Rules To Use of Preposition IN and Examples

Welcome to Use of Preposition IN!

Rules To Use of Preposition IN and Examples

The use of preposition IN in English grammar is a little difficult subject, and many times people make mistakes in communications, writings, or speaking. In this chapter, we are going to learn the rules to use of preposition IN in the simplest way.

Let’s explore Preposition IN!

Use of Preposition IN

preposition in
Fig. 1 Preposition in

Before trying to understand, use of preposition IN, we will see the use of the preposition ‘IN’ in our daily life, we say, for example:

A ball is in the box Here, ‘in’ is used to say the place of the ball
I have a birthday party in May Here, ‘in’ is used to tell about the month
She is looking at a picture in the mobile Here, ‘in’ is used to say about mobile
I have visited London in 2019 Here, ‘in’ is used to talk about the year
I am in a taxi Here, ‘in’ is used for taxi

Now, if we observe all the above sentences, we see different sentences and preposition in is used differently. Then how do we know:

Where to use and when to use the preposition in?

Now, we have studied and made few rules for preposition in. The simple and practical use of preposition in as rules which will help you to learn easily. Let’s explore, rules to use of preposition in.

Rule #1 Enclosed Space


When we talk about an enclosed space and something is kept inside it, we will use the preposition in.

preposition in enclosed space
Fig. 2 Preposition in enclosed space


Let us check an example, we keep an apple on the surface and now we enclose the surface with sidewall. It means the apple will be inside the box.

Here, we will say, the apple is kept in the box. In the same way, a ball is in the box or a match in a matchbox or a person in the lift can be taken as examples.


Preposition Examples Explanation 
Riya kept a ball in the box The ball is inside an enclosed surface, i.e. a box
Bina is in a car Bina is inside the car and the car is an enclosed surface
Rima is in the lift Rima is an enclosed wall
A mobile is in the bag Mobile is kept inside the bag
Ruma is in the room The room is an enclosed surface.
Mina is in a taxi Mina is inside a taxi

Rule#2 Large Space with Boundaries


When we will talk about the large space with boundaries, we will use preposition in.

preposition in large space with boundary
Fig. 3 Preposition in large space with boundary


She is in the garden. Now, if you think about the garden, you will understand a large space which is having a boundary. Hence, we are using preposition in.


Luna is in the desert Desert is a very large space and we imagine a boundary for dessert also.
Meera is enjoying in the garden Meera is inside a large space with a boundary
There are many tigers in the forest Forest is a large space with a boundary

Rule#3 Time


When we talk about time for preposition in, we consider a pyramid we divide it into three parts to understand preposition of time:

Top Part We use Preposition AT for very specific and very small
Middle Part We use Preposition ON for small and specific,
Bottom Part We use Preposition IN for general and bigger,
preposition in time general
Fig. 4 Preposition in time general

We have already learned Preposition AT and Preposition ON in our last two sessions, however, refer to the below table to have a proper understanding:

Very small & Very Specific we use AT Small & specific case we use ON General and bigger




Point of Time like 6.00 PM. 8.00 AM etc.


Days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, today, yesterday, the day before yesterday, day after tomorrow, etc.

Dates:  2nd December, 15th January, etc.

Centuries: The 2000’s

Decades: The 90’s, The 80’s

Years: 2019, 2020

Months: Jan., Feb.,

Weeks: 1 week, 2 weeks

Seasons: Summer, Winter, etc.

Time: The Moment Time: The weekend, The weekdays, etc Period of times: The present, The future,



Specific parts of the day: Midnight, Midday, etc Days + Parts of the day: Sunday Morning, Monday Evening, etc General parts of the day: The Evening, The Morning
Name of Holidays: Christmas, Eid, Easter, Holi Name of Holidays+ Day: Christmas Day, Eid Day, Easter Day, Holi Day Holidays: Eid Holidays


Hence, we will use the preposition in when we talk about

  • Centuries,
  • Decades,
  • Time like months, weeks, seasons, etc.
  • Parts of the day
  • Holidays, etc.


Minu went to Andaman in 2020. Here, 2020 is a year and we use preposition in before 2020.


She came to India in 2001 2001 is a year, and we use in
Simi passed her exam in 1990 1990 is a year, and ‘in’ is used as a preposition
Did you listen to songs in ’80s The 80’s means a decade and preposition in is used.
I have attended a part in January January is the month, and we use in
We really enjoyed in the rainy season The rainy season is a season, hence, we use ‘in’
She is planning to visit the sea beach in the evening Evening means a part of the day and in is used.
Minu has celebrated in Easter Holiday Easter Holiday means a holiday and we use in


Mind it for the point of time, we use AT.

Rule#4 Town, City, Country, and Continents


When we refer to town or city or country or continents, we will use preposition IN.


Lina is staying in Kolkata. Here, Kolkata is a city and we will use IN.

Hence, in the case of the followings, we use IN,

  • Roads
  • Avenue
  • Streets


Rahim is living in India India refers to a country.
Tina has a friend in France France refers to a country.
There are so many giant’s elephants in Africa Africa refers to a continent.
She has a meeting in Cape Town. Cape Town refers a town and we use ‘in’.


Rule#5 Something is inside Something

We have already learned from the rules to use of preposition ON that if any address is associated with any numbers, we will use preposition AT instead of ‘IN’.


When something is inside something, we will use IN.

preposition in inside something
Fig. 5 Preposition in inside something


She is watching a video in the mobile. Here, the video is playing inside the mobile. Hence, we will use ‘in’.


Binu is watching a movie in the computer The movie is inside the computer.
Fish is in the fish tank Fish is in the water
Rina is watching a video in the tab Video is in a tab

Rule#6 In Case of Papers


Whenever we talk about anything related to papers, we will use preposition IN.

preposition in paper
Fig. 6 Preposition in paper

Sila has read it in the newspaper. Here, newspaper refers to one kind of paper and we will use IN.


There are many preposition worksheets available on the internet.

Tina read the story in a book The book means paper and we use in
Bini is looking at a picture in the magazine Magazine means made of paper and we use in
Rozi has read a nice story in a book The book means here papers, in is used.



If any person is waiting inside any vehicle, preposition IN should be used instead of preposition ON.

Preposition In Work Out

Now, we will learn a few examples and try to verify our learning in line with the preposition in rules.

Examples Explanation
1 Jisu is kept a ball in the box.

Jisu has kept the ball inside the box, hence, the box is an enclosed surface and we use ‘in’

2 Mira has celebrated her birthday in 2019. Here, 2019 means a year so, we will use the in.
3 Tina is in the garden.

Here, a garden means a large space with a boundary. So, in use before the garden.

4 Rumi is coming back to India in June. Here, June means the name of a month. Hence, in is used before June.
5 Rehan lives in Kolkata.

Here, Kolkata is the name of a city. Hence, we use IN.

6 Mona is looking at a picture in the computer.

Here, the picture is inside the computer and IN is used. Remember in many cases, we use preposition ON instead of IN.

7 She is walking on the river bank.

Here, walking near the river and we use the preposition on

8 All the fishes have different names and these all are kept IN a fish tank.

Here, fishes are kept inside the tank, hence, ‘IN’ is used. Remember the term ‘fishes’ is used instead of ‘fish’ for plural noun as an exception as fish is an irregular plural noun.

9 There are dolphins in the sea.

Here, dolphins are inside the sea. Hence, we say ‘in’ the sea.

10 We just reached in India

Here, India is the name of the country and we use the IN.


Hence, we have learned the basics of preposition IN along with its rules, explanation, and a lot of examples.

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