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.

Location

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.

Direction

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.

Distance

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

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Adverbials of place 2

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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

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Adverbials of place 4

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Nevı 提交于 周四, 27/05/2021 - 11:52

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Hi awesome team! I am writing to ask for information about the ever word 'wherever' For example; You can sit wherever you want. 'Wherever' means here like the place doesn't matter. However, I looked one of the dictionaries and it says 'wherever' is an adverb. https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/wherever In contrast, the other one says it is a conjunction. https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/wherever_1?q=Wherever Which one do you think is right one and why? I'd really appreciate it. Best wishes!

Hello Nevi,

It can be one or the other depending on how it is used. The Macmillan Dictionary has a good explanation that I think should clear this up for you. 

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Teacher, I really appreciate it. The example in my first comment,which is 'You can sit wherever you want.' I understand -wherever- is a conjunction function.

AbuBakarkhan 提交于 周六, 04/04/2020 - 11:58

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Hello.... Hope you will fine sir....... . At present time they live in France. .They live in France at present time. Grammatically both are correct but according to adverbial 1st is correct.... Am I correct?

Hello AbuBakarkhan

You can put the phrase 'at the present time' at the beginning or end of the sentence; both are correct and the meaning is the same. Please note that the phrase is 'at the present time', not 'at present time'.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Federica911 提交于 周日, 10/02/2019 - 17:16

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Hello, I have a doubt about adverbials of place: what's the difference between "here" and "in here"? And between "there" and "in there"?

Hello Federica911

In general, 'in here' is more specific than 'here' since the preposition 'in' suggests some kind of enclosed space, for example, a house or room. 'here', on the other hand, could refer to a more open space, for example, a field or a city. The context will often determine whether one or the other is better.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Ataur Rahman 提交于 周一, 10/12/2018 - 11:38

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Is there any grammatical term named "Adverb of Orders"? If any, discuss with examples, please.

Hi Ataur Rahman,

I'm not familiar with that term. Does it perhaps refer to the order of adverbs when there are more than one? Please provide an example or more specific information. You could also do a web search on your own to find different possibilities. I'm sure you can find some explanations out there as well.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Abdel El 提交于 周三, 08/08/2018 - 00:42

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hello i'm confused with this sentence (i ate at a table) because i used always to write on before the word table, but sometimes i came across with sentence with the preposition at before the word table , i don't know what it makes that sentence correct if it is really ?

Hello Abdel El,

'on a table' means on top of the table, whereas 'at the table' means sitting next to the table. It is possible for you to eat on a table, but that means you are not sitting in a chair -- you are on top of the table, at the same level as the food. Most of the time, people sit at a table to eat or to work. Our food is on the table, but we sit at the table.

Bon appetit!

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Abdel El 提交于 周一, 06/08/2018 - 19:41

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hello it's correct to say i'm on the river or i'm in the river ?

Hello Abdel El,

It's clear you have many questions about prepositions with particular nouns and I think you can find these answers much more efficiently with a simple online search. Type 'river preposition' into your favourite search engine and you'll see many helpful sites.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Abdel El 提交于 周日, 05/08/2018 - 20:04

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hi it's correct to say i'm at home or i'm in home?

Peter M. 提交于 周一, 06/08/2018 - 06:26

Abdel El 回复

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Hello Abdel El,

We generally say 'at home' and we do not say 'in home'.

We can use 'in' in certain phrases such as 'in this home', 'in my home', but these are used in particular contexts. To talk about being in the place where you live, use 'at home'.

 

You can check which prepostions are common with which nouns in any good dictionary.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Abdel El 提交于 周六, 04/08/2018 - 18:38

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hello is it correct to say (i'm at my apartment or i'm in my apartment) ?
Hello Abdel El, Both 'at' and 'in' are possible here and both are quite commonly used to mean 'at home'. Usually, 'at' is more general in meaning. It can mean inside your apartment or it can mean somewhere nearby such as on the street outside. 'In' is more concrete and means that you are actually in your rooms, not just nearby. Peter The LearnEnglish Team

Abdel El 提交于 周四, 02/08/2018 - 18:31

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hello which sentences are correct?: 1.i'm at my apartment 2.i'm in my apartment 3.i eat on a table 4.i eat at a table 5.the boat is in the water 6.the boat is on the water

Hello Abdel El,

I'm afraid we don't provide answers to lists of questions like this. We're happy to explain points of grammar and encourage you in your learning, but we don't offer an answering service for tasks from elsewhere. If we did, then we would end up doing our users' tests and homework for them, which is not our role!

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Abdel El 提交于 周三, 01/08/2018 - 17:21

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which sentences is correct from these?: the police man is at the school the police man is in the school

Hello Abdel El,

Both of these are correct but mean slightly different things. 'at the school' is more general and focuses on the activity we do at school, whereas 'in the school' focuses more on the physical location than on what is done there.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Abdel El 提交于 周二, 24/07/2018 - 19:51

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hello is it correct to see my little brother is at school or my little brother is in school?

Hello Abdel El,

Both are possible. Generally when someone is having lessons we say 'at school' and when we we are talking about the physical building we say 'in the school'.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/adverbials-location. At that page, I don't see comment frame. It needs fix? What is different from some adv : below, beneath, under, underneath. I saw them in Cambridge Dictionary but they are the same meaning.

Hi mitykg,

Thanks for pointing that out to us -- I've just fixed the page so that you can comment there now. Have you done an internet search for 'what is the difference between below, beneath, under, underneath'? There are several explanations out there that look good to me. If you have a specific question about what you find, then please don't hesitate to ask us.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Lakshmi narayana. 提交于 周六, 09/12/2017 - 13:11

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Hello sir, Thank you for the reply.Got some value information. Lakshmi narayana, India.

Lakshmi narayana. 提交于 周五, 08/12/2017 - 08:44

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Hello Team, I am sorry for the inconvenience caused due to the earlier posting of mine,which has a mistake.Kindly,consider the following post. 1)London is a big city. 2)We met in London. In the first sentence,"London" is a noun.In the second one also,I believe that "London" is a noun.But,a friend of mine told me that in second one ,since "in London" is an adverbial of place,London is an adverb,"IN" being the preposition.Kindly,clarify what part of speech is "London" in the second sentence?Also kindly clarify whether an adverbial phrase (either place or time) must contain an adverb or it does the function of an adverb? Thanks, Lakshmi Narayana, India.

Hello Lakshmi Narayana,

In sentence 2, 'in London' is a prepositional phrase composed of the preposition 'in' and the noun 'London'. This prepositional phrase is also an adverbial of location, as it describes the location of the action 'we met'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Kien Alang 提交于 周三, 25/10/2017 - 11:49

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

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

michael_isla 提交于 周五, 29/09/2017 - 09:40

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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,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello 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,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

belka30 提交于 周一, 04/04/2016 - 19:38

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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,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

 

nkmg 提交于 周二, 27/10/2015 - 20:36

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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,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

nkmg 提交于 周日, 18/10/2015 - 21:37

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Hi everybody :c I have one question are ( at the end of bottom ) & (to the end of) compound prepositions? Thanks for help

solitude 提交于 周四, 16/07/2015 - 16:10

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Hello, According to Advanced Oxford Practice Grammar, above/below usually convey a sense of higher/lower point or level, which I construe as degrees, whereas over/under show the place of a thing vis-à-vis another, explained as covering or being covered by something in the book. But we say someone is over/under 20. Is it not a case of degree when we speak about age? Would you please explain it to me? Thank you in advance. Sorry for asking too many questions. Best regards.

Hello solitude,

The meanings are not as cut and dried as you suggest. We can say 'above 20 years of age' in some contexts and 'over 20 years of age' in others. I'm afraid it doesn't come down to a clear difference in concept, but rather a preference based on common use, collocation and familiarity. I wish I could provide a more concrete answer, but not all questions have these, unfortunately.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi solitude,

No need to apologise!

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

grammar2015 提交于 周二, 23/06/2015 - 07:33

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Hi teachers may I know if this sentence is correct ? Only another two miles will take you to the next petrol station. I just want to confirm if 'only another two hours ' can be a subject of a sentence. In the question 3 above, it is an adverbial of distance.

Hi grammar2015,

I think 'Just another...' would be a more natural option (having the sense of 'it's not far'), but there is nothing grammatically wrong with 'Only...'

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

paeng 提交于 周一, 08/06/2015 - 04:27

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Almost of the adverbial of location have the form like this:( prepositions+Noun)? namely: in the cupboard, by the table, next to the bank... please explain to me

Hello paeng,

Many adverbials of place have a form like this but not all. I'm afraid there is no simple rule such as that; you need to consider the meaning and function in the sentence.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team