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What is a Preposition?
What are various examples of prepositions?
What is a prepositional phrase?
What does a prepositional phrase do in a sentence?
Here are further guidelines.
Subject + Verb + Object + Prepositional Phrase = Simple Sentence
What is a Preposition?
Prepositions are words that help link either the noun, or the pronoun with another word in the sentence in order to describe their relationship. A preposition is a word, which is used to indicate different relations, such as place, time, reason and purpose, method, direction and motion, manner, and possession. It is usually placed before a noun, or pronoun. The most common examples of prepositions in grammar are on, in, at, to, with, up, etc.

What are various examples of prepositions?
  1. Aboard

  2. About

  3. Above

  4. Across

  5. After

  6. Against

  7. Along

  8. Amid

  9. Among

  10. Anti

  11. Around

  12. As

  13. At

  14. Before

  15. Behind

  16. Below

  17. Beneath

  18. Beside

  19. Besides

  20. Between

  21. Beyond

  22. But

  23. By

  24. Concerning

  25. Considering

  26. Despite

  27. Down

  28. During

  29. Except

  30. Excepting

  31. Excluding

  32. Following

  33. For

  34. From

  35. In

  36. Inside

  37. Into

  38. Like

  39. Minus

  40. Near

  41. Of

  42. Off

  43. On

  44. Onto

  45. Opposite

  46. Outside

  47. Over

  48. Past

  49. Per

  50. Plus

  51. Regarding

  52. Round

  53. Save

  54. Since

  55. Than

  56. Through

  57. To

  58. Toward

  59. Towards

  60. Under

  61. Underneath

  62. Unlike

  63. Until

  64. Up

  65. Upon

  66. Versus

  67. Via

  68. With

  69. Within

  70. Without

  71. Compound Prepositions
  72. According To

  73. As Of

  74. Aside From

  75. Because Of

  76. By Means Of

  77. In Addition To

  78. In Front Of

  79. In Place Of

  80. In Spite Of

  81. Instead Of

  82. On Account Of

  83. Out Of

  84. Owing To

  85. Prior To
  86. Here are further guidelines.
Prepositions of Movement
Prepositions of Place
Prepositions of Time
Prepositions at the end of questions
What is a preposition?
What are various examples of prepositions?
Where do you use word to in a sentence?
The word to is a preposition.
What words are similar to the word to?
Where do you use the word of in a sentence?
What words are similar to the word of?
How do you place an adjective or an adverb in a sentence?
If the countable noun is specific, definite can be preceded by the.
The book has been printed.
A book has been read.
Ten books have been printed.

What is a preposition?

Prepositions are used before nouns to give additional information in a sentence. Usually, prepositions are used to show where something is located or when something happened.

A preposition links nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words in a sentence. The word or phrase that the preposition introduces is called the object of the preposition.

Prepositions are the words that indicate location.

A preposition usually indicates the temporal, spatial or logical relationship of its object to the rest of the sentence as in the following examples:

The book is on the table.
The book is beneath the table.
The book is leaning against the table.
The book is beside the table.
She held the book over the table.
She read the book during class.

In each of the preceding sentences, a preposition locates the noun "book" in space or in time.

A prepositional phrase is made up of the preposition, its object and any associated adjectives or adverbs. A prepositional phrase can function as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. The most common prepositions are "about," "above," "across," "after," "against," "along," "among," "around," "at," "before," "behind," "below," "beneath," "beside," "between," "beyond," "but," "by," "despite," "down," "during," "except," "for," "from," "in," "inside," "into," "like," "near," "of," "off," "on," "onto," "out," "outside," "over," "past," "since," "through," "throughout," "till," "to," "toward," "under," "underneath," "until," "up," "upon," "with," "within," and "without."

Prepositions of Place
Prepositions of Time

English Grammar : Prepositions : English Preposition Rule

A preposition is followed by a "noun". It is never followed by a verb.
Why is the word "to" followed by a verb in these sentences: I would like to go now; she used to smoke, as a preposition is followed by a "noun" but never by a verb?
In these sentences, "to" is not a preposition. It is part of the infinitive: to go, to smoke.

By "noun" we include:

  • noun (dog, money, love)
  • proper noun (name) (Bangkok, Mary)
  • pronoun (you, him, us)
  • noun group (my first job)
  • gerund (swimming)

A preposition cannot be followed by a verb. If we want to follow a preposition by a verb, we must use the "-ing" form which is really a gerund or verb in noun form.

Quick Quiz: In the following sentences, why is "to" followed by a verb? That should be impossible, according to the above rule:

  • I would like to go now.
  • She used to smoke.

Here are some examples:

Subject + verbpreposition"noun"
The food isonthe table.
She livesinJapan.
Tara is lookingforyou.
The letter isunderyour blue book.
Pascal is usedtoEnglish people.
She isn't usedtoworking.
I atebeforecoming.
Prepositions : Prepositions of Place: at, in, on

Prepositions of Place: at, in, on

In general, we use:

  • at for a POINT
  • in for an ENCLOSED SPACE
  • on for a SURFACE
at the cornerin the gardenon the wall
at the bus stopin Londonon the ceiling
at the doorin Franceon the door
at the top of the pagein a boxon the cover
at the end of the roadin my pocketon the floor
at the entrancein my walleton the carpet
at the crossroadsin a buildingon the menu
at the front desk in a caron a page

Look at these examples:

  • Jane is waiting for you at the bus stop.
  • The shop is at the end of the street.
  • My plane stopped at Dubai and Hanoi and arrived in Bangkok two hours late.
  • When will you arrive at the office?
  • Do you work in an office?
  • I have a meeting in New York.
  • Do you live in Japan?
  • Jupiter is in the Solar System.
  • The author's name is on the cover of the book.
  • There are no prices on this menu.
  • You are standing on my foot.
  • There was a "no smoking" sign on the wall.
  • I live on the 7th floor at 21 Oxford Street in London.

Notice the use of the prepositions of place at, in and on in these standard expressions:

at homein a caron a bus
at workin a taxion a train
at schoolin a helicopteron a plane
at universityin a boaton a ship
at collegein a lift (elevator)on a bicycle, on a motorbike
at the topin the newspaperon a horse, on an elephant
at the bottomin the skyon the radio, on television
at the sidein a rowon the left, on the right
at receptionin Oxford Streeton the way

The following words are the most commonly used prepositions:
in front of
in spite of
up to
instead of
because of
with regard to
with respect to

It is useful to locate prepositional phrases in sentences since any noun or pronoun within the prepositional phrase must be the preposition’s object and, therefore, cannot be misidentified as a verb’s direct object.

To the store is a prepositional phrase.

Store is the object of the preposition to, not the direct object of the verb drove.

Car is the direct object of the verb drove.

To the grocery store is a prepositional phrase.


A word that looks like a preposition but is actually part of a verb is called a particle.

To avoid confusing prepositions with particles, test by moving the word (up) and words following it to the front of the sentence:

If the resulting sentence does not make sense, then the word belongs with the verb and is a particle, not a preposition.

Note the difference:

The resulting sentence makes sense. Therefore, up is a preposition.

The resulting sentence does not make sense. Therefore, up is a particle in this sentence.

The following examples illustrate the difference between prepositions and particles:

Some other examples of particles:

give in

turn in

pull through

wore out

broke up

go in for

put in for

bring up

found out

blow up

look up

make up

look over
Prepositions Showing:

LocationTimeAction and Movement
above at at
below on by
over by from
under before into
among from on
between since onto
beside for off
in front of during out of
behind to 
next to until 
with after 
in the middle of  
Prepositional Phrases Quiz II Fill in the blanks with suitable prepositional phrases 1. She was ———————– of tears. a) At the verge b) On the verge c) In the verge d) Above the verge 2. ———————- the weather everything was fine. a) With the exception of b) At the exception of c) With exception of d) On the exception of 3. ——————— John, everyone was present. a) Except in b) Except for c) Except of d) Except with 4. I was ——————– leaving when she arrived. a) On the point of b) With the point of c) In the point of d) On point of 5. ——————– you don’t get the job, do you have a backup plan? a) In case b) In the case c) On case d) In the case of 6. ——————— his untimely death, we will have to elect another chairman. a) In event b) In the event of c) In event of d) In consequence of 7. He started in the morning ———————- he would reach his destination by evening. a) In order to b) In order that c) In order d) In order for 8. He returned home early ——————- help his wife in the kitchen. a) In order that b) In order to c) So that d) In order for 9. I have nothing to say ——————- this matter. a) In regard to b) In regard of c) In regard with d) In regard 10. We have a few questions ———————– to your application. a) With regard b) Regard c) In regard of d) As regard 11. He went abroad ——————— a good job. a) In search of b) In search c) With search of d) With search to 12. He started saving money ——————— going abroad for higher studies. a) With a view to b) With a view c) In a view to d) With a view on 13. She was ——————- a nervous breakdown. a) At the brink b) On the brink of c) On brink of d) In the brink of 14. There was no fault ——————— the servant. a) On the part of b) In the part of c) With the part of d) On the part 15. He broke his leg ——————– his carelessness. a) On account b) Owing to c) With regard to d) Owing to the Answers 1. On the verge 2. With the exception of 3. Except for 4. On the point of 5. In case 6. In the event of 7. In order that 8. In order to 9. In regard to 10. With regard 11. In search of 12. With a view to 13. On the brink of 14. On the part of 15. Owing to Phrases A PHRASE is a group of words which contains neither a subject nor a verb. (It may, however, contain a verbal form such as an infinitive, a participle, or a gerund.) Prepositional phrases can be used as adverbs or adjectives: In a flash, she realized that the tofu had been underneath her chair all along. After midnight, Egbert's mother was on the roof dancing with a Ukranian bullfighter. Infinitive phrases consist of an infinitive (to dance, to fly, to circumnavigate, etc.) plus an object. They are usually used as nouns, but they can also be used as adjectives or as adverbs. As noun (subject): To see him suffer is my dearest wish. As noun (object): Cordelia longed to eat the last tamale. As adjective: Franklin had brought nothing to give his mother-in-law. As adverb: To satisfy this mysterious craving, she was willing to try almost anything. Participial phrases begin with a participle. Participles are adjectives formed from verbs. They come in two tenses: present and past. present participle: an -ing word like bellowing, waltzing, singing, prancing, analyzing, fretting, sharpening, sneezing, etc. past participle: usually an -ed word like bellowed, waltzed, pranced, analyzed, believed, but sometimes an irregular form like written, sung, lost (from "to lose"), wept, frozen (from "to freeze"), Participles can be used as adjectives all by themselves: bellowing hyena flying trapeze tortured soul lost love Participial phrases consist of a participle plus an object. They are used as adjectives. The creature suffering in the dungeon was once beautiful. Surprised by the intensity of her disgust, Felicity stared at the cockroach scurrying across her omlet. Irving, screaming like a banshee, went careening from the room. Gerund phrases begin with a gerund (an -ing word which looks exactly like a present participle, but which is used as a noun.) A gerund phrase can be used in any way a noun can: As subject: Playing canasta has been her downfall. As direct object: He loves embarrassing his relations. As subjective complement: One of his milder vices is carousing until dawn. As object of preposition: She amused herself with bungie-jumping from helicopters. Independent Clauses A clause is a group of words containing at least a subject and a verb (the baby ate), and frequently it lets its hair down by containing some kind of a complement as well (the baby ate the goldfish). There are two kinds of clauses: independent and dependent. Like John Wayne, an independent clause can stand alone. I shall haunt you till your dying day. It may, however, become part of a larger sentence if it is connected to other clauses and phrases by a semicolon or by a coordinating conjunction. I shall haunt you till your dying day; I shall haunt your friends and relations after that. I shall haunt you till your dying day, and I shall haunt your friends and relations after that. If you try to join two independent clauses with a comma, grammatical purists among your readers will regard you with horror as the perpetrator of a comma splice. While it's true that other crises, such as global warming, are more important than this, have pity on the purists. Use a semicolon or a coordinating conjunction to join two independent clauses. The coordinating conjunctions that join independent clauses include and, but, or, nor, neither, yet, for, or, and so. The coordinating conjunction does not belong in either clause, but merely joins them together. Put a comma before the coordinating conjunction (but note that this particular punctuation rule is so commonly ignored -- particularly in short sentences -- that it is in danger of disappearing). He fondled his iPhone, and he checked his email. Fanny Dooley likes sunbathing, but she loves mooning. She had lost her castanets, so she used her uncle's dentures. The cat had broken their Ming vase, yet it did not seem to care. Dependent clauses and the conjunctions they need A dependent clause has a subject and a verb, and looks exactly like an independent clause except for one small thing: it is introduced by either a relative pronoun or a subordinating conjunction, which makes the clause grammatically "dependent" on the rest of the sentence. He fondled his iPhone before he checked his email. If you're very sweet to me, I'll let you see my collection of exotic tofu sculptures. Relative pronouns include who, whom, which, that, what, whoever, whatever, and whichever. They "relate" the material in the clause to an antecedent that appears elsewhere in the sentence. In "the bag of potato chips that I ate," the "that" introducing the clause relates back to "bag of potato chips." Subordinating conjuctions are best classified according to the kind of relationship they express between clauses: Time: before, after, when, until, while, as soon as, as long as. Place: where, wherever Purpose: so that, in order that, so Cause: because, since Condition: if, unless, provided that, except Contrast: although, though, even though, despite, in spite of What to do with a dependent clause Dependent clauses like to make themselves useful within their sentences; they may act as nouns, as adjectives, or as adverbs. Dependent clauses as nouns: Dependent clauses used as nouns can be introduced either by a relative pronoun or by a subordinating conjunction (that, whether). I wonder whether ontology recapitulates phylogeny. [direct object] Whatever is lurking under the bed has started to snore. [subject] She knew that her fiancé had an irrational fear of accordions. [direct object] Dependent clauses as adjectives: Dependent clauses used as adjectives can be introduced by relative pronouns. Fred, who had long adored her from a distance, finally proposed as their canoe plunged over the waterfall. [modifies Fred] The wrestler who is being tossed out of the ring is wearing the toupé that he found under his couch. Dependent clauses as adverbs: A dependent clause introduced by subordinating conjunction can act the same way as a one word adverb. Put a comma after the dependent clause if it precedes the main clause; do not use a comma if the dependent clause comes after the main clause. Time: As soon as they were married, she began to miss her bulldog. Place: The salesman swore to follow Egbert wherever he might go. Purpose: He only ate the Doritos so I wouldn't eat them myself. Cause: She married him because he looked just like her bulldog. Condition: If our guests hear loud screams coming from the tower, they may begin to suspect that Uncle Hubert is still alive. Concession: Although Stanley believed he had taken every possible precaution, he had forgotten to clean the bloodstains from the boathouse floor. Restrictive vs. non-restrictive clauses An adjective clause can be either "restrictive" or "non-restrictive." A restrictive clause gives information needed to identify the person or thing it is modifying. Do not use commas to set off a restrictive clause from the rest of the sentence. Only someone who truly loves Twinkies™ will eat them by the truckload. [The clause tells us which kind of person will indulge herself in this way.] The old woman who is ogling the waiter is my aunt Edna. [The clause tells us which old woman is aunt Edna.] A non-restrictive clause gives information which is not strictly essential. The information may be very interesting, but the reader does not need it to be able to identify the person or thing that the clause modifies. You MUST use commas to set a non-restrictive clause off from the rest of the sentence. Anastasia, who has started to go bald, was passing out deviled eggs and cocktail franks to the refugees. [modifies Anastasia, but you don't need the clause to know which Anastasia of all possible Anastasias.] Compare the following restrictive and non-restrictive clauses: Non-restrictive: The brawl, which had begun in a dispute over spelling, lasted until dawn. Restrictive: The brawl that began in a dispute over spelling lasted longer than the brawl that began after an argument about Wittgenstein. Non-restrictive: The saxophone player, who wore spats, launched into a big cadenza. Restrictive: The saxophone player who wore spats was chosen to appear in GQ. What are Prepositional Phrases? Prepositional phrases are made up of a preposition and what we call the object of the preposition. The object of the preposition can be a noun, pronoun, gerund, or even a clause. The objects of the preposition can also have modifiers to help describe it and give additional information. Example: The ball is behind the white car. 'Behind the white' car is a prepositional phrase where 'behind' is the preposition and car acts as the object of the preposition. The adjective 'white' acts as a modifier giving additional information about the object of the preposition which is the noun, 'car.' If the above seems a little complicated, don't worry, what follows is meant to help clarify any confusion you might have about this particular grammar item. It might help to know that prepositional phrases basically act as adjectives or adverbs in a sentence. When essentially functioning as adjectives, they answer the question, 'which object?' Example: The gloves on the radiator are wet from making a snowman. Which object? The gloves on the radiator. Example: The bags in the kitchen are filled with groceries. Which object? The bags in the kitchen. When functioning as adverbs, prepositional phrases answer the questions; where, when, and how? Example: Feeling adventurous, we rode the corkscrew roller coaster at the amusement park. Where did we feel adventurous? At the amusement park. Example: After school, Jane asked me for a ride home. When did Jane ask? After school. Example: Terry is sore from yesterday's workout. How did Terry get sore? From yesterday's workout. You should also know the basic structures of these phrases so that you can recognize them more readily. Basic patterns for prepositional phrases are as follows: preposition + noun, pronoun, gerund, or clause preposition + modifiers + noun, pronoun, gerund, or clause What do Prepositional Phrases do in a sentence? For the most part, they act as adjectives and adverbs. That is, they give additional information regarding nouns, pronouns and verbs. In short, prepositional phrases answer the questions which, what kind, how much, why, how, where and when. They do this by adding extra information. You can find prepositional phrases anywhere in the sentence and sometimes you can even find prepositional phrases more than once in a sentence. A few examples follow to help make things clear. The answers that follow the examples are there to help you identify the types of questions answered so you can spot prepositional phrases more easily in a sentence. Prepositional Phrases = Examples of Prepositional Phrases A.) The curtains in the bedroom need changing. B.) The house near the park needs painting. C.) A large fire was burning near the outskirts of the city. D.) An old woman with white hair and blue eyes sat at the front of the bus. E.) The small children listened carefully to their mother. Questions Answered? A.) in the bedroom modifies curtains. It answers the question... which curtains? B.) near the park modifies house. It answers the questions... which house / where is the house? C.) near the outskirts modifies was burning answering where and how / of the city modifies ouskirts answering where? D.) with white hair and blue eyes modifies old woman telling what kind / at the front of the bus modifies sat telling where? E.) to their mother modifies listened answering the question how did the children listen? Some common prepositional phrases follow below. I've included them according to the list of prepositional phrases beginning with.... AT at (a) high speed at (the) risk (of) at / by one’s side at / for a fraction of at / from the outset at / in the end at / on sight at / on the double at a / one time at a disadvantage at a discount at a distance at a glance at a guess at a loose and at a loss at a low ebb at a moment’s notice at a price at a rate of at a speed of at a standstill at all costs at all events at an advantage at any cost at any rate at breakfast at ease (with) at face value at fault at full strength at hand at heart at home (with) at issue at large at least at length at liberty at most at night at noon at odds with at once at one’s best at one’s discretion at one’s disposal at one’s leisure at one’s request at peace / war (with) at play at present at random at sea at the / in front of at the age of at the beginning at the expense of at the foot of at the hands of at the height of at the latest at the mercy of at the peak of at the same time at the thought of at the time of at the top of at this juncture at times at war with at work behind the scenes List of prepositional phrases beginning with BY by (any) chance by / under the name of by / with luck by accident by air /sea /land by all accounts by all means by any standard by appointment by birth by check by coincidence by courtesy of by definition by degrees by design by dint of by far by force by hand by heart by law by marriage by means of by mistake by my watch by nature by no means by oneself by order of by process of by profession by reason of by request by rights by sight by surprise by the side of by virtue of by way of FOR for / in a good cause for / to the benefit (of) for a (good) reason for a change for certain / sure for fear of for good for granted for hire for lack of for life for love for my / your, etc. part for real for the good of for the sake of for want of from experience from memory IN in (no) time in / at the forefront of in / on demand in / out of focus in / out of one’s element in / out of prison in / out of season in / out of stock in / out of touch (with) in / out of use in / with difficulty in / within sight (of) in a deep sleep in a flash in a heap in a hurry in a mess in a pile in a sense in a temper in abeyance in abundance in accordance with in action in addition to in advance in agony in agreement with in aid of in all likelihood in an instant in an uproar in answer to in anticipation of in arrears in awe of in blossom in brief in bulk in cash in character in charge of in code in collaboration with in combination with in comfort in command of in common in comparison with in compensation for in conclusion in confidence in confinement in confusion in conjunction with in connection with in consequence of in contact with in contrast with / to in control of in convoy in custody in danger in debt in decline in defense of in detail in disgrace in disguise in disorder in dispute in distress in doubt in due course in duplicate in earnest in effect in error in essence in excess of in exchange for in existence in fact in fairness to in favor of in fear of in flames in flower in full in future in gear in general in good / bad condition in good faith in hand in harmony (with) in haste in hiding in high spirits in honor of in horror (of) in ink / pencil in isolation in its infancy in jeopardy in keeping with in labor in league with in length in line with in love with in memory of in mid-air in mind in moderation in mourning (for) in name in office in one’s absence / presence in one’s spare time in operation in opposition to in origin in other words in pain in Parliament in particular in person in pieces in place of in possession of in poverty in practice in preference to in preparation for in principle in private in progress in proportion to / with in public in pursuit of in quantity in question in reality in recognition of in relation to in reply to in reserve in residence in respect of in response to in retrospect in return in revenge for in reverse in ruins in safety in sb’s interest in sb’s opinion in search of in secret in self-defense in settlement of in short in silence in small change in store for in succession in support of in suspense in sympathy with in tears in terms of in terror in the absence of in the aftermath in the balance in the case of in the course of in the distance in the event of in the extreme in the eyes of in the flesh in the form of in the habit of in the interests of in the lead in the light of in the long run in the making in the meantime in the midst of in the mood for in the name of in the night in the open in the process of in the right in the seclusion of in the shade in the space of in the wake of in the way of in the wrong in theory in time for in times of in town in trouble in tune with in turmoil in turn in two minds in twos / threes / tens in uniform in unison in vain in view of in vogue in words of the opinion off / on duty ON on (the) watch (for) on / behind schedule on / off the record on / off the road on / under oath on / under pain of on /of the air on /off balance on a diet on a journey / trip / cruise on a large / small scale on a pension on a regular basis on a spree on account of on an expedition on an island on approval on average on bail on behalf of on board on business on condition that on credit on display on edge on end on file on fire on foot on good terms on guard on hand on horseback on impulse on leave on loan on no account on occasion on one’s (own) terms on one’s own on one’s own initiative on order on paper on parade on patrol on principle on purpose on reflection on remand on sale on second thoughts on show on strike on suspicion of on the agenda on the assumption on the brink of on the dot on the edge of on the eve of on the grounds of on the horizon on the hour on the increase on the job on the move on the off-chance on the outskirts on the part of on the phone on the point of on the run on the strength of on the stroke of on the tip of on the top of on the understanding that on the verge of on the way to on time on tiptoe on trial on vacation OUT out of / in fashion out of / in print out of / in step out of breath out of context out of control out of curiosity / jealousy / love /hatred out of date out of doors out of hand out of ideas out of one’s mind out of order out of pity out of place out of practice out of reach out of respect for out of sight out of spite out of the ordinary out of the question out of work through no fault of TO to / on the contrary to an extent to date to excess to one’s astonishment to one’s credit to one’s dismay to sb’s face to the / this day to the accompaniment of to the best of to the detriment of to the exclusion of to the full to the satisfaction of UNDER under / in the circumstances under age under arrest under consideration under construction under cover of under discussion under lock and key under one’s protection under orders under pressure under regulations under repair under strain under stress under suspicion under the command of under the impression that under the influence (of) under the misapprehension under treatment WITH / WITHIN / WITHOUT with / in reference to with / without success with a view to with an eye to with regard to with regret with respect to with the aid of with the compliments of with the exception of with the help of with the intention of within / out of earshot within / without reason within limits within one’s budget within one’s power within one’s rights within reach (of) within walking / striking distance without (a) doubt without a break without a hitch without delay without exception without fail without foundation without precedent without question without respite without warning

Although nouns and noun phrases are the most frequent grammatical form that function as the direct object of sentences, four grammatical forms can perform the grammatical function of direct object in the English language. Both native speakers and ESL students must learn and understand the four grammatical forms that can function as the direct object in order to correctly and completely use direct objects in spoken and written English. The four grammatical forms that can function as the direct object are:
1. Noun phrases
2. Prepositional phrases
3. Verb phrases
4. Noun clauses

Direct objects are words, phrases, and clauses that follow a transitive verb and receive the action of the verb.
Noun Phrases as Direct Objects

The first grammatical form that can perform the grammatical function of direct object is the noun phrase. Noun phrases are defined as phrases formed by a noun or pronoun and any modifying words, phrases, and clauses. For example, the following the following italicized noun phrases function as direct objects:
* A toddler is eating a banana.
* I sometimes give my cat fish.
* The mother dog disciplined her very naughty litter of puppies.
* A young couple will have bought the house that we are selling.

Noun phrases are the most frequent grammatical form that function as direct objects.

Prepositional Phrases as Direct Objects

The second grammatical form that can perform the grammatical function of direct object is the prepositional phrase. Prepositional phrases are defined as phrases formed by a preposition directly followed by a prepositional complement such as a noun phrase. For example, the following italicized prepositional phrases function as direct objects:

* My mom cleaned under the bed.
* Your father will be decorating on the roof.
* I have organized in the refrigerator.
* Our brother is painting behind the couch.

Prepositional phrases functioning as direct objects can also be analyzed as adverbials. If the prepositional phrase answers the question "what?" about the verb, then the prepositional phrase can be analyzed as the direct object. If the prepositional phrase answers any of the questions "when?," "where?," "why?," or "how?" about the verb or clause, then the prepositional phrase can be analyzed as an adverbial.

Verb Phrases as Direct Objects

The third grammatical form that can perform the grammatical function of direct object is the verb phrase in the form of present participles and infinitives. Verb phrases are defined as phrases formed by a verb plus any modifiers, complements, particles, or infinitive markers. For example, the following italicized verb phrases function as direct objects:

The Form-Function Method for Teaching Grammar

The following article describes the Form-Function Method for teaching grammar with English grammar as an example.

* Most librarians enjoy reading.
* My children prefer to eat vegetables.
* The baby likes listening to music.
* The cleaning staff appreciates our picking up our messes.

Traditional grammars usually use the term gerund for present participles functioning as direct objects.

Noun Clauses as Direct Objects

The fourth grammatical form that can perform the grammatical function of direct object is the noun clause. Noun clauses are defined as subordinate clauses formed by an independent clause preceded by a subordinating conjunction. A clause is defined as consisting of a subject and a predicate. For example, the following italicized noun clauses function as direct objects: * Your mom appreciates that you cleaned the house. * I admire how you work full time and attend graduate school. * The puppy hates when I slam the door shut. * Word order determines whether a noun phrase is a subject or an object in English. Noun clauses can also perform almost all the other functions as noun phrases. The four grammatical forms that can function as the direct object in the English language are noun phrases, prepositional phrases, verb phrases, and noun clauses. Both native speakers and ESL students must learn and understand the four grammatical forms to properly and fully construct sentences with direct objects in both spoken and written English.
"On" is used with days, such as, • on Monday • on Sunday.
"At" is used with noon, night, midnight, and with the time of day, such as, • at noon • at 6 p.m.
"In" is used with other parts of the day, with months, with years, with seasons, such as, • in the afternoon • in August • in 1999 • in spring.
"For" can be used to express how long or duration.
"Between" can be use to express from the beginning to the end of a period, the action can be taking place several times / continuously during.
"From...To" can be used to express reference to the beginning and ending.
"Before" can be used to express something happening earlier than a particular time or event.
"After" can be used to express something happening later than a particular time or event.
"From" can be used to express reference to the beginning of a period of time.
"Till/Until" can be used to express something happening and then ending at a particular time.
"Beyond" can be used to express point of time after a particular period or date has passed.
"Since" can be used to express something happening at some time or continuously after a particular time or event.
Write the correct prepositions into the gaps.

Example: Look! The people are getting ___ the train.

Answer: Look! The people are getting on the train.

1) She was born ______ 2004.
2) They are waiting ______ the bus.
3) Don't forget to bring some flowers ______ you.
4) I haven't smoked ______ ages.
5) You can look up the word ______ a dictionary.
6) She is allergic ______ insect stings.
7) I'm looking ______ my keys. Have you found them?
8) The song was written ______ Madonna.
9) He likes to travel ______ Spain in summer.
10) The _____ _____ chased the ______ ______ the streets.

1) She was born in 2004.
2) They are waiting for the bus.
3) Don't forget to bring some flowers with you.
4) I haven't smoked for ages.
5) You can look up the word in a dictionary.
6) She is allergic to insect stings.
7) I'm looking for my keys. Have you found them?
8) The song was written by Madonna.
9) He likes to travel to Spain in summer.
10) The ______ ______ chased the ______ through the streets.
Prepositions and idioms in English - Exercise
Explanation: Prepositions
Choose the correct preposition.

1) I'm tired _____ waiting for you.
2) He hasn't smoked _____ ages.
3) Nina is good _____ running.
4) I'm looking _____ my keys. Has anyone found them?
5) They dream _____ moving to South Africa.
6) This song was written _____ Madonna.
7) You can look the word _____ in a dictionary.
8) I can't come to the party. Don't wait _____ me.
9) She had problems _____ reading the instructions.
10) The police car chased the robbers _____ the streets.

1) I'm tired of waiting for you.
2) He hasn't smoked for ages.
3) Nina is good at running.
4) I'm looking for my keys. Has anyone found them?
5) They dream of moving to South Africa.
6) This song was written by Madonna.
7) You can look the word up in a dictionary.
8) I can't come to the party. Don't wait for me.
9) She had problems in reading the instructions.
10) The police car chased the robbers through the streets.
Prepositions - in, on, at

Type in, on or at in the boxes below.
1. _______ 1978

2. _______ October

3. _______ 5 o'clock

4. _______ Monday

5. _______ 10 July

6. _______ the afternoon

7. _______ Tuesday afternoon

8. _______ summer

9. _______ Christmas

10. _______ the weekend

11. _______ 1960

12. _______ 2.30 pm

13. _______ 25 March

14. _______ Thursday morning

15. _______ April

16. _______ winter

17. _______ night

18. _______ Sunday night

19. _______ New Year's Day

20. _______ 9 October

Preposition Example Nouns Example Sentences
in car, truck I went to Vancouver in my car.
on bus, train, ship, plane, bicycle I went downtown on the bus.
We travelled to Toronto on the train.

2. Time

Preposition Example Nouns Example Sentences
in January, February, March
1987, 1988, 1989
two minutes, three days
She arrived in February.
I was born in 1988.
I'll be home in three days.
on Wednesday, Thursday
The party is on Thursday.
He left on the weekend.
at 7:00, 7:30, 8 o'clock, noon I'll call you at 7.30.

3. Communications

Preposition Example Nouns Example Sentences
on telephone
radio, television

I spoke to him on the telephone yesterday.
I read about it on the Internet.
I heard the news on the radio.

4. Where prepositions are NOT used

We don't use prepositions with certain words and phrases:

NO Preposition Words and Phrases Example Sentences
in, on, at home
this morning
this afternoon
every week
last Tuesday
next year

Sally went home.
I met my classmates this morning.
We will arrive this afternoon.
We have an exam every week.
Neil did his laundry last Tuesday.
Betty will return next year.

Prepositions : Prepositions of Time: at, in, on

Prepositions of Time: at, in, on

We use:

  • at for a PRECISE TIME
  • on for DAYS and DATES
at 3 o'clockin Mayon Sunday
at 10.30amin summeron Tuesdays
at noonin the summeron 6 March
at dinnertimein 1990on 25 Dec. 2010
at bedtimein the 1990son Christmas Day
at sunrisein the next centuryon Independence Day
at sunsetin the Ice Ageon my birthday
at the momentin the past/futureon New Year's Eve

Look at these examples:

  • I have a meeting at 9am.
  • The shop closes at midnight.
  • Jane went home at lunchtime.
  • In England, it often snows in December.
  • Do you think we will go to Jupiter in the future?
  • There should be a lot of progress in the next century.
  • Do you work on Mondays?
  • Her birthday is on 20 November.
  • Where will you be on New Year's Day?

Notice the use of the preposition of time at in the following standard expressions:

at nightThe stars shine at night.
at the weekendI don't usually work at the weekend.
at Christmas/EasterI stay with my family at Christmas.
at the same timeWe finished the test at the same time.
at presentHe's not home at present. Try later.

Notice the use of the prepositions of time in and on in these common expressions:

in the morningon Tuesday morning
in the morningson Saturday mornings
in the afternoon(s)on Sunday afternoons
in the evening(s)on Monday evening

When we say last, next, every, this we do not also use at, in, on.

  • I went to London last June. (not in last June)
  • He's coming back next Tuesday. (not on next Tuesday)
  • I go home every Easter. (not at every Easter)
  • We'll call you this evening. (not in this evening)
English Prepositions List

There are about 150 prepositions in English. Yet this is a very small number when you think of the thousands of other words (nouns, verbs etc). Prepositions are important words. We use individual prepositions more frequently than other individual words. In fact, the prepositions of, to and in are among the ten most frequent words in English. Here is a short list of 70 of the more common one-word prepositions. Many of these prepositions have more than one meaning. Please refer to a dictionary for precise meaning and usage.

1) Which does a preposition come before?
verb or adverb noun or pronoun conjunction adjectivearticle

2) A prepositional phrase contains a preposition and
direction place time object adverb

3) Which is not correct?
in February on 5:00 o'clock at my house near me on May 2

4) Which is not correct?
on her desk in June 3, 1987 in a box at home on Saturday

5) Which is not correct?
at California under the rug at noon in a day on Friday

6) Which is not correct?
in a minute in October in the table in 1949 in my ear

7) Which is a preposition? All the students in the class learned many new things.
all in class many things

8) Which is not a preposition? The man at the bar has a lot of money in his pocket.
at has of in

9) How many prepositions are in the sentence: I will go to Utah next week if I have enough time and ______.
0 1 2 3 4

10) How many prepositions are in the sentence: The student in the first row near the window got an A on the test.
0 1 2 34

1.noun or pronoun
3.on 5:00 o'clock
4.in June 3, 1987
5.at California
6.in the table
Prepositions: Locators in Time and Place

A preposition describes a relationship between other words in a sentence. In itself, a word like "in" or "after" is rather meaningless and hard to define in mere words. For instance, when you do try to define a preposition like "in" or "between" or "on," you invariably use your hands to show how something is situated in relationship to something else. Prepositions are nearly always combined with other words in structures called prepositional phrases. Prepositional phrases can be made up of a million different words, but they tend to be built the same: a preposition followed by a determiner and an adjective or two, followed by a pronoun or noun (called the object of the preposition). This whole phrase, in turn, takes on a modifying role, acting as an adjective or an adverb, locating something in time and space, modifying a noun, or telling when or where or under what conditions something happened.

Consider the professor's desk and all the prepositional phrases we can use while talking about it.

You can sit before the desk (or in front of the desk). The professor can sit on the desk (when he's being informal) or behind the desk, and then his feet are under the desk or beneath the desk. He can stand beside the desk (meaning next to the desk), before the desk, between the desk and you, or even on the desk (if he's really strange). If he's clumsy, he can bump into the desk or try to walk through the desk (and stuff would fall off the desk). Passing his hands over the desk or resting his elbows upon the desk, he often looks across the desk and speaks of the desk or concerning the desk as if there were nothing else like the desk. Because he thinks of nothing except the desk, sometimes you wonder about the desk, what's in the desk, what he paid for the desk, and if he could live without the desk. You can walk toward the desk, to the desk, around the desk, by the desk, and even past the desk while he sits at the desk or leans against the desk.

All of this happens, of course, in time: during the class, before the class, until the class, throughout the class, after the class, etc. And the professor can sit there in a bad mood [another adverbial construction].

Those words in bold blue font are all prepositions. Some prepositions do other things besides locate in space or time — "My brother is like my father." "Everyone in the class except me got the answer." — but nearly all of them modify in one way or another. It is possible for a preposition phrase to act as a noun — "During a church service is not a good time to discuss picnic plans" or "In the South Pacific is where I long to be" — but this is seldom appropriate in formal or academic writing.

Click HERE for a list of common prepositions that will be easy to print out.

You may have learned that ending a sentence with a preposition is a serious breach of grammatical etiquette. It doesn't take a grammarian to spot a sentence-ending preposition, so this is an easy rule to get caught up on (!). Although it is often easy to remedy the offending preposition, sometimes it isn't, and repair efforts sometimes result in a clumsy sentence. "Indicate the book you are quoting from" is not greatly improved with "Indicate from which book you are quoting."

Based on shaky historical precedent, the rule itself is a latecomer to the rules of writing. Those who dislike the rule are fond of recalling Churchill's rejoinder: "That is nonsense up with which I shall not put." We should also remember the child's complaint: "What did you bring that book that I don't like to be read to out of up for?"

Is it any wonder that prepositions create such troubles for students for whom English is a second language? We say we are at the hospital to visit a friend who is in the hospital. We lie in bed but on the couch. We watch a film at the theater but on television. For native speakers, these little words present little difficulty, but try to learn another language, any other language, and you will quickly discover that prepositions are troublesome wherever you live and learn. This page contains some interesting (sometimes troublesome) prepositions with brief usage notes. To address all the potential difficulties with prepositions in idiomatic usage would require volumes, and the only way English language learners can begin to master the intricacies of preposition usage is through practice and paying close attention to speech and the written word. Keeping a good dictionary close at hand (to hand?) is an important first step.

Prepositions of Time: at, on, and in

We use at to designate specific times.
#The train is due at 12:15 p.m.

We use on to designate days and dates.
#My brother is coming on Monday.
#We're having a party on the Fourth of July.

We use in for nonspecific times during a day, a month, a season, or a year.
#She likes to jog in the morning.
#It's too cold in winter to run outside.
#He started the job in 1971.
#He's going to quit in August.

Prepositions of Place: at, on, and in

We use at for specific addresses.
#Grammar English lives at 55 Boretz Road in Durham.

We use on to designate names of streets, avenues, etc.
#Her house is on Boretz Road.

And we use in for the names of land-areas (towns, counties, states, countries, and continents).
#She lives in Durham.
#Durham is in Windham County.
#Windham County is in Connecticut.

Prepositions of Location: in, at, and on
and No Preposition

(the) bed*
the bedroom
the car
(the) class*
the library*
the library*
the office
the bed*
the ceiling
the floor
the horse
the plane
the train

* You may sometimes use different prepositions for these locations.

Prepositions of Movement: to
and No Preposition

We use to in order to express movement toward a place.
#They were driving to work together.
#She's going to the dentist's office this morning.

Toward and towards are also helpful prepositions to express movement. These are simply variant spellings of the same word; use whichever sounds better to you.
#We're moving toward the light.
#This is a big step towards the project's completion.

With the words home, downtown, uptown, inside, outside, downstairs, upstairs, we use no preposition.
#Grandma went upstairs
#Grandpa went home.
#They both went outside.

Prepositions of Time: for and since

We use for when we measure time (seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years).
#He held his breath for seven minutes.
#She's lived there for seven years.
#The British and Irish have been quarreling for seven centuries.

We use since with a specific date or time.
#He's worked here since 1970.
#She's been sitting in the waiting room since two-thirty.

Prepositions with Nouns, Adjectives, and Verbs.

Prepositions are sometimes so firmly wedded to other words that they have practically become one word. (In fact, in other languages, such as German, they would have become one word.) This occurs in three categories: nouns, adjectives, and verbs.


approval of
awareness of
belief in
concern for
confusion about
desire for

fondness for
grasp of
hatred of
hope for
interest in
love of

need for
participation in
reason for
respect for
success in
understanding of


afraid of
angry at
aware of
capable of
careless about
familiar with

fond of
happy about
interested in
jealous of
made of
married to

proud of
similar to
sorry for
sure of
tired of
worried about


apologize for
ask about
ask for
belong to
bring up
care for
find out

give up
grow up
look for
look forward to
look up
make up
pay for

prepare for
study for
talk about
think about
trust in
work for
worry about

A combination of verb and preposition is called a phrasal verb. The word that is joined to the verb is then called a particle. Please refer to the brief section we have prepared on phrasal verbs for an explanation.

Idiomatic Expressions with Prepositions

  • agree to a proposal, with a person, on a price, in principle
  • argue about a matter, with a person, for or against a proposition
  • compare to to show likenesses, with to show differences (sometimes similarities)
  • correspond to a thing, with a person
  • differ from an unlike thing, with a person
  • live at an address, in a house or city, on a street, with other people

Unnecessary Prepositions

In everyday speech, we fall into some bad habits, using prepositions where they are not necessary. It would be a good idea to eliminate these words altogether, but we must be especially careful not to use them in formal, academic prose.

  • She met up with the new coach in the hallway.
  • The book fell off of the desk.
  • He threw the book out of the window.
  • She wouldn't let the cat inside of the house. [or use "in"]
  • Where did they go to?
  • Put the lamp in back of the couch. [use "behind" instead]
  • Where is your college at?

A preposition usually indicates the temporal, spatial or logical relationship of its object to the rest of the sentence.

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

Complex prepositions consist of more than one word: along with, out of, up to.

Prepositions � Time


Prepositions are short words (on, in, to) that usually stand in front of nouns (sometimes also in front of gerund verbs).

Even advanced learners of English find prepositions difficult, as a 1:1 translation is usually not possible. One preposition in your native language might have several translations depending on the situation.

There are hardly any rules as to when to use which preposition. The only way to learn prepositions is looking them up in a dictionary, reading a lot in English (literature) and learning useful phrases off by heart (study tips).

The following table contains rules for some of the most frequently used prepositions in English:

Prepositions – Time

English Usage Example
  • on
  • days of the week
  • on Monday
  • in
  • months / seasons
  • time of day
  • year
  • after a certain period of time (when?)
  • in August / in winter
  • in the morning
  • in 2006
  • in an hour
  • at
  • for night
  • for weekend
  • a certain point of time (when?)
  • at night
  • at the weekend
  • at half past nine
  • since
  • from a certain point of time (past till now)
  • since 1980
  • for
  • over a certain period of time (past till now)
  • for 2 years
  • ago
  • a certain time in the past
  • 2 years ago
  • before
  • earlier than a certain point of time
  • before 2004
  • to
  • telling the time
  • ten to six (5:50)
  • past
  • telling the time
  • ten past six (6:10)
  • to / till / until
  • marking the beginning and end of a period of time
  • from Monday to/till Friday
  • till / until
  • in the sense of how long something is going to last
  • He is on holiday until Friday.
  • by
  • in the sense of at the latest
  • up to a certain time
  • I will be back by 6 o’clock.
  • By 11 o'clock, I had read five pages.

Prepositions – Place (Position and Direction)

English Usage Example
  • in
  • room, building, street, town, country
  • book, paper etc.
  • car, taxi
  • picture, world
  • in the kitchen, in London
  • in the book
  • in the car, in a taxi
  • in the picture, in the world
  • at
  • meaning next to, by an object
  • for table
  • for events
  • place where you are to do something typical (watch a film, study, work)
  • at the door, at the station
  • at the table
  • at a concert, at the party
  • at the cinema, at school, at work
  • on
  • attached
  • for a place with a river
  • being on a surface
  • for a certain side (left, right)
  • for a floor in a house
  • for public transport
  • for television, radio
  • the picture on the wall
  • London lies on the Thames.
  • on the table
  • on the left
  • on the first floor
  • on the bus, on a plane
  • on TV, on the radio
  • by, next to, beside
  • left or right of somebody or something
  • Jane is standing by / next to / beside the car.
  • under
  • on the ground, lower than (or covered by) something else
  • the bag is under the table
  • below
  • lower than something else but above ground
  • the fish are below the surface
  • over
  • covered by something else
  • meaning more than
  • getting to the other side (also across)
  • overcoming an obstacle
  • put a jacket over your shirt
  • over 16 years of age
  • walk over the bridge
  • climb over the wall
  • above
  • higher than something else, but not directly over it
  • a path above the lake
  • across
  • getting to the other side (also over)
  • getting to the other side
  • walk across the bridge
  • swim across the lake
  • through
  • something with limits on top, bottom and the sides
  • drive through the tunnel
  • to
  • movement to person or building
  • movement to a place or country
  • for bed
  • go to the cinema
  • go to London / Ireland
  • go to bed
  • into
  • enter a room / a building
  • go into the kitchen / the house
  • towards
  • movement in the direction of something (but not directly to it)
  • go 5 steps towards the house
  • onto
  • movement to the top of something
  • jump onto the table
  • from
  • in the sense of where from
  • a flower from the garden

Other important Prepositions

English Usage Example
  • from
  • who gave it
  • a present from Jane
  • of
  • who/what does it belong to
  • what does it show
  • a page of the book
  • the picture of a palace
  • by
  • who made it
  • a book by Mark Twain
  • on
  • walking or riding on horseback
  • entering a public transport vehicle
  • on foot, on horseback
  • get on the bus
  • in
  • entering a car  / Taxi
  • get in the car
  • off
  • leaving a public transport vehicle
  • get off the train
  • out of
  • leaving a car  / Taxi
  • get out of the taxi
  • by
  • rise or fall of something
  • travelling (other than walking or horseriding)
  • prices have risen by 10 percent
  • by car, by bus
  • at
  • for age
  • she learned Russian at 45
  • about
  • for topics, meaning what about
  • we were talking about you
1. My best friend lives ______ Boretz Road.
a. in
b. on
c. at

2. I'll be ready to leave ____ about twenty minutes.
a. in
b. on
c. at

3. Since he met his new girlfriend, Juan never seems to be ______ home.
a. on
b. in
c. at

4. The child responded to his mother's demands ______ throwing a tantrum.
a. with
b. by
c. from

5. I think she spent the entire afternoon ______ the phone.
a. on
b. in
c. at

6. I will wait ______ 6:30, but then I'm going home.
a. from
b. at
c. until

7. The police caught the thief _____ the corner of Cascade and Plum Streets.
a. in
b. at
c. from

8. My fingers were injured so my sister had to write the note _____ me.
a. for
b. with
c. to

9. I am not interested _____ buying a new car now.
a. to
b. for
c. in

10. What are the main ingredients ______ this casserole?
a. about
b. to
c. of

11. My best friend, John, is named ______ his great-grandfather.
a. after
b. to
c. about

12. Grandpa stayed up ______ two in the morning.
a. since
b. for
c. until

13. My parents have been married ______ forty-nine years.
a. since
b. for
c. until

14. He usually travels to Philadelphia _______ train.
a. by
b. at
c. with

15. You frequently see this kind of violence ____ television.
a. with
b. in
c. on

16. I told Mom we'd be home ______ an hour or so.
a. to
b. in
c. at

17. I was visiting my best friend _____ the hospital.
a. of
b. at
c. in

18. The professor _______ South Africa amazed the American students with her stories.
a. from
b. of
c. in

19. I'll see you ____ home when I get there.
a. in
b. by
c. at

20. It's been snowing ________ Christmas morning.
a. since
b. for
c. until
One point in time

On is used with days:

* I will see you on Monday.
* The week begins on Sunday.

At is used with noon, night, midnight, and with the time of day:

* My plane leaves at noon.
* The movie starts at 6 p.m.

In is used with other parts of the day, with months, with years, with seasons:

* He likes to read in the afternoon.
* The days are long in August.
* The book was published in 1999.
* The flowers will bloom in spring.

Extended time

To express extended time, English uses the following prepositions: since, for, by, from—to, from-until, during,(with)in

* She has been gone since yesterday. (She left yesterday and has not returned.)
* I'm going to Paris for two weeks. (I will spend two weeks there.)
* The movie showed from August to October. (Beginning in August and ending in October.)
* The decorations were up from spring until fall. (Beginning in spring and ending in fall.)
* I watch TV during the evening. (For some period of time in the evening.)
* We must finish the project within a year. (No longer than a year.)


To express notions of place, English uses the following prepositions: to talk about the point itself: in, to express something contained: inside, to talk about the surface: on, to talk about a general vicinity, at.

* There is a wasp in the room.
* Put the present inside the box.
* I left your keys on the table.
* She was waiting at the corner.

Higher than a point

To express notions of an object being higher than a point, English uses the following prepositions: over, above.

* He threw the ball over the roof.
* Hang that picture above the couch.

Lower than a point

To express notions of an object being lower than a point, English uses the following prepositions: under, underneath, beneath, below.

* The rabbit burrowed under the ground.
* The child hid underneath the blanket.
* We relaxed in the shade beneath the branches.
* The valley is below sea-level.

Close to a point

To express notions of an object being close to a point, English uses the following prepositions: near, by, next to, between, among, opposite.

* She lives near the school.
* There is an ice cream shop by the store.
* An oak tree grows next to my house
* The house is between Elm Street and Maple Street.
* I found my pen lying among the books.
* The bathroom is opposite that room.

To introduce objects of verbs

English uses the following prepositions to introduce objects of the following verbs.
At: glance, laugh, look, rejoice, smile, stare

* She took a quick glance at her reflection.
(exception with mirror: She took a quick glance in the mirror.)
* You didn't laugh at his joke.
* I'm looking at the computer monitor.
* We rejoiced at his safe rescue.
* That pretty girl smiled at you.
* Stop staring at me.

Of: approve, consist, smell

* I don't approve of his speech.
* My contribution to the article consists of many pages.
* He came home smelling of alcohol.

Of (or about): dream, think

* I dream of finishing college in four years.
* Can you think of a number between one and ten?
* I am thinking about this problem.

For: call, hope, look, wait, watch, wish

For: call, hope, look, wait, watch, wish
# I'm looking for my keys.
# We'll wait for her here.
# You go ___ ___ ___ and I'll watch for the train.
# If you wish for an "A" in this class, you must work hard.
What are you looking at?
Why are you asking for?

Kinds of Preposition

(1) Simple Preposition: Simple prepositions are: At, by, for, from, in, of, off, on, out, till, to, with, up, under, through.

(2) Compound Preposition: They are generally formed by prefixing a preposition to a noun, an adjective or an adverb.

Some compound prepositions are: According to, ahead of, as of, as per,as regards, agreebly to ,aside from, because of, along with,close to , due to , except for , far from, instead of, inside of , near to , next to , out from , owing to, outside of, prior to ,regardless of , subsequent to, thanks to, that of etc.

(3) Prepositional Phrases: They are group of words used with the force of a single preposition. They are:

As far as
As well as
By means of
By didn’t of
By means of
By reason of
By way of
Conformably to
In case of
In spite of
In order to
in addition to
In comparison to
In front of
In course of
On account of
On behalf of
With a view to
With an eye to
With reference to
With regard to
Usage of these prepositions in sentences:

* In case of need, please call the doctor.
* In course of time he saw his mistake.
* In spite of doing hard work, he couldn’t get good marks.
* Owing to his ill health he _______.
* He could not go to a trip because of his illness.
* By means of rope ladders they scaled the wall.
* Why don’t you go along with your parents?
* There is a school in front of my house.

Instead of talking prove your worth by doing something
Some more Preposition Sentences

* The dog ran along the road.
* The work was done in haste.
* I am afraid of the dog.
* He spoke to me in French.
* I have not seen him since Wednesday last.
* It is 4O’clock by my watch.
* He fell into the well.
* The house was destroyed by fire.
* I am sorry for what I have done.
* I have known him for a long time.
Prepositions at the end of clauses

A preposition often connects two things – a noun, adjective or verb that comes before it and a noun phrase or pronoun (prepositional object) that comes after it.

* He was really angry with me.
* She was looking at him.
* They live in a small village.

In some structures we may put the prepositional object at or near the beginning of a clause. This happens especially in four cases:

wh-questions: What are you looking at?
relative clauses: This is the book that I told you about.
passives: I hate being shouted at.
infinitive structures: It is a boring place to live in.

When a question word is the object of a preposition, the preposition most often comes at the end of the clause.

* Who is this present for? (For whom is this present? is extremely formal.)
* What are you looking at? (Less formal than At what are you looking?)
* Who did you go with? (Less formal than With whom did you go?) * Where did you buy it from?

Relative clauses

When a relative pronoun is the object of a preposition, the preposition often goes at the end of a clause.

* This is the store that I told you about. (Less formal than … about which I told you.) * She is the only woman (who) I have ever really been in love with. (Less formal than … with whom I have ever really been in love.)


In passive structures, prepositions go with their verbs.

* She was operated on last night.
* I hate being shouted at.

Infinitive structures

Infinitive complements can have prepositions with them.

* She needs other children to play with.
* We need a place to live in.
What are various examples of prepositions?
Preposition Examples
About I will tell you a story about a lion.
Above The plane flies above the clouds.
Across They walked across the field.
After After lunch, I shall complete the remaining task.
Against I helped her going against the wishes of my loved ones.
Along All along the way, she did not speak a word.
Among The profit was shared among the shareholders.
Around Due to the snow, we turned around to return back home.
At The land is at war with its neighbor.
Before She had decided to quit before Christmas, but changed her plan.
Behind The church is located behind the supermarket.
Below The temperatures have dipped below freezing point.
Beneath The water level is beneath the average level.
Beside When we were in school, I used to sit beside her in class.
Besides Besides maths, I am very fond of history.
Between The profit was shared between the three of them.
Beyond The play was beyond my expectations.
But Everyone but her agreed with the arrangement.
By A house by the sea, to retire, is my dream
Concerning He is always curious about anything concerning her.
Despite Despite the snowfall, she decided to carry on with her journey.
Down Jimmy lives down the street.
During She works during the day and studies at night.
Except Except her no one has any objections to the plan.
For I jog for 10 miles everyday.
From She comes from Argentina.
In When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Inside Inside the tough exterior, lies a gentle soul.
Into As soon as she stepped into the room, there was pin drop silence.
Like She looks like her father.
Minus Ten minus eight equals two.
Near They have bought a new home near the school.
Of A friend of mine recommended the beautician to me.
Off To regain her lost health, it is important, she stays off her fad diet programs.
On There is an apple on the table.
Onto He always climbs onto the table.
Opposite Her desk is located diagonally opposite my desk.
Out of Out of sheer curiosity, I asked her the question.
Outside Outside the house lies a beautiful garden.
Over The journey cost me way over my budget.
Past She walked past me, but refused to acknowledge my presence.
Per What was the per person cost incurred?
Plus Eight plus six equals fourteen.
Since She was waiting for him since ten in the morning.
Through I slept all through the day.
Throughout Throughout winter, she has been sick.
To I am going to Atlanta, before I head back home.
Toward (s) It started raining towards the evening.
Under The road is under repair.
Underneath She found her earring underneath the carpet.
Until I did not get the documents until 5 pm.
Upon Once upon a time, there lived a king.
Up I walked up the stairs, to see the problem.
Up to The decision is up to the both of them.
Versus The last game was England versus France.
Via I will go via Sydney.
With She walked in with her new boyfriend.
Within She caters to customers within a radius of 5 miles.
Without I never leave my house without an umbrella, due to the uncertain weather.
Last Updated: September 5, 2017