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Adverbials of place

Level: beginner

Most adverbials of place are prepositional phrases:

They are in France at present.
Come and sit next to me.

But we also use adverbs:

abroad downstairs nearby overseas
ahead here next door there
away indoors out of doors upstairs

They are abroad at present.
Come and sit here.

We use adverbials of place to describe location, direction and distance.


We use adverbials to talk about where someone or something is:

He was standing by the table.
You'll find it in the cupboard.
You'll find it inside.
Sign your name here – at the bottom of the page.
Stand here.
They used to live nearby.


We use adverbials to talk about the direction in which someone or something is moving:

Walk past the bank and keep going to the end of the street.
It's difficult to get into the car because the door is so small.
They always go abroad for their holidays.


We use adverbials to show how far things are:

Birmingham is 250 kilometres from London.
We live in Birmingham. London is 250 kilometres away.

Adverbials of place 1


Adverbials of place 2


Level: intermediate

We often have an adverbial of place at the end of a clause:

The door is very small, so the car is difficult to get into.
We're in Birmingham. London is 250 kilometres away.
Our house is down a muddy lane, so it's very difficult to get to.
Can I come in?

Adverbials of place 3


Adverbials of place 4




Hi Team,

What is the difference between 'in every age' and 'of every age'? Could you explain it and give some examples?

Kenny from Vietnam

Hi Kenny,

I would say that the phrase 'of every age' is generally used to refer to a person's age in years. The phrase 'in every age' is more often used to refer to ages of the world. There may be examples which you can find which are exceptions to this pattern but I would say it holds for most cases.

If you have any particular examples which you have come across we will be happy to comment, of course.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi... The contents in this site is the same with what I saw on this site.

Hello michael_isla,

Thank you very much for telling us about this. We'll certainly look into it further.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I found this sentence :
In the library and at church, Michele giggles inappropriately.
So why we use "in" for the library but "at" for the church?

Hello again Salem249,

I'd suggest you look up 'in' and 'at' in the dictionary as well as read through our adverbials of location section. There's also a useful BBC Learning English page that explains 'on', 'at' and 'in'. If it's still unclear to you after checking those pages, please feel free to ask us again.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Am I right.We use phrase ''at school'' when we refer to the porpose for which it exist: I am at school means that I'm a pupil and study subjects.And I could be either in the building or outside the school, He teaches at school (he is a teacher) but we say ''in the school'' when think about building itself. He is in the school. (He is in the building of the school) His mother is in the school now settling the bullying scandal her son's been involved in.And we use definite article in that case.
But I don't understand clearly difference between ''in the hospital'' and ''at hospital' in the prison'' and ''at prison'' and using articles here.
One more question:
We use computers at my school.
Computers are used in many schools. Why ''at'' in sentence 1 and ''in'' sentence 2.

Hello belka30,

When used before the name of a building (e.g. 'school', 'hospital'), 'at' indicates we are thinking more of the activity that happens there than of the place itself. In the sentence 'We use computers at my school', both 'my' and 'at' indicate the speaker is a student or teacher of the school and is thinking of the work that is done with the computers more than of the physical building. As for 'Computers are used in many schools', this sentence seems to focus more on location than the activity there, although I admit it seems the opposite is probably true.

In theory, this same rule applies to buildings such as hospitals and prisons, though in practice, there is a lot of variation. People often say 'in hospital' or 'at hospital' to refer to patients there, e.g. 'My grandfather is in hospital because he fell and broke his hip'. To refer to other people, e.g. nurses or visitors, an article is usually used: 'My brother Mark works in a hospital'.

I hope this helps you.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team


Hi : everyone
I have dilemma in this sentence
Sign your name here – at the bottom of the page
1- at the bottom ( it modify the verb sign )
2- of the page( post modify of the object of the preposition the word bottom) is it true?

Hi nkmg,

In your sentence the prepositional phrase 'at the bottom' modifies the verb 'sign' and has an adverbial function. The prepositional phrase 'of the page' modifies the noun 'bottom' and has an adjectival function, as you say.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team