What are prepositions?
Prepositions link nouns and pronouns to other words in a sentence. The words or phrases that prepositions introduce are called the objects. They also show the relationship of a noun or pronoun to another word in the sentence. Prepositions can help us show not just where something took place, but how and when it took place.
- Sam quickly swam across the river.
- The torch is in the handbag.
- We have been living in England since 1999.
- The traffic is heavy in the evenings.
- This market remains closed on Thursdays.
- The motorcycle is parked under the tree.
List of Commonly Used Preposition (Words)
|after||in front of|
|against||in place of|
|amid||in addition to|
Prepositions can be simple (at, on etc.), double (according to), phrasal (in place of) and compound (alongside).
Common Types of Prepositions
Some prepositions tell us about the place where something happens.
- Some children are playing in the playground.
- The boys are standing under the tree.
- They are hiding behind the bush.
- There is a lake beyond the fields.
- Mr James lives in an apartment below ours.
- The moon goes around the earth.
- She lives at 10 Manhattan road.
- The Eiffel Tower is in France.
Some prepositions are used to tell the time in a sentence.
- During the meeting, the Chairman gave the presentation.
- Sri Lanka won the tournament in 1983.
- Tracy will wait until tomorrow.
- Many people stay on for the vigil after the midnight mass.
- I visited Australia during the vacation.
- Peter had his lunch at two o’clock.
- The bank is closed between 1:00 and 1:30 P.M.
- Please send the mailing list by Monday.
Some prepositions tell us about the direction or where something is going.
- The cubs ran into the cave.
- It took us a long time to find our way through the maze.
- The bank is located towards the end of this road.
- There is a bridge across the stream.
- Mary walked up the stairs.
- Joseph bumped into Sofia.
- Sam kicked the ball over the fence.
- I am taking the mobile phone to the repair shop.
Some prepositions show us the relationship between a noun or pronoun and another word in a sentence.
- Many people travel by local train.
- Everyone was looking at her.
- This book is written by Ruskin Bond.
- The students are talking about the football match.
- My mother is fond of coffee.
- There is a horse in the playground.
- The donkey jumped off the fence.
- The dog is in the kennel.
Prepositions – Rules and Usage
Prepositions of place: at, in, on.
We use ‘at‘ before an address and ‘on‘ before the name of a road.
- The company has opened an office at 41 The Idioms Road, London.
- The bank is on Park Road.
We use ‘at‘ to talk about a place.
- I arrived at the New York Railway Station at 4:30 P.M.
- We met at the conference in Vancouver.
We use ‘on‘ to talk about a position.
- Is that my pen on the table?
- Please keep these jars on the top shelf.
We use ‘in‘ to talk about a position within a larger area.
- There has been a big disaster in California.
- She searched for the keys in her bag.
Prepositions of time: at, in, on.
We use ‘at‘ to denote an exact point of time.
- At 4 o’ clock.
- At 9:30 A.M.
- At midnight
- At midday
We use ‘at‘ to talk about short periods.
- We often play rugby at weekends.
- I’ll see you at Christmas.
We use ‘at‘ with mealtimes such as breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- You are cordially invited at lunch tomorrow.
- I will be meeting Meena at dinner.
We use ‘at‘ to denote place or direction.
- She studies at Oxford.
- He smiled at her.
We use ‘at‘ to denote state or condition.
- The plumber is at work.
- The country is at peace.
We use ‘in‘ when we talk about longer periods of time.
- In the year 1990, our town experienced a massive landslide.
- In the days that followed her operation, she was on a liquid diet.
We use ‘in‘ when we say how long something takes.
- He learned the programme ‘Oracle’ in just a month.
- He shall be arriving at the Amsterdam airport in an hour from now.
We use ‘in‘ with the pasts of the day such as morning, noon and evening.
- It was raining in the morning.
- He called up in the evening to say that he would be late for the party.
We use ‘on‘ when we talk about a particular day or date.
- I get my salary on the 5th of every month.
- It’s her birthday on the 9th of December.
The preposition ‘between‘ refers to two people or things. ‘Among‘ is used for three or more people or things.
- Divide the pizza between the two of you.
- Divide the money among the four groups.
‘Into‘ implies entrance or movement, ‘in‘ does not.
- The teacher walked into the classroom.
- The boss was waiting for his team in the conference room.
- Cut the cake into five pieces.
- She is sitting in the car.
‘On‘ is used to denote place.
- Keep the jug on the table.
- The painting hangs on the wall.
We use ‘on‘ to denote a state or condition.
- The inspector is on duty.
- Our boss is on holiday.