Understanding the Basics of Prepositions in English Grammar

Introduction of Preposition:

A preposition is a word that shows the relationship between a noun or pronoun and other words in a sentence. It is usually placed before a noun or pronoun to indicate the position or direction of the subject. For example, “The cat is on the table.”

Definition of Preposition:

A preposition is a part of speech that introduces a prepositional phrase and connects it to another word in a sentence. Prepositions often indicate location, direction, or time, and are essential for creating grammatically correct sentences.

Important Prepositions with Examples:

There are many important prepositions in the English language, each with their own unique meaning and usage. Some of the most common prepositions include “in,” “on,” “at,” “by,” “with,” “from,” and “to.” Here are some examples:

  • In: She is in the room.
  • On: The book is on the table.
  • At: I will meet you at the park.
  • By: He went by the store.
  • With: She is going with her friends.
  • From: He is from Canada.
  • To: They went to the beach.

Characteristics of Preposition:
  • They usually come before a noun or pronoun.
  • They express the relationship between the noun or pronoun and other words in the sentence.
  • They often indicate location, direction, or time.
  • They cannot be used as the main verb in a sentence.

Difference between Prepositions and Adverbs with Examples:

Prepositions and adverbs are both parts of speech that describe the relationship between two or more words in a sentence. However, there are some key differences between the two. While prepositions always connect to a noun or pronoun, adverbs usually modify a verb, adjective, or other adverb.

Here are some examples:

  • Preposition: The cat is on the table.
  • Adverb: The cat jumped on the table quickly.

Functions of Preposition with Examples:
  • Showing location: The cat is under the table.
  • Showing direction: The plane is flying towards the mountains.
  • Showing time: I will see you at 3 pm.
  • Showing the relationship between words: The book belongs to John

    Prepositions of Place with Examples:
  • Prepositions of place are used to indicate the location of an object or person. Here are some common examples:
  • In: The book is in the bag.
  • On: The vase is on the table.
  • At: She is at the park.
  • Under: The cat is under the bed.
  • Above: The plane is flying above the clouds.
  • Below: The fish is below the water.
Preposition Example
In In the box
On On the table
At At the store
Under Under the bed
Over Over the bridge
Above Above the clouds
Below Below the surface
Inside Inside the building
Outside Outside the house
Between Between the two trees
Among Among the crowd
Behind Behind the curtains
In front of In front of the car
Near Near the beach
Far from Far from the city
Next to Next to the park
Against Against the wall
Across Across the river
Towards Towards the sunset

Prepositions of Time with Examples:

Prepositions of time are used to indicate when an action or event takes place. Here are some examples:

  • In: I will see you in 30 minutes.
  • On: The meeting is on Monday.
  • At: We will meet at 9 am.
  • Before: She left before the party started.
  • After: He arrived after the concert.
Preposition Example
In In the morning
On On Monday
At At noon
Before Before the meeting
After After school
During During the concert
For For two hours
Since Since last month
By By midnight
Until Until the party ends
Within Within the hour
About About noon
Around Around midnight
From From sunrise to sunset
To To the end of the year
Past Past midnight
Future In the future
Present In the present
Ago Two hours ago

Prepositions Indicating Direction with Examples:

Prepositions indicating direction are used to indicate movement or direction. Here are some examples:

  • To: She went to the store.
  • From: He came from the airport.
  • Into: The bird flew into the house.
  • Out of: The dog ran out of the room.
  • Towards: They are walking towards the beach.
  • Away from: He is moving away from the city.
Preposition Example
To To the store
From From the airport
Into Into the room
Out of Out of the building
Towards Towards the city
Away from Away from the crowd
Across Across the street
Along Along the river
Through Through the tunnel
Around Around the lake
Beyond Beyond the horizon
Upon Upon the hill
Around Around the corner
Off Off the highway
Up Up the stairs
Down Down the street
Past Past the park
Over Over the bridge
Across Across the ocean

Preposition of Place with Examples:

Prepositions of place indicate where something is located. Here are some examples:

  • In front of: The car is parked in front of the house.
  • Behind: The tree is behind the building.
  • Next to: The pencil is next to the notebook.
  • Between: The phone is between the books.
Preposition Example
In front of In front of the house
Behind Behind the building
Next to Next to the car
Between Between the two chairs
Among Among the flowers
Underneath Underneath the table
Above Above the clouds
Below Below the surface
Inside Inside the room
Outside Outside the building
Across from Across from the park
Beside Beside the tree
Atop Atop the mountain
On top of On top of the desk
Alongside Alongside the river
Near Near the beach
Far from Far from the city
Throughout Throughout the house
Against Against the wall

Preposition of Manner with Examples:

Prepositions of manner indicate how an action is performed. Here are some examples:

  • With: She wrote the letter with a pen.
  • By: He made the cake by following the recipe.
  • Like: She sings like a professional.
Preposition Example sentence
as She runs as fast as a cheetah.
like He dances like Michael Jackson.
in She speaks in a soft voice.
with He drew the picture with great skill.
by She wrote the essay by hand.
through She passed through the door quietly.
using He solved the problem using a calculator.
via We travelled to Paris via Eurostar.
in the manner of She sang in the manner of a professional.

Prepositions Fixed with Some Particular Words (Nouns, Adjectives, Verbs):

Some prepositions are fixed with specific words. Here are some examples:

  • Afraid of: He is afraid of heights.
  • Interested in: She is interested in learning new things.
  • Good at: He is good at playing the guitar.
  • Dependent on: She is dependent on her family.

Prepositions fixed with some Noun words

Preposition Noun Example sentence
in time I’ll see you in a few hours.
on the table The book is on the table.
at the party She met him at the party.
to the store Let’s go to the store.
from the airport She arrived from the airport.
with a friend I went to the movie with a friend.
by train I travelled to London by train.
of the top She’s at the top of her class.
for a gift He bought her a gift for her birthday.
about the topic Let’s talk about the topic.

Prepositions fixed with some Adjectives words

Preposition Adjective Example sentence
of aware She is aware of the situation.
about angry He is angry about the decision.
with pleased She is pleased with the results.
at good He is good at math.
to similar The painting is similar to the original.
for responsible She is responsible for the project.
on dependent The outcome is dependent on the weather.
about curious She is curious about the new book.
with bored He is bored with the movie.
in interested She is interested in the topic.

Prepositions fixed with some verbs words

Preposition Verb Example sentence
to listen She likes to listen to music.
for wait We waited for the bus.
on focus He needs to focus on the task.
with deal We dealt with the problem.
in participate She wants to participate in the competition.
at arrive They arrived at the airport.
on rely I rely on my friends for support.
of approve She approved of the plan.
about talk Let’s talk about the problem.
for pay He paid for the meal.

Prepositions Forming Phrasal Verbs with Examples:

Prepositions can also be used to form phrasal verbs. Here are some examples:

  • Turn off: She turned off the lights.
  • Look up: He looked up the definition of the word.
  • Put on: She put on her jacket.
Phrasal Verb Meaning
Back up To support, to move backwards
Blow up To explode, to inflate
Break down To stop functioning, to analyze
Bring up To raise a topic, to vomit
Call off To cancel
Carry on To continue
Come across To find unexpectedly, to make an impression
Count on To rely on
Cut off To disconnect
Get along To have a good relationship
Give up To surrender, to stop trying
Hold on To wait, to grasp tightly
Look out To be cautious, to watch out
Make up To reconcile, to invent
Put off To postpone
Set up To establish, to arrange
Take after To resemble
Take off To remove, to become successful
Turn down To reject, to reduce
Turn off To switch off, to repel

Note: There are many other phrasal verbs that can be formed with prepositions, and different sources may list different ones. The above list includes some of the most common ones.

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