Preposition At

At is a preposition used to show the place, direction, time or manner of something.

  • He works at the market.
  • We live at home.
  • Throw the ball at the stumps.
  • We have breakfast at eight.
  • She ran at top speed.

After some verbs, at is used to indicate the target of a perception or non-verbal communication. Common examples are look, smile, wave, frown, point.

  • The child looked at its mother.
  • Why are you looking at her like that?
  • She smiled at me.

At is also used after some verbs referring to attacks or aggressive behaviour. Common examples are shoot, laugh, throw and shout.

  • Why are you shouting at me?
  • Stop throwing stones at the cat.

Place

At is used to talk about position at a point.

  • It is very hot at the centre of the earth.
  • He works at the market.

Sometimes we use at with a larger place, if we think of this as a stage on a journey or a meeting place.

  • The plane stops for an hour at Chennai.
  • Let us meet at the club.

At is particularly common with proper names used for buildings or organizations.

  • I first met your father at Harrods.
  • She works at the State Bank of India.
  • She was educated at Oxford.

We generally use at to talk about addresses.

  • Are you still at the same address?
  • She lives at 73 Albert Street.

At can be used with a possessive to mean ‘at somebody’s house or shop’.

  • You are always at the hairdresser’s.

At is also used before the names of group activities.

  • At a party
  • At a meeting
  • At a concert
  • At a lecture
  • At a match

Time

We use at with clock times.

  • I usually get up at six o’ clock.
  • I will meet you at 4.15.
  • We have breakfast at nine.
  • Phone me at lunch time.

At night means during any night.

  • I often work at night.

We use at to talk about the whole of the holidays at Christmas, New Year, Easter and Thanksgiving.

  • We are having the roof repaired at Easter.
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Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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