As well as using in, on or at to talk about location (see below for my earlier posts) we can add 'of'' for some more advanced language! These are known as 'adverbials of location'.
At the front of
In front of
Be careful not to mix these two up.
"After 15 minutes I was finally at the front of the queue."
"The man in front of me at the cinema was very tall, so I couldn't see the screen properly."
At the front of is used when you are the first person, in other words there is nobody in your way, you are:
at the front of the bus
at the front of the class
at the front of queue
In front of means that there is something or someone before you. You can talk about:
the car in front of me at the traffic lights
the person in front of me at the bus stop
the plane in front of ours on the runway
At the top of
On top of
Again, be careful not to mix these two up
At the top of can be used when something is at the very end, usually at a higher point:
at the top of the hill you will have a beautiful view
at the top of the road, turn left
On top of is used to talk about an object which is on something:
the statue, on top of the hill, could be seen for miles
the lines painted on top of the road show where you can park
the bowl of fruit is on top of the kitchen table
In the middle of indicates a place between two other things:
in the middle of the road (between the two sides of the road)
in the middle of a chapter (between the beginning and end of a chapter in a book)
in the middle of an argument (between two people with opposing views and you are not taking either side).
These adverbials of location can be used to join two separate phrases together to form a more complex sentence:
I am in a queue. I am the first person.
"I am at the front of the queue."
The lady in the yellow hat. She is before me in the queue.
"The lady in the yellow hat is in front of me in the queue."
There is a bench. The bench is at the top of the hill.
"The bench at the top of the hill is a great place to sit."
The red book. It is on the table.
"The red book on top of the table."
There is a restaurant. It is in the town square.
"The restaurant in the middle of the town square."
Read the following two sets of sentences. Which one is correct? Click on 'answer' to find out:
The book is on top of the table.
The book is at the top of the table.
The restaurant is in front of the church.
The restaurant is at the front of the church.
The child is swimming at the top of the swimming pool.
The child is swimming in the middle of the swimming pool.
She sat in front of the bus.
She sat at the front of the bus.
The company chair person sat at the top of the table during the meeting.
The company chair person sat on top of the table during the meeting.