What is a Preposition in English Grammar?


What is a Preposition in English Grammar? We’ll explain the meaning of a preposition, how to use prepositions, and provide a variety of examples of prepositions in English. When you’re learning English grammar, you’ve to deal with the preposition. But what exactly is it? And what does it do in a sentence? In this article, we will look deeper into the definition of a preposition, how it can be used, and the rules that govern its use. Additionally, we will look at some examples to better understand their purpose.

As a guide, the below definitions and tables provide the fundamental use of the preposition. Read on to get a more in-depth explanation of the rules and examples of when and how to use a preposition.

Learn to use preposition with example sentences and ESLBLOCK worksheets for printing.

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What is a Preposition?

Prepositions inform us of what or where something is relative to another. Prepositions are one of the nine parts of speech.

Prepositions are often used to indicate the position of a noun concerning the other (e.g., The book is on the table beside you). However, they can also convey more abstract concepts like intent or contrast (e.g., We went for a walk despite the heavy rain).

The word preposition (pre + position) is “place before.” Prepositions typically occur BEFORE the other word–usually a noun phrase. It reveals the relation between the noun and the rest of the sentence. Very popular prepositions include: with, with, at, in, of, on, for, and by.

Pronoun is a radically different part of speech from a noun, verb, conjunction, interjunction, adjective, and the rest.

List of Preposition

A list of prepositions has more than 300 prepositions. This isn’t a lot considering that English has at the very least one hundred thousand prepositions. Remarkably, this list of prepositions isn’t that long, considering they’re used to illustrate how words and phrases are connected to form a sentence. In reality, the majority of sentences have more than one connecting word. This means that you’ll be using the prepositions list more frequently than verbs, nouns, and other parts of speech.

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1. A Simple Preposition List

The majority of prepositions that you experience within your English sentences are “simple” prepositions. Simple words typically contain one or two syllables and connect sentences with words. Here’s a list of the most commonly used simple prepositions:

  • About
  • Above
  • Across
  • After
  • Ago
  • At
  • Below
  • By
  • Down
  • During
  • For
  • From
  • In
  • Into
  • Off
  • On
  • Over
  • Past
  • Since
  • Through
  • To
  • Under
  • Until
  • Up
  • With

2. A Double Preposition List

Once you’ve viewed the list of prepositions above and understand a particular preposition (or connecting word), you’re ready to proceed toward double prepositions. They are composed of two simple connecting words. For example, onto (on+to), inside (in+side), and without (with+out) are just a few examples of double-connecting words.

A List of Prepositions: Double Words

  • Amid
  • Atop
  • Inside
  • Into
  • Onto
  • Outside
  • Throughout
  • Upon
  • Within
  • Without

3. A Compound Preposition List

As you can observe, double words love being in a group. Compound words, on the contrary side, have their own space. Words that are similar to, according to, as for, and prior to are examples of the compound preposition.

Compound words can also be composed of two separate words, much as double words. Two words have only one meaning. Here is an alphabet of prepositions for compound words that are found in English:

List of Prepositions With to:

  • Thanks to
  • Subsequent to
  • Relative to
  • Prior to
  • Owing to
  • Near to
  • Due to
  • Close to
  • According to

List of Prepositions With of:

  • Right of
  • Outside of
  • Out of
  • Instead of
  • Inside of
  • Because of
  • Ahead of

List of Prepositions With for or from:

  • Out from
  • Except for
  • Aside from
  • As for
  • Apart from
  • Apart for

4. The Participle List of Prepositions

Gerunds or -ing variants of verbs can act as connecting words. There aren’t many that can do this, and therefore, there aren’t as many prepositions that are participle. Here’s the list of participle prepositions:

  • Regarding
  • Including
  • Following
  • Excluding
  • During
  • Considering
  • Concerning

5. A  Prepositional Phrase List

A prepositional phrase listing includes the groups (known in the form of phrases) composed of different words joined to form a connecting word. The phrase can also contain adjectives, verbs, and other elements of speech.

Please don’t confuse them with compound or double terms. Each of the categories listed in this listing of prepositional words contains three terms and are phrases rather than the words that are a pair. Here’s an alphabetical list of prepositional words that you must know:

  • With the exception of
  • With regard to
  • On top of
  • In spite of
  • In regard to
  • In addition to
  • As well as
  • As soon as
  • As long as
  • As far as

Preposition Examples

Here are some example sentences using preposition!

  • Across the wall
  • Along the river
  • At 8 o’clock
  • At present
  • At the corner
  • Before dawn
  • Below the sheet
  • Down the mountain
  • During the meeting
  • In front of the hospital
  • In (the) winter
  • In a building
  • In a moment
  • In America
  • In the evening
  • Into his eyes
  • On a table
  • On the first night
  • On Friday
  • On time
  • Within five days

Types of Preposition

There are five main types of preposition.

  1. Prepositions of time
  2. Prepositions of place
  3. Prepositions of movement/Direction
  4. Prepositions for agent, instruments, devices, machines

Prepositions of time

There aren’t a lot of connecting words that refer to time, but the words do have a significant role in the English language. These words can explain when something is going to happen or happened. The following list of prepositions contains prepositions for time:

  • Until
  • To
  • Since
  • Past
  • On
  • In
  • From
  • For
  • During
  • By
  • Before
  • At
  • Ago
  • After

Here are some example sentences showing prepositions of time:

  • I always wake up at 6am.
  • Let’s meet at dinnertime for a coffee.
  • It’s her birthday on Wednesday.
  • The meeting is on 15 May.
  • Brianna retired in June.
  • I’ll be back in 15 days.
  • Sebastian was born in 1981.
  • The weather in spring is wonderful.
  • I’ve been living here for 2 years.
  • She has been living in Washington since March.
  • My father said I have to be home by 9pm.

Prepositions of place

Prepositions to refer to a place, use the prepositions “in” (point itself), “at” (general vicinity), “on” (surface), and “inside” (contained). The following list of prepositions contains prepositions for place:

  • Up
  • Under
  • Over
  • On
  • Off
  • In
  • Down
  • By
  • Beside
  • Below
  • At
  • Above

Here are some example sentences showing prepositions of place:

  • I watch movie in the cinema.
  • Angelina lives in Sydney.
  • Look at the flowers in the book.
  • She looks at herself in the mirror.
  • Adam is in the bus.
  • Look at the boy in the picture.
  • This is not the best player in the team.

Prepositions of movement/Direction

  • Down/Up
  • Into/out of/Through
  • Onto/Off
  • Over/under
  • Toward/To/away from
  • Across, Along, Past
  • Around, Round
  • Up and Down
  • Into
  • off
  • onto
  • over
  • towards
  • to

Here are some example sentences showing prepositions of movement:

  • Gianna is going to village on the bus?
  • Daniel walked over to the window.
  • They received another invitation to a wedding.
  • She stood up and walked towards her mother.
  • Kaylee kept glancing towards the candy.
  • I walked backwards towards the gate.
  • We walked slowly through the pushes.
  • He struggled through the crowd.
  • Let’s go into the park.
  • He walked across the road.
  • We’re building a new bridge across the river.
  • Henry put a shawl over his shoulders.
  • Buses were parked all along the road.
  • Get in the bus.
  • We live in that new house on the hill.

Prepositions for agent

Connecting words that describe agents aids your audience in understanding the connection between a pronoun or noun and the other word used in sentences. Every sentence with an agent-related word will clarify how one person affects an individual or something else. Three words indicate an agent-related connection. The words are by, without, and with.. Agent words are similar to the words you’ll see on the list of prepositions used in instruments.

  • This house was designed by Benjamin, but painted by his staff.
  • You can’t unlock the door without the key.
  • William also worked on this painting with his friend Oliver.

Preposition InfoGraphics

Here are some printable infographics about preposition. Printable infographics are a fantastic way to share a significant amount of details in a short time in a stunning way. Thepreposition infographic can help teachers and students to share their thoughts easily.

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My Considerations

With this set of activities and explanations, you will quickly determine whether you are making the most effective use of the preposition and how they could be used to enhance English writings.

Since the prepositions are the main part of English Grammar, the importance of developing English learning skills cannot be undervalued without preposition.

You can read the above sample sentences about preposition to improve your understanding of English grammar.

Encourage your children to learn these basic but commonly used preposition, by following the simple example sentences given above. Then, save this list of preposition sentences, handy for your kids in future.

If you enjoyed a printable infographic about What is an preposition, I’d be very thankful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to your friends or sharing it on Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Thank you!

Also read: Adjectives That Start With Y

Recap of what we just learned

  • What is a Preposition?
  • List of Preposition
    • A Simple Preposition List
    • A Double Preposition List
    • A Compound Preposition List
    • The Participle List of Prepositions
  • Examples of Prepositions
  • PrepositionPronouns
    • Prepositions of time
    • Prepositions of place
    • Prepositions of movement/Direction
    • Prepositions for agent
  • Preposition InfoGraphics

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Also read: Adjectives That Start With Z

Explore the full list of Adjectives to Describe a Person from A to Z!

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