Using "At/In" and "To" to Indicate Location and Movement
Follow these guidelines to help you determine when to use the prepositions “at”, “in” and “to.” 1. Use “at” and “in” when referring to where you are located 2. Use “to” when referring to where you are going
When to use the prepositions "at" and "in"
The prepositions "at" and "in" can be used interchangeably to indicate that you are inside a building or property or that you are on a specific property.
For example, "I am in Walmart" or "I am at Walmart".
The preposition "in" can be used to indicate that you are in a specific town, state, or country, such as "I am in Boston", "I am in France."
The preposition "at" is not usually used to indicate a specific town, city, or country. For example, if you are on vacation, you would say "I am in Europe", but not "I am at Europe."
Look at the following examples.
I will meet you at the bookstore.
You can find me at the grocery store at 5pm.
You left your purse at the front desk.
I spent the weekend in Chicago with my friends.
My husband is in Hawaii right now.
I forgot my purse and phone in my car.
I ate lunch at Janet's house this afternoon.
When to use the preposition "to" The preposition "to" tells where you are going. It can be used in a sentence with any tense; past, present, or future.
Look at the following examples:
Let’s go to the mall on Saturday.
I went to the office to pick up my briefcase.
What’s the easiest way to get to Boston?
What time can you get me to the airport?
Did Jack take his son to the doctor this morning?
We go to the movies every weekend.
Complete the following sentences on your own by inserting “to”, “in”, or “at.” 1. I would like to go ___ China someday. 2. I was ___ home when the hurricane hit. 3. Yesterday, my family and I went ___ the mall. 4. I visited my mother ___ the nursing home on Saturday. 5. Why don’t we go ___ Canada this summer? 6. The comfortable chair ___ Brookstone is great, but very expensive! 7. My son left his books ____school by mistake. 8. If we go___ your house now, we’ll be late for the party. 9. We are having dinner ____ our neighbor’s house on Friday. 10.I’ll be ___ the meeting in five minutes.