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I would like to know which one is correct or what is the difference: 1. By the lake or at the lake 2. In the backyard or on the backyard.

thanks.

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    It's unlikely anything would ever be described as being on the backyard, because we don't normally think of a backyard as being a "surface" that things can be located on. But by the lake specifically implies being very near the lake (but not actually in or on it), whereas at the lake is far less specific (you could be sitting beside the lake, swimming in it, or sailing on it, for example). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Sep 20 '16 at 13:36
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Regarding "at/by the lake", ditto FumbleFingers comment. "By the lake" is specific: You are referring to a place on the beach or the shore. "At the lake" is more general: You could be swimming in the water, in a boat on the surface, on the shore as with "by", or in the general vicinity.

Regard "in/on the backyard": A "backyard" in English is generally understood to mean an area, a place, and not just the grass or dirt or whatever surface. So you would say "in the backyard". If you wanted to say that something was sitting on the grass, you could say, "on the grass in the backyard".

Note that the use of prepositions with places can get confusing. We've discussed this in other questions. You are "at the corner", but you are "in the park". Etc. I won't go into that as that isn't the current question.

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  1. this depends on how you are next to the lake if you 'by the lake' if you are at the lake you have arrived there or have discussed it.
  2. in the backyard is the better option, but next time try using example sentences in your question post!
  • For example: I am in my house by/at the lake. I was by/at the lake yesterday. – Oksana Sep 23 '16 at 16:48

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