An Essential Guide to Prepositions

1. What is a Preposition?

Prepositions are an essential part of English grammar, helping us to express relationships between words, phrases, and clauses. There are several types of prepositions that serve different functions in a sentence. Understanding these types can greatly enhance your ability to communicate effectively in English. Let's explore the common types of prepositions and their usage.

Prepositions establish connections between nouns or pronouns and other words in a sentence, indicating relationships. Typically, they come before nouns or pronouns, guiding us in understanding the connections within a sentence.

2. Types of Prepositions:

Let's explore the common types of prepositions and their usage.

  • Time prepositions

  • Place prepositions

  • Direction prepositions

Types of Prepositions

2.1 Prepositions of Time:

A preposition of time is a preposition that allows us to refer to a specific time period such as a date on the calender, one of the days of the week, or the actual time something takes place. We use at, on, and in for talking about time.

  • Her school starts at 9 a.m.

  • He is going to the party on Sunday.

  • My sister is coming on Monday.

  • He came home at 2 p.m.

2.2 Prepositions of Place:

This preposition is used to refer to a place where something or someone is located. We use on, under, and, in for talking about location.

  • He is sitting on the sofa.

  • The dog is under the table.

  • The blue pen is in the bag.

  • James prefers to read in the library.

2.3 Prepositions of Direction:

A preposition of direction gives us a sense of place and direction. We use these prepositions for talking about direction. Here in these sentences, words under and across are showing direction.

  • The cat hid under the sofa.

  • The car drove across the bridge.

Note 1: A preposition is followed by a noun. It is never followed by a verb.

3. Preposition Rules:

The following table shows some prepositions and their usage:

Prepositions Usage Examples
in for Months,
for Years
for Seasons
for part of the day
for period of time
in June
in 2004
in Summer
in the morning
in five years
at for time
for weekend
for part of the day
at half past five
at the weekend
at night
on days of the week
for public transport
to indicate a device
for special holidays
on Friday
on the bus, on a plane
on the phone
on the computer
on Good Friday
on Easter Sunday
till/ until no later than a special time till tomorrow
until tomorrow
for period of time
for point of time
for two weeks
since Friday

Note 2: A preposition always has an object.

4. Common prepositions: "In", "on", "at", "to", "with", "for", "from"

Prepositions are words that are used to describe the relationship between two words in a sentence. They typically indicate the position or direction of one word in relation to another. Some of the most common prepositions in English are "in," "on," "at," "to," "with," "for," and "from." In this article, we will discuss the meaning and usage of these prepositions.

4.1 "In":

The preposition "in" is used to describe the position of an object or person inside a space or container. For example, "I am in my office," "The book is in the bag," or "The children are playing in the park."

"In" can also be used to describe a specific time period. For example, "She was born in 1990" or "The concert starts in an hour."

4.2 "On":

The preposition "on" is used to describe the position of an object or person on a surface. For example, "The book is on the table," "The cat is sleeping on the bed," or "The painting is hanging on the wall."

"On" can also be used to describe a specific date or day of the week. For example, "My birthday is on September 1st" or "The meeting is on Monday."

4.3 "At":

The preposition "at" is used to describe a specific location or point in time. For example, "I am at the office," "The party is at John's house," or "The concert starts at 8 PM."

"At" can also be used to describe a specific activity or event. For example, "I am good at playing the guitar" or "She is at the gym working out."

5. Bonus: A list of commonly used Prepositions

  • after

  • as for

  • above

  • at

  • as

  • among

  • around

  • across

  • before

  • behind

  • but

  • by

  • beside

  • beneath

  • between

  • below

  • down

  • during

  • despite

  • except

  • excluding

  • except for

  • for

  • from

  • in

  • in spite of

  • in front of

  • in case of

  • in addition to

  • inside

  • in to

  • including

  • like

  • minus

  • near

  • next to

  • of

  • on

  • outside

  • on account of

  • in spite of

  • past

  • until

  • up

  • upon

  • under

  • with

  • withen

  • without

Note 3: A pronoun following a preposition should be in objective form, not subjective form.

See Also:

  • Modal Verbs

  • Auxiliary or Helping Verbs

  • Finite and Non-Finite Verbs

  • Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

  • Mixed Worksheets: