Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you get confused when using English prepositions like ‘along?’

Today you’ll learn the difference between ‘on’ and ‘along’ in English.

A student sent in an excellent question about these prepositions.

Get answers to this tough question on today’s episode.

You’ll also hear examples and a roleplay to clarify how to use them both.

Along a street

Lindsay and Michelle share what they see along their street.

Michelle lives in New York and she would see a lot of buildings, an Italian restaurant, and a convenience store.

Lindsay has a park along her street and a coffee shop just across.

Today’s episode has been inspired by a listener’s question about the preposition ‘along.’

This is a very important grammar lesson.

Prepositions like ‘along’ bring ideas together for cohesive meaning.

Today’s question

Best podcasts ever! Can you make an episode about the word: ‘along’? It’s very confusing to me. I don’t know how to use it.

JulioE3274 from the United States

How to use ‘along’

There are a multitude of ways listed in the dictionary for ‘along.’

To avoid confusion, Lindsay and Michelle will focus on a couple of these.

This way you can get started using the word ‘along.’

Follow the podcast for future follow-up episode to share more.

#1: In a line matching the length or direction of

This is according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary.

The preposition ‘along’ refers to a direction you are following or tracing.

When you say, “I’m walking along the water,” it doesn’t mean you are on the water, it means you are walking beside the water.

Walking along the road
I’m walking along the river

#2: At a point or points on

This means you are referring to something that is located in a certain direction.

This is similar to following a line or following a street.

As you go along a route, there are points that are found ‘along’ it.

There is a house along the river.
Are there any coffee shops along fifth street?

#3: In the course of

Using ‘along’ in this way means stopping along the way.

You will often hear this being used on road trips when planning or asking for directions.

I’m sure there will be a bathroom along the way, but maybe we should go before we head out.


Using the preposition ‘along’ can be confusing and there are a lot of ways to use it in your English conversations.

The following brief roleplays will show how this preposition is used correctly.

#1 Roleplay: In a line matching the length or direction of

Lindsay: Michelle, where are you?
Michelle: I’m driving along First Street. Have you seen that beautiful new building?!
Lindsay: Yes, it’s amazing.

#2 Roleplay: At a point or points on

Michelle: There was a store along that street over there.
Lindsay: Oh, should we stop in?
Michelle: Yes!

#3 Roleplay: In the course of

Lindsay: I’ve made many mistakes along the way, but I try my best to learn from each one.
Michelle: Same here!

You can interchange ‘along’ with ‘on.’

‘On’ is another preposition that can refer to a location in a certain direction.

Read through the roleplays above and replace ‘along’ with ‘on.’

These two mean the same thing so you can switch it up and use both!

Conversation questions using ‘along’

Using the right preposition when talking to a native English speaker is important to get your idea across.

You can use ‘along’ as a good conversation starter or even to ask questions and learn more about who you’re talking to.

Here are some examples you can use on your next catchup with a friend or work colleague:

  • Do you like to walk along the beach?
  • Is there a favorite store you have along your street?
  • What are some things you’ve learned along the way in your work life? Personal life?


The preposition ‘along’ can be confusing to use.

Today’s tips will keep you from being intimidated to use it in your conversations.

When learning about prepositions, focus in on one meaning rather than trying to take everything in at the same time.

Also, don’t stress about which preposition to use between ‘along’ or ‘on.’

They are basically interchangeable and neither will be incorrect.

Take charge of your learning by listening to more of our All Ears English episodes.

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Let us know in the comment below!

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