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

use preposition in basics example
Use preposition in basics example

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 boxHere, ‘in’ is used to say the place of the ball
I have a birthday party in MayHere, ‘in’ is used to tell about the month
She is looking at a picture in the mobileHere, ‘in’ is used to say about mobile
I have visited London in 2019Here, ‘in’ is used to talk about the year
I am in a taxiHere, ‘in’ is used for taxi
Use of Preposition IN

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 – Use of Preposition IN


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

preposition in enclosed space
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 ExamplesExplanation 
Riya kept a ball in the boxThe ball is inside an enclosed surface, i.e. a box
Bina is in a carBina is inside the car and the car is an enclosed surface
Rima is in the liftRima is an enclosed wall
A mobile is in the bagMobile is kept inside the bag
Ruma is in the roomThe room is an enclosed surface.
Mina is in a taxiMina is inside a taxi
Rule #1 Enclosed Space – Use of Preposition IN

Rule#2 Large Space with Boundaries – Use of Preposition IN


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

preposition in large space with boundary
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 desertDesert is a very large space and we imagine a boundary for dessert also.
Meera is enjoying in the gardenMeera is inside a large space with a boundary
There are many tigers in the forestForest is a large space with a boundary
Rule#2 Large Space with Boundaries – Use of Preposition IN

Rule#3 Time – Use of Preposition IN


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

Top PartWe use Preposition AT for very specific and very small
Middle PartWe use Preposition ON for small and specific,
Bottom PartWe use Preposition IN for general and bigger,
Rule#3 Time – Use of Preposition IN
preposition in time general
Preposition in time general

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

Very small & Very Specific we use ATSmall & specific case we use ONGeneral 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’sDecades: The 90’s, The 80’sYears: 2019, 2020Months: Jan., Feb.,Weeks: 1 week, 2 weeksSeasons: Summer, Winter, etc.
Time: The MomentTime: The weekend, The weekdays, etcPeriod of times: The present, The future,  
Specific parts of the day: Midnight, Midday, etcDays + Parts of the day: Sunday Morning, Monday Evening, etcGeneral parts of the day: The Evening, The Morning
Name of Holidays: Christmas, Eid, Easter, HoliName of Holidays+ Day: Christmas Day, Eid Day, Easter Day, Holi DayHolidays: Eid Holidays 
Rule#3 Time – Use of Preposition IN

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 20012001 is a year, and we use in
Simi passed her exam in 19901990 is a year, and ‘in’ is used as a preposition
Did you listen to songs in ’80sThe 80’s means a decade and preposition in is used.
I have attended a part in JanuaryJanuary is the month, and we use in
We really enjoyed in the rainy seasonThe rainy season is a season, hence, we use ‘in’
She is planning to visit the sea beach in the eveningEvening means a part of the day and in is used.
Minu has celebrated in Easter HolidayEaster 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 IndiaIndia refers to a country.
Tina has a friend in FranceFrance refers to a country.
There are so many giant’s elephants in AfricaAfrica refers to a continent.
She has a meeting in Cape Town.Cape Town refers a town and we use ‘in’.
Rule#4 Town, City, Country, and Continents


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
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 computerThe movie is inside the computer.
Fish is in the fish tankFish is in the water
Rina is watching a video in the tabVideo is in a tab
Rule#5 Something is inside Something

Rule#6 In Case of Papers 


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

preposition in paper
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 bookThe book means paper and we use in
Bini is looking at a picture in the magazineMagazine means made of paper and we use in
Rozi has read a nice story in a bookThe book means here papers, in is used.
Rule#6 In Case of Papers


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

1Jisu 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’
2Mira has celebrated her birthday in 2019. Here, 2019 means a year so, we will use the in.
3Tina is in the garden. Here, a garden means a large space with a boundary. So, in use before the garden.
4Rumi is coming back to India in June. Here, June means the name of a month. Hence, in is used before June.
5Rehan lives in Kolkata. Here, Kolkata is the name of a city. Hence, we use IN.
6Mona 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.
7She is walking on the river bank. Here, walking near the river and we use the preposition on instead of IN
8All 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.
9There are dolphins in the sea. Here, dolphins are inside the sea. Hence, we say ‘in’ the sea.
10We just reached in IndiaHere, India is the name of the country and we use the IN.
Preposition In Work Out

Prepositions act as an Adverb

Adverbs exist when words you would think of as prepositions behave like adverbs. An adjective acts like an adverb when it modifies a verb.

They are all prepositions in English that follow this rule: about, around, over, under, before, beyond, in, inside, near, opposite, outside, past, round, through, under, up, within.

Prepositions use as an Adjective

In some cases, prepositions are used after adjectives to complete or elaborate on the meaning or emotion of the adjective.

Using adjectives and English grammar prepositions together does not have any specific rules.


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

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