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Adverbials of direction

Level: beginner

We use prepositions to talk about direction:

across along back  back to down into
onto out of  past through to towards

She ran out of the house.
Walk past the bank and keep going to the end of the street.

We use adverbs and adverb phrases for both location and direction:

everywhere abroad indoors upstairs home
anywhere away outdoors downstairs back
somewhere here inside up in
nowhere there outside down out

I would love to see Paris. I've never been there. (place)
We're going to Paris. We fly there tomorrow. (direction)

The bedroom is upstairs. (place)
He ran upstairs to the bedroom. (direction)

Adverbials of direction 1


Level: intermediate

We often have adverbials of direction or location at the end of a clause:

This is the room we have our meals in.
Be careful you don't let the cat out.
There were only a few people around.

Adverbials of direction 2


Adverbials of direction 3



Can you explain what is the difference between "turn right onto Beach Road" and "turn right into Beach Road".
Thank you.

Hello giangphan,

In both British and US English, the standard form is onto.

I have heard into used occasionally, I think, but it's much less common.



The LearnEnglish Team

It's really a helpful tip.

Hi there,
I just want to know whether these words prepositions or adverbs, I get confused!
you called them adverbs of place( directions) and at the same time you say fill in the prepositions.

Hello khuder,

Many words can be used as prepositions and adverbs. For example, if you look at the dictionary entry for 'out', you'll see it's identified as both an adverb and a preposition. In the same way, prepositional phrases can be used adverbially, i.e. like adverbs.

I suppose the instructions for the exercise could say 'adverbs' instead of 'prepositions', but we thought it was clearer to use 'prepositions'. It also reinforces the point that prepositions can be used adverbially.

I'm sorry, though, that you find this confusing!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

dear sir
could you tell me what the meaning of "in" and "into" in both below sentence
This is the room we have our meals in.
The car door is very small so it’s difficult to get into.

Hello maudi mauludi,

Prepositions are sometimes used quite irregularly, but here, and in general, 'in' is used to refer to location, i.e. being in a place, and 'into' is used to refer to movement from one space to another. It might be useful to look up both words, especially 'into' in the dictionary to see how they are used in the example sentences there. Note also that 'get into a car' is very common expression.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you so much for such helpful website. Please tell me that what is the difference between through, along and across?
Thank you.

Hello HojjatRakhshani,

The best place to look for this is in the Cambridge Dictionary Online, which you can see on the right of the page. Just type the word(s) into the search window and click 'Look it up!' to get a definition, examples and more. That will clarify the difference between these for you.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk, I have a doubt with the following sentence.
'They sat opposite each other'
why not ' they sat opposite to each other' ?