Should it be in or at the year, on or in a chair?

I happened to see this exercise and tried doing it. When comparing with the key answers, I couldn’t make out some. Would you kindly explain them for me?
The task is to choose the best prepositions. The ones in red are keys while the underlined are my answers

  1. Water was streaming … the roof. (in, out of, from, [color=red]off)
  2. He put the book … the take and sat down … a chair. (on-in, on-with, [color=red]on-on, on-into)
  3. She sacrifices her life … her family (With, for, into, [color=red]to)
  4. I began to work here … January … the year 1980. (on-in, at-in, [color=red]in-at, in-in)

Thank you very much

  1. Water was streaming off the roof. (Sees the roof as a surface and the water is moving off that surface.)
    1a. Water was streaming from the roof. (Sees the roof as a container of some kind, or made of layers, and the water is coming from between, inside, or even under, the roof.)

Are you sure it wasn’t:

  1. He put the book on the table and sat down on a chair.

  2. She sacrifices her life for her family.

  3. I began to work here in January in/of the year 1980.

You can sit in a chair or on a chair, depending on the style of the chair. Those hard folding chairs you can only sit “on” but a big, wing-back chair that welcomes you to settle in definitely lets you sit “in” it.

I would definitely agree with you and Molly that “for” works in #3. She dedicates her life to, but sacrifices her life for.

Are you saying the key said “at the year 1980”? I would never say that.

Hi, Barb

Do you agree with Molly’s suggestion in respect to “of the year 1980”? Will it work or only “in the year 1980” is correct?


Both work, Alex.

Just an added note about the sentence using the word ‘sacrifice’:

I think ‘for’ works the best here because it gives a reason for the sacrifice: for the benefit of the family.

However, you can also say ‘sacrifice to’ when the intended meaning is closer to or more obviously ‘give to’ – like this, for example:

  • They sacrificed a lamb to the gods.

That’ based on “offer to”".

Oh thank all of you very much. So, keys are wrong, except for the first two which are not in clear situations :frowning: