Prepositions in English! Learn preposition definition, different types of prepositions, and how to use them correctly with ESL image and prepositions list in English.
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
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):
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):
- From Behind
- From Beneath
- Out Of
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):
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):
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.
- At college
- At home
- At reception
- In a taxi
- In the sky
- In the building
- On the way
- On the radio
- On the page
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
- 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
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
- 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.
Prepositions in English | Infographic