Lesson 6. Prepositions в (in) and на (on)

In this lesson we will answer questions куда? и где? (where)

Informal:

Куда ты идешь? – Where are you going?

Где ты? – Where are you?

Formal:

Куда Вы идете? – Where are you going?

Где Вы? – Where are you?

When we talk about directon or situation of something, we use prepositions в (in) and на (on):

Я иду в магазин. – I am going to the market.

Ты идешь в школу. – You are going to school.

Он идет на работу. – He is going to work.

Мы идем в парк. – We are going to the park.

Вы идете на концерт. – You are going to the concert.

It is easy to understand whether to use в or на if you remember the slight meaning difference: when you are talking about the place where someone is going, use в. When we are talking about an event that someone is going to visit, use на.

For example, работа (work) is an event that is going to finish at the end of the working day, that’s why we use на. But if we are talking about the working place, we use в:

Идти на работу. – To go to work.

Идти в офис. – To go to the office.

Идти в университет. – To go to university.

Идти на пары. – To go to the courses.

Идти в кино. – To go to cinema.

Идти на фильм. – To go to the movie.

When talking about directions, the nouns meaning places or events are in accusative case: на работу, в офис, в университет, в школу. The ending of these nouns are those given in the previous lesson.

We also use these prepositions when talking about situation of an object in or on a certain place. When talking about situation, we put the noun that follows the preposition in prepositional case (see lesson about cases and tables of case endings).

We use в when we talk about:

1) social groups:

в семье – in the family

в коллективе — in the team

2) buildings or containers:

в офисе – in the office
в баре –
in the bar

в комнате – in the room

в коробке – in the box

3) countries, cities:

в России – in Russia
в Париже –
in Paris

4) days, months:

в воскресенье – on Sunday
в феврале – in February

For all days of the week and months, check this vocabulary page.

We use на when we talk about:

1) islands, seas:


на море — on the sea

на острове – on the island

на Кубе – in Cuba

2) surfaces:

на столе — on the table

на полке – on the shelf

на воде – on the water

3) events:


на работе — at work

на концерте – on the concert

на фильме – on a movie

Remember: в горах (in the mountains), в саду (in the garden), на вокзале (at the station), на стадионе (at the stadium), на почте (at the post office), на остановке (at the (bus) stop).

Exercises

1. Look at the sentences and choose the right preposition — в or на.

Идти ____ концерт.

Книга ____ столе.

Ты ____ баре.

Мы ____ на вокзале.

Девочка ____ в саду.

Парень ____ университете.

Женщина ____ работе.

Мужчина ____ офисе.

Я иду ____ банк.

2. Translate the dialogue:

  • Привет. Ты где?

  • Я на работе. А ты?

  • Я иду домой.

  • Ты идешь на концерт вечером?

  • Да. А ты идешь?

  • Я тоже иду.

Вечером – tonight

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