I'm going to school at/by 5 o'clock (preposition)

ubal

Senior Member
spanish
Hi, I often have problems with these prepositions. I've read many preposition lecture but I can't use yet on (in/on/at) the right way. This was the first example.

Other:
I'm looking up the word in/on/at my dictionary

And other question is when we are talking about time like these:

I'm going to school at/by 5 o'clock
I may have gone there at/by 5 o'clock.


Thank you in/on/at advanced
 
  • kayokid

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Hi, I often have problems with these prepositions. I've read many preposition lecture but I can't use yet on (in/on/at) the right way. This was the first example.

    Other:
    I'm looking up the word in/on/at my dictionary (1)

    And other question is when we are talking about time like these:

    I'm going to school at/by 5 o'clock (2)
    I may have gone there at/by 5 o'clock.


    Thank you in/on/at advanced
    1. to look up a word IN the/my dictionary

    2. I go to school AT 5 o'clock. (This is the time I leave the house to go to school.) I have to be at/in school BY 5 o'clock. (Otherwise I am late...)
    I may have gone there AT 5 o'clock = It is possible that I left for that place AT 5 o'clock (exactly).

    Thank you IN advance.
     

    dbrasco013

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, USA
    Hi, I often have problems with these prepositions. I've read many preposition lecture but I can't use yet on (in/on/at) the right way. This was the first example.

    Other:
    I'm looking up the word in/on/at my dictionary

    And other question is when we are talking about time like these:

    I'm going to school at/by 5 o'clock
    I may have gone there at/by 5 o'clock.


    Thank you in/on/at advanced
    This is how I describe this usually. Hopefully it helps:
    "in" usually means "inside" (dentro de algo). So you "look up the word in a dictionary" because the definition really is inside the contents of the dictionary. Also, if you are talking about a city, state, country, or any other location that has boundaries, then you would say "I'm in New York" for example, because you are "inside" the boundaries of the city.
    In the case of "in advance", this is just a phrase that you have to learn. Much like "de antemano" is difficult for me to remember sometimes because "de" in this phrase sounds a little weird to me.
    "on" usually means literally "on top of" (por encima de) something. For example, "It's on the dictionary" would mean either it's por encima del dictionario or it's written somewhere on the cover of the dictionary, but it's NOT inside.
    "at" is more general, and can mean either in or near a location. For example, if you ask me "Where are you?" I could respond "I'm at the store". But from this response you don't know if I'm inside the store, or waiting in the parking lot. People often say "at the store" because it doesn't really matter if you are inside or outside of the store, because the other person is just wondering where you are in general. However, say for example that someone came to the store to find you, and they are in the parking lot, if they ask you "Where are you?" then it would be important to say "I'm in the store" because then it's 100% certain that I'm inside the store, and not somewhere in the parking lot or near the store.
    I hope this isn't too confusing
     
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