Georgian by and large does not have prepositions but rather postpositions. Most of the most common of these are attached to the ends of nouns. They might be written separately or together with the noun. There do exist a few prepositions, but they are very few in number, and tend to be calques from Russian that entered the language during the Soviet period.
Each postposition governs (requires) a specific case of the noun, akin to the usage of prepositions in German or Latin. Only one postposition governs the nominative case (-vit "like"), and there are no postpositions that govern the ergative or the vocative cases. Here are some examples of postpositions:
|-tan ertad||together with||dative|
|-shi ²||in, to||dative|
|-dan 4||from (a place)||instrumental|
|-gan||from (a person, a thing)||genitive|
|miuxedavad||in spite of||genitive|
|-ts'in||before, in front of||genitive|
|-mde ³||up to, as far as||adverbial|
¹ The postposition -vit could also take the dative case in its elongated form (with an insertion of -a- in between the case suffix and the postposition).
² In the usage of postposition -shi the dative case suffix -s is dropped.
³ In the usage of postposition -mde the adverbial case suffix -d is dropped.
4 In the usage of postposition -dan the instrumental case suffix -t is dropped.
The Georgian nominal has a series of morpheme slots that must be filled in a specific order:
- noun root + plural suffix + case suffix (+ postposition)
|noun root (meaning)||plural suffix||case suffix (case)||postposition||full word||English meaning|
|megobar- (friend)||-eb||-is (genitive)||-tvis||megobrebistvis||for friends|
|deda- (mother)||-||-s (dative)||-tan ertad||dedastan ertad||(together) with (my) mother|
|mshobl- (parent)||-eb||-is (genitive)||gareshe||mshoblebis gareshe||without (my) parents|
|shen- (you)||-||-s (genitive)||gamo||shens gamo||because of you|
|bavshv- (child)||-||-i (nominative)||-vit||bavshvivit||like (a) child|
|bavshv- (child)||-eb||-sa (dative)||-vit||bavshvebsavit||like children|
|Sakartvelo- (Georgia)||-||-s (dative)||-shi (drops case suffix)||Sakartveloshi||to Georgia, in Georgia|
|xval- (tomorrow)||-||-ad (adverbial)||-mde (drops d)||xvalamde||up to (until) tomorrow|