Preposition Definition | List of Different Types of Prepositions with Examples

Prepositions in English! Learn preposition definition, different types of prepositions, and how to use them correctly with ESL image and prepositions list in English.

Preposition Definition

Prepositions are the words which are used to connect the different nouns, pronouns, and phrases in a sentence. It functions to introduce or precede the word or phrase to be connected, called the object of the preposition.

The preposition usually indicates the relation between the words it is connecting. It tells whether the words are connected in actual space or a place, or related through time or are they part of a thought or process.

Prepositional phrases are the preposition and its object and any adjectives or adverbs that were applied to the object. The prepositional phrase as a whole can also be used as a noun, adverb or adjective.

Example: He found the book on the table.

  • Here the preposition is ‘on’ as it shows the relation in place between the book and the table.
  • The prepositional phrase is ‘on the table’ which is acting as an Adverb telling where the book was found.

Example: She went to sleep early.

  • In this sentence the preposition is ‘to’ which is introducing where or in what state had the noun gone into.

Example: Her house was beside a steep hill.

  • The preposition here is beside which is telling the place where the house was.
  • The prepositional phrase is ‘beside a steep hill’ which is acting as an adverb.

Types of Prepositions

Simple Prepositions

These prepositions are constructed by only one word like: On, at, about, with, after, for, etc.

Example: He found the book about dogs on the table, in the bedroom.

Here is a list of common simple prepositions (preposition examples):

  • For
  • By
  • At
  • On
  • Of
  • Off
  • To

Double Prepositions

These prepositions are formed by combining two words or two Simple Prepositions: Into, within, upon, onto, etc.

Example: The dog jumped onto the bed and left marks upon the sheets.

Here is a list of common double prepositions (preposition examples):

  • Into
  • Onto
  • Upto
  • From Behind
  • From Beneath
  • Out Of
  • Upon

Compound Prepositions

These prepositions are two-word prepositions.

According to, because of, next to, due to, etc.

Example: He was upset because of his son’s behaviour.

Here is a list of common compound prepositions (preposition examples):

  • Across
  • Along
  • Beside
  • Behind
  • Before
  • Without
  • Inside

Participle Prepositions

Participles are actually verbs that end with ‘-en’ or ‘-ing’. As these verbs were commonly and very popularly used as prepositions by the people, these verbs have been given special status as prepositions.

Considering, during, given, including, etc.

Example: Considering what he had to work with, he did a pretty good job.

Here is a list of common participle prepositions (preposition examples):

Phrase Prepositions

These prepositions are a combination of the preposition + a modifier (optional) + the object. They are used to modify the nouns, verbs or sentences and also complete clauses.

At home, in time, with me, from my father, under the blanket, etc.

Example: The clothes left on the bed have been ironed and kept back.

Here is a list of common phrase prepositions (preposition examples):

  • At high speed
  • By all means
  • For a change
  • In accordance with
  • On a journey
  • Out of curiosity
  • To the best of

Prepositions can only be learnt by memory; unfortunately there is no method or particular way to recognize and learn them.

List of Prepositions

These classifications above are based on the construction of the prepositions themselves. Apart from this, prepositions are also categorized based on their use in a sentence as:

  • Prepositions of place.
  • Prepositions of time.
  • Prepositions of movement.

Prepositions of Place

What are prepositions of place?

Prepositions of place refer to those prepositions that can be used to show where something is located. There are three basic prepositions of place: in, on, at.

For example:

  • At college
  • At home
  • At reception
  • In a taxi
  • In the sky
  • In the building
  • On the way
  • On the radio
  • On the page

Preposition Definition | List of Different Types of Prepositions with Examples 1Pin

Prepositions of Time

What are prepositions of time?

The prepositions are often used to refer to times and dates. There are three basic prepositions of time: at, in, on

For examples:

  • At 10.30am
  • At 8 o’clock
  • At bedtime
  • At breakfast
  • In 16 year’s time
  • In 1991.
  • In December
  • On Christmas
  • On Friday
  • On holiday

Preposition Definition | List of Different Types of Prepositions with Examples 2Pin

Prepositions of Movement

What are prepositions of movement?

Prepositions of movement show movement from one place to another. There are 9 basic prepositions that pertain to movement: To, Towards, Through, Into, Across, Over, Along, In, On

For example:

  • I’m going to the doctor’s.
  • Can you direct me to the nearest post office?
  • He was walking menacingly towards me.
  • The train went through the tunnel.
  • He walked across the road.

Preposition Definition | List of Different Types of Prepositions with Examples 3Pin

Prepositions in English | Infographic


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Asoke Kumar Ghosh
Asoke Kumar Ghosh
4 years ago

Good at a glance

Alvin Mbici
Alvin Mbici
3 years ago

Yeah right

3 years ago

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Amaani Qutb
Amaani Qutb
3 years ago
  • Really very helpful loved that please visit this site for learning preposition that is VERY HELPFUL THANKS FOR THIS
3 years ago

Thank you so much! These materials are immensely helpful.

3 years ago


Hari Krishna Viswanadham
Hari Krishna Viswanadham
3 years ago

this was really helpful thank you… very much…. it helped me a lot … thanks

Sharmila Bose
Sharmila Bose
3 years ago

Very helpful Thanks

evelyn woods
evelyn woods
3 years ago

very good info, thanks sooooo much, keep them coming

2 years ago
Reply to  evelyn woods

i would also say so

2 years ago

kindly add preposition of possession

2 years ago

Info was pretty useful
2 years ago

Nice helpful

Aalbert Nazir
Aalbert Nazir
1 year ago

a very beneficial site for teachers and students

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