Correct use of the place preposition “on” in a full sentence

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The place preposition “on” is used to describe something that’s physically touching another object and is usually resting on the object’s topmost surface.  For example, it is on the table. By saying this, you’re telling the listener that “it” is physically touching the top of the table, “it” is resting on the table’s top surface. 

Another example, the cat is on the roof. By saying this, you’re telling the listener that the cat is outside and resting on top of the roof. 

How to use the place preposition “on” in a full sentence

Simply put, “on” is used to describe an object that’s resting on something’s topmost surface.  Here are a few examples commonly used in English: 
The cat is on the box.

The guitar is on the wall.

My chopsticks are on the plate. 

It is on the table.

Let’s look at the sentence “it is on the table”. Notice the use of Noun, Verb, the Preposition “on,” the definite article “the” and a final Noun. The below pattern can be used to create sentences that correctly use the place preposition “on.” 

A syntax (word order) tree is included for a visual representation of the sentence. 

Remember, English uses 150 prepositions, but, don’t let this fact frighten you, learning a few common preposition phrases, such as in, on, above, under, and besides will make you sound like a native English speaker.

Should I use the article “the” with the place preposition “on”

The definite article “the” is MOST OFTEN used after the preposition “on.” Remember, “the” is placed before an object of known identity. And so, “the table,” from the previous example, is known to both the speaker and listener. 

Here is another example, the keys are on the table. In this sentence, “the table” is known. By saying this, you’re telling the listener that your keys are on your table (or the nearest table to the speaker). However, the keys aren’t on a table of unknown identity. 

Other uses of the preposition “on”

How to use the word ‘on’ colloquially

You may hear a native English speaker say “I’m on it.” This DOES NOT mean that the speaker is resting on something’s topmost surface. It means that they’re completing the task at hand.  Here’s an example dialogue using:  

Question: “Eric, will you wash the dishes?”

Answer: “Yeah, I’m on it.” 

Examples of the place preposition “on”

Yuka hung a painting of the sunset on her living room wall.

He left his phone on his table. 

Let’s practice 

Q1: What are some things you have on the walls of your house? 

Q2: Is it more comfortable to sit on the floor or a chair? Explain. 

Q3: Make your own sentence. 

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