How to use prepositions in English language?

Prepositions are part and parcel of English language. Children have to learn perfectly how to use these prepositions correctly in their writing as well as in their speaking. In this article, I gave an account of some common prepositions and their proper usage in English language with examples.

Definition of preposition

A preposition is a word used or placed before a noun or pronoun. A preposition is never followed by a verb. A preposition shows the relationship between the noun and something else. A preposition usually placed before the word it controls.

Some of the simple prepositions used in English language are of, at, in, on, to, till, by, for, from, off, out, with etc. Some of the compound prepositions used in English language are within, beside, across, about, above, without, between etc.

Prepositions used with reference to Time

1. At is used with definite point of time in mind.
- John goes to the office at 9 A.M. sharp.
- David and Murphy left for the city at Sunset.

2. In is used for a period of time in which something happens.
- I play in the evening.
- The function took place in the evening.

3. On is used with particular days and dates.
- We had English special class on every Friday.
- Mahatma Gandhi was born on 2nd October.

4. By denotes the latest time by which an action is over or it refers not later than.
- The English class will be over by 3'o clock.
- They will leave this place by 6'o clock.

5. For is used to denote a period of time and is used with the perfect continuous tense.
- The girl has been ill for the last four days.
- He has been waiting for three hours.

6. Since is used to denote point of time and also indicates the condition of continuity.
- I am not in touch with him since Sunday.
- I am working in this institute since 1990.

7. From denotes the starting point of an action.
- Mr.Brown borrowed a book from me.
- She attend music classes from tomorrow onwards.

Prepositions used with reference to Position

1. At is used with reference to exact point. At is used to denote names of small towns and villages.
- He lives at Arundalpet.
- I live at Meerpur.

2. In is used to denote with names of big cities, States and Countries.
- The President lives in Delhi in India.
- My uncle lives in Hyderabad.

3. Between is used to distinguish two persons or two things.
- Robert and Clive fought between themselves.
- Share this sweet between the two girls.

4. Among is used for more than two persons or things.
- The sweets are distributed among the boys of the class.
- These students are always quarreling among themselves.

5. Above is used for higher than the other.
- The helicopter is flying above the clouds.
- A honeybee is flying above my head.

6. Below is used for lower than the other.
- Tom scored below average marks in the term examinations.
- I live in the flat below her.

7. Over is used to indicate a position above something or somebody.
- They stay over the weekend.
- Come over and see us tomorrow.

8. Under is used to indicate the position below somebody or something.
- I put my bag under the table.
- We sit under the tree when the climate is hot.

Prepositions showing Direction

1. To is used to indicate movement from one place to other.
- She went to the market to buy vegetables.
- I am junior to him.

2. Towards is used to point out particular direction.
- He ran towards the Bus stop to catch the bus.
- Mr. Robert is heading towards London on his return journey.

3. At indicates aim
- He aimed the gun at the bird.
- He aimed at winning his opponent.

4. For denotes direction
- I shall start for Delhi today.
- This demonstration class is intended for beginners.

5. Along denotes the same line.
- The trees were planted all along the road side.
- They walked along the shore.

6. After refers to the sequence of event
- The police ran after the thieves.
- The rain started pouring after I reached home.

7. Behind means at the back of something
- Tom stood behind me.
- My house is behind the Post-office.

8. Beside indicates by the side of something.
- He sat beside me in the function hall.
- Jhon is the person standing beside the window.

9. Across denotes from one side.
- I ran across the road.
- The marble slabs were cut across to make it into two pieces.

10. From denotes a point of departure.
- He felt very unhappy when he depart from his parents.
- I am away from my house since last week.


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