What are prepositions in English ?

What are prepositions in English ?

What are prepositions in English ?


PRE            POSITIONS

 Pre (means before) Position (means place)


A preposition is a word that is normally placed before a Noun or a Pronoun to show its relation to some other word in the sentence.

e.g.       1.         There is a box on the table.

  1. We go by train.
  2. The Minister is angry with me.

In the first sentence, the preposition on shows the relation between two nouns i.e. the box and the table. 

In the second sentence, the preposition by shows the relation between the verb go and the noun train.

In the third sentence, the preposition with shows the relation between the adjective angry and the pronoun me.


As per rule, a preposition should be placed before a noun or a pronoun. But in some cases the preposition is placed at the end of the sentence if the word THAT is used in the sentence or when you are asking some questions.

e.g.       1.         This is the house that I was searching for.

  1. Here is the book that you were looking for.
  2. This is the game that I am fond of.
  3. This is the picture that she was looking at.
  4. Where do you come from?
  5. Who do you vote for?
  6. What are you talking about?
  7. What is she looking at.


When we talk about time, we use (At, On, Before, From, To, Till, For, Since, After, In, By, During)

e.g.       1.         Gopal goes to office at 10.00 a.m.

  1. Latha was in Mumbai on 10th June.
  2. Hari left the house before sunrise.
  3. Central Government Offices work from 9.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.           
  4. Please wait till tomorrow.
  5. The Minister stayed in London for a week.
  6. He has been working since 8.00 a.m.
  7. The Prime Minister will return to Delhi after a month.
  8. The postman brought this letter in the afternoon.
  9. I shall be leaving for Delhi by 10.00 p.m.
  10. He was ill for a month and during that month he took only liquid food.

  When we talk about a place, we use (behind, across, in, at, among)

 e.g.       1.         She stood behind the door.

  1. They ran across the road.
  2. Mr. John lives in London.
  3. Mrs. Padma lives at No.141, Chamrajpet, 4th Cross, Bangalore.
  4. Gulnaz is among the film stars.


When we talk about possession, we use (of, with)

e.g.       1.         Shyam was a man of principles.

  1. Bangalore is the capital of Karnataka.
  2. Here is the boy with white hair.

When we talk about a reason or a purpose, we use (for, with, of)

e.g.       1.         Walking is good for health.

  1. Good people live for others.
  2. Sheela trembled with anger.
  3. She died of cancer.


When we talk about directions or motion, we use (up, around, towards, into)

e.g.       1.         The monkey climbed up the tree.

  1. The earth moves around the sun.
  2. We walked towards the temple.
  3. She jumped into the river.


  1. At, in

At is used for small places like villages, towns, a smaller locality, to write addresses etc.  In is used for large towns, large localities, cities, states, countries and continents.

  1. I was born at Bangalore in
  2. The minister lives at112, Palace Road, Bangalore
  3. Gulnaz lives in Uttar Khand
  4. Let us meet Raju at the Bangalore Club this afternoon


  1. In, into.

            In is used to talk about rest or inside something and position.

            Into indicates the movement from one point to the other. It is used with a verb of motion to indicate the entrance.

  1. Kapilesh is in deep sleep
  2. Shankar is in his room
  3. She jumped into the well
  4. Singh went into the army
  5. By, with

            By is used to tell the person who does some action and with is used to tell the instrument with which the action is done

  1. Sunil was killed by Balu with a knife.
  2. The tree was cut by the man with an axe.
  3. The tiger was shot by him with a gun.


  1. Between, among

            Between is used to talk about two persons and among is used to talk about more than two persons

  1. A quarrel arose between the two sisters
  2. She stood between two friends
  3. Distribute the fruits among the poor


  1. On, upon

            On is used to talk about things which are at rest and upon is used to talk about things in motion

  1. The books are lying on the table
  2. The tiger sprang upon the hunter


  1. Above, over

            Above and over mean higher in rank. Above can mean higher than and over can mean more than.

  1. The General Manager is above the Manager
  2. The G.M. is over fifty years of age.


  1. Below, under

            Both mean ‘lower than’ and sometimes either can be used interchangeably

  1. The clerk works below/under the Supervisor
  2. The river flows below/under the bridge



  1. But, except

But is used after the negative word nobody, none, nowhere, etc. The question words who, where, etc. and also all, everyone, anyone, etc.   Except means not including or but not.  But and except have the same meaning and are generally interchangeable.

  1. Nobody but Padma knew the answer
  2. Everyone was there but Ravi
  3. The shop is open everyday except Sunday
  4. Everyone except Krishna got an invitation


  1. Beside, Besides

            Beside means by the side of; Besides means in addition to

  1. The butcher kept the money bag beside him
  2. The headmaster sat beside the inspector
  3. There will be six of us for lunch besides Murthy


  1. Across, through

            Across means from one side of something to the other side. Through means entering at one end and coming out of the other.

  1. My house is just across the street
  2. There is a bridge across the river
  3. The thief got in through the window
  4. The train passes through the tunnel
  5. During, for

            During is placed before known periods of time. For is generally used before known periods of time.

  1. During his life time his service to the nation was never recognised
  2. It rained all Tuesday but stopped raining during the night
  3. The phone may ring during the meal
  4. I went to Ooty for the summer
  5. I shall not be there for an hour
  6. My friend stayed with me for Deepavali
  7. On time, in time

            On time means at exact time. In time means not late than the fixed time

  1. The 10.30 aeroplane started on time
  2. The function started on time
  3. Students should go to school in time.
  4. Till, until, by

            Till means upto; by means not later than

  1. The children waited for the chief guest till 3.00 p.m.
  2. He didn’t get sleep till 1.00 a.m.
  3. The chief guest may come by 2.00 p.m.
  4. The Director may come to the office by 11.00 a.m.
  5. Under, underneath

            Under is used with reference to persons or things. Underneath is used for things only

  1. A clerk works under the manager
  2. The bag is under the table
  3. I found a lot of dust underneath the carpet
  4. He kept the mobile underneath the pillow
  5. On, onto

            On can be used for both position and movement. Onto can be used when there is movement involving a change of level

  1. Kosar’s name is on the notice board
  2. He is sitting on the bench
  3. Water was dripping onto the floor
  4. Since, for

            Since tells us the time from when an action started. For tells us the period of time an action happened

  1. The boy has been sleeping since 5.00 p.m.
  2. Murali had not seen her since their quarrel
  3. The boy has not come to school for three days
  4. Sheriff has been sleeping for 10 hours
  5. For

            For indicates the following:-

A purpose or function

  1. Are you learning Sanskrit for getting high in the examination or for pleasure?
  2. I rented a house for my holidays


Destination, aim or reason

  1. Is this Luxury bus for Mysore?
  2. Passengers for Mumbai must change at Bangalore

Equal to something or in return for

  1. There is one bad apple for every six good ones
  2. We get one gold coin for every deposit of Rs.1.00 lakh


In order to help or benefit

  1. What can I do for you?
  2. Would you please translate this letter for me?


A length of time

  1. We stayed in Mysore for 10 days
  2. I bought a dictionary for Rs.500/-
  3. He was punished for rash driving


Words followed by prepositions (use these phrases in sentences of your own)


Absorbed in

He was absorbed in the factory

Acquainted with

He is acquainted with the new technology

Addicted to

He is addicted to tobacco

Affectionate to Agree with a person Accused of
Accord with Admit of Afraid of
Applicable to Apologise to Associated with
Attention to Based on Believe in
Boast of Busy with Appetite for
Appeal to Astonished at Attitude towards
Basis for Bent on Blind to
Born of Call on someone Care for
Capable of Careful about Complain of
Committed to Confident of Craving for
Congratulate on Danger of Deprive of
Deaf to Delighted with Delighted at
Desire for Difficulty in Expert in
Exchange for Famous for Depend on
Demand for Faith in Fear of
Fond of Gifted with Greed for
Guilty of Harmful to Hope of
Invite to Intimate with Inspired by
Limit to Live in Lack of
Long for Look down Love for
Mad about Match for Negligent in
Feeling towards Get through Gratitude to
Good at Hunger for Insist on
Jealous of Laugh at Liking for
Look at Look forward to Look out
Method of Mistake for Occupied with
Partial to Made for Knock at


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