops on the desk.
  • There are no clouds in the sky.
  • There was a good movie on TV last night.
  • There was an interesting story in yesterday's paper.
  • There are many good books on your bookshelf.
Real-World English Conversations

A) Where are you from?
B) I am from America, but I live in Korea now.

A) Where is Jane?
B) I think she is at the dentist. I'll call her and find out.

A) Have you seen my phone?
B) I think it is on your bed.

A) What time does the concert start?
B) It is at 8. So, we should leave by 6 because traffic might be bad.

A) Where are you?
B) I am at Jill's Coffee Shop. What about you?
A) I am in Jill's Coffee Shop, too. I can't see you. Where are you sitting?
B) I am next to the door. Do you see me?
A) Oh! There you are!

A) Who were you with at the park?
B) I was with Sally.

Use these free English lessons to learn the most common sentence patterns in the English language. If you learn these sentences and questions, it will help you speak English well. Study the lessons thoroughly, practice making your own sentences, and come back to review often. If you do these three steps, your English speaking will improve quickly and you will be able to have natural English conversations.

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