A Preposition is a word placed before/ after a noun or a pronoun to denote the relation to some other word in the sentence. The word Preposition literally means ‘that which is placed before‘.
There is a pencil in the box.
The word ‘in’ shows the relation between two things – pencil and box. Similarly,
He is fond of Coffee.
The word ‘of’ shows the relation between the quality expressed by the adjective ‘fond’ and ‘Coffee’.
The words in and of used here are called Prepositions.
If you notice clearly, in the sentence I, the Preposition joins a Noun to another Noun;
In sentence 2, the Preposition joins a Noun to an Adjective;
The noun or pronoun that is used with the preposition in the sentence is known as an object.
Sometimes, a Preposition may have two or more objects. For example,
The road runs over hill and plain.
Prepositions placed after Noun/Pronoun
A Preposition is usually placed before its object, but sometimes it follows it. For example,
- Here is the box that you asked for.
- That is the person (whom) I was speaking of.
- What are you looking at?
- Which of these rooms did you sleep in?
Note: If the noun in the sentence is a noun of time, prepositions are not used. For example,
- We reached here last week.
- I cannot walk a mile.
- Wait a minute.
Preposition- Types and Examples
Prepositions may be arranged in the following classes:
These are the simple words used as prepositions in sentences. For example,
At, by, for, from, in, of, off, on, out, through, till, to, up, with.
These are generally formed by prefixing a preposition to a noun, an adjective or an adverb. For example,
About, above, across, along, amidst, among, amongst, around, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, inside, outside, underneath, within, without.
Phrase prepositions are a group of words used as a preposition. Here are some of the examples:
By reason of — in course of — owing to
Along with — on behalf of — in regard to
Away from — in case of — in spite of
By dint of — in compliance with — in the event of
Conformably to — in lieu of — with reference to
By means of — in consequence of — on account of
Because of — in comparison to — instead of
According to — in accordance with — in place of
By virtue of — in favor of — with a view to
Agreeably to — in addition to — in reference to
By way of — in front of — with an eye to
For the sake of — in order to — with regard to
Sometimes, in sentences, the present participle of the verb acts as a preposition. Those kind of prepositions are known as participial prepositions. For example,
‘Notwithstanding, pending, regarding, barring, concerning, considering, during, respecting, touching etc.”
Barring (= excepting apart from) the accident, the letter will arrive on time.
Concerning (= about) yesterday’s accident, there are many speculations in the office.
Considering (= taking into account) the quality, the price is very high.
I slept during the whole duration of the movie.
Notwithstanding (= in spite of) the resistance offered by him, he was admitted in the hospital.
Pending further orders, Shoshanna will be put to house arrest.
Regarding your inquiry, I’m sorry to inform you that there are no vacancies in our office.
Respecting the issue you raised, we shall talk about it in detail.
Touching (= with regard to) this matter, 1 have already made up my mind.
Some Important Points to Remember
Note: “In” is used with the names of countries or large towns. “At” is used when small towns or places are used in the sentence. For example,
She met him in Germany.
He lives at Richmond Street in London.
Note: IN and AT are used when describing things at rest. TO and INTO are used when talking about things in motion.
He moved into the list of the top lawyers of the city.
Note: Since, from, for are the prepositions denoting time. Since is used in the perfect tense denoting point of time, from is used in the non-prefect tense denoting point of time, and for is used to denote period of time. For example,
He has been sleeping since afternoon.
He has been sleeping for 5 hours.
She will start working from Monday.
Note: The prepositions beside and besides should be used with distinction as they both have different meanings. Beside means ‘by the side of’ and besides means ‘in addition to’. For example,
He sat beside her.
Besides being good at mathematics, he loves sports.
Note: The preposition Between is used for two things or persons and among is used for more than two. For example,
You have to choose between today and tomorrow.
The money is distributed among Tom, Harry and Nancy.
Note: If we are comparing two similar things, the preposition to is used. However, if we compare two different aspects, the preposition with is used. For example,
The bike speed is compared to that of a Jaguar.
An elite University cannot be compared with a regional one.
Note: While discussing time, the preposition in means at the end of, while within means before the end of. For example,
She has changed so much in a year.
He should be here within an hour before the bus moves.
By solving more exercises on prepositions, more examples and models can be explored. For more articles on parts of speech, click here.
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