I know how to use them in places and time, but …… I really don’t know how to use them after pronouns and verbs like, I laugh at you, and NOT I laugh on you or I laugh to you, another example, I lie to you and NOT I lie on you, that’s in my confusion.
I laugh at you, and NOT I laugh on you or I laugh to you,
I lie to you and NOT I lie on you, that’s in my confusion.
AT, IN and ON are prepositions, they can be used as prepositions of time;
At nighttime I read my book.
In the winter it rains a lot.
Do you want to go to the cinema on Sunday?
They can also be used as prepositions of place;
Dave is waiting at the train station.
Are there leprechauns in Ireland?
The book was on the table.
As you can see we use AT for a specific point or location; at the stadium, at dinnertime, at his school.
They are at the stadium.
He is at his school.
We use IN for enclosed spaces such as in a bowl, in the office, in Europe.
The file is in the office.
They live in Europe.
We use ON when an object is placed on a surface or over a surface, for example; on the chair, on the TV, on the bed.
The pillow is on the bed.
The picture is on the wall.
AT, IN, ON after pronouns:
We use object pronouns with the prepositions AT, IN and ON and other prepositions.
The object pronouns are my, you, him, her, it, us, them, whom, whomever and the can be used as the object of a verb or as the object of a preposition such as AT, IN or ON.
Will you meet her at home?
I am waiting for them at the bus station.
Why are you at the entrance of the library?
Where is my wallet? It’s in my bag.
Were you in America?
They found her in the car.
Why are you on the table?
Find out more about us on the website.
Where will I put the boxes? Please put them on the floor.
AT, IN, ON after verbs:
In some situations, the verb needs a preposition (at, in, on) after the verb and before the object or verb. In these situations the preposition doesn’t change the significance of the verb as it is purely grammatical. Let’s look at some examples,
They ate at the restaurant.
It snows at Christmastime.
There is a cake sale at the school.
Who is at home? I forgot my keys.
I am in Paris.
The shoes are in the bedroom.
The chicken stayed in the oven for three hours.
When is he starting school? He will start in September.
I worked on the project all night.
He depends on Kate for everything.
The focus is on the election next year.
The whole day, you have been on the telephone.
Let’s look at how these prepositions can be misused.
- I laugh at you is the correct way to say that you are laughing at somebody. If you said I laugh on you it would mean something like you were sitting on top of the person and laughing on top of them, as we use ON when something is placed above or in contact with something else. The phrase I laugh to you doesn’t make sense as to is used to indicate a place or person.
- I lie to you is correct because you are saying that you are lying to a person, you can say I talk to you or I listen to you. You can say I lie on you also, this is because the verb to lie means to relax or lay down horizontally on a flat surface. Therefore if I say I lie on you this means I am laying down horizontally on another person because ON is used when something is placed above or in contact with something else.