English Grammar/Basic Parts of Speech/Prepositions

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Definition[edit]

A preposition connects or shows the relationship between a noun, pronoun and phrase to other parts of the sentence. Whatever object or phrase the preposition is introducing is called the object of the preposition.

Each bold word in the following sentences are examples of prepositions:

The box is on the desk. The box is under the desk. The box is leaning against the desk. The box is beside the desk. He held the box over the desk. He looked at the box during lunch.

In each sentence a preposition is used to locate the box in time or space. People use prepositions everyday without even realizing it. Think of a preposition as a way to relate the object to the rest of the sentence.

List of Prepositions[edit]

Some Commonly Used Prepositions[edit]

about before down of throughout
above behind during off to
across below except on toward
after beneath for onto under
against beside from out underneath
along between in outside until
among beyond inside over up
around but into past upon
as by like since with
at despite near through without

Compound Prepositions[edit]

according to except for in response to
as well as in accordance with in spite of
because of in addition to inside of
by means of in place of instead of
by way of in relation to on account of

Object of the Preposition[edit]

The object of the preposition is always a noun, a pronoun or a noun equivalent.

Examples:[edit]

  1. With poise, Gwyneth Paltrow walked to the stage and accepted her Academy Award. (The noun poise is the object of the preposition with.)
  2. The Palace welcomed the Prince of Monaco and scheduled a sightseeing tour for him. (The pronoun him is the object of the preposition for.)
  3. The director asked about proposing the summer programs for the University. (Proposing the summer programs for the University is a group of words functioning as noun or is a noun equivalent. It is the object of the preposition about.)

Prepositions Indicating Time[edit]

  1. Use on before days of the week, before months followed by the day or before the time indicating the day, month and year.
  2. Use in to indicate year, before months not followed by the day or before the month and year without the day.
  3. Use for to refer to a period of time stating the number of hours, days or weeks.
  4. Use during to refer to a period of time.
  5. Use since to refer to a period of time from the past to the present.

Prepositions Indicating Place or Position[edit]

  1. Use between when you speak of two persons, places or things.
  2. Use among when you speak of three or more persons, places or things.
  3. Use on in an address with only the name of the street.
  4. Use at when referring to places which indicate the general location.
  5. Use in when the given location is more specific.
  6. Use in when something is already inside.
  7. Use into when there is movement involved in the placement of something.