Parts of Speech: Prepositions

(image by Christophe Dioux)

(image by Christophe Dioux)

Are you confused by prepositions in English?

Do you forget if you need to say, “at work” or “in work”, “on Sunday” or “in Sunday”?

You are not alone!

Many people have problems with prepositions in English. Prepositions are small words with a big meaning! There are more than 150 prepositions in English! Wikipedia lists 521! That’s a lot! This link gives you access to a free eBook from EnglishClub with a full list and examples of prepositions. It’s 56 pages long, so I don’t recommend that you print it, but you can use it as an online resource.

The good news is, it’s not necessary to memorize the entire list. But, you should study as many as you can. Today we’ll look at some of them and how to use them.

What’s a preposition? 

A preposition is a word that shows when, where, or how something was done.

  • I have class on Mondays.
  • The boy jumped into the lake.
  • Sarah opened the lock with a key.

How do I use prepositions? 

The word “preposition” means “pre- position.” Therefore, they go in front of another word, usually a noun.

Prepositions of Place

IMG_3132

(photo by WT instructor JLN)

These prepositions show where things are.

In this picture, the bowls are beside (next to) the glasses. They are above the plates and the cups. The plates and cups are under the bowls and glasses. The plates are between the glasses and the cups. One bowl is inside another bowl. All of the dishes are inside the cabinet.

Prepositions of Time

These prepositions tell when you do something. In, On, and At are the three most common prepositions.

 

In general month, year, time of day, general time in January, in 2012, in the morning, in the future
On day, date on Christmas Day, on July 14th, on Saturday
At specific time, *night at 7:00 at night

Prepositions of Agent

These prepositions show how something is done.

  • The glass is filled with water.
  • The book was written by Cervantes.

For more lists and exhaustive explanations of prepositions, click here or here.

For some practice, try any of these exercises:

(Easy) https://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/prepositions/exercises?07

(More difficult) https://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/prepositions/exercises

(Even more difficult!) https://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/prepositions/exercises?14

10 thoughts on “Parts of Speech: Prepositions

  1. The name Preposition itself tells that the position of word is before another word showing the relationship of words which are nearby.
    A preposition is used to show- direction, location, time and to introduce an object.

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  4. I’d much rather have someone telling me what he loves about me than resting on the same old “you are beautiful”. Hell, every person is beautiful. If you want to comment on something, comment on the details. For example, “I love the way you snort when you laugh”.
    Instead of generalizing, comment on her unique habits. That’ll make her feel observed. That’ll make her feel special. And girls love that feeling.

  5. Any comment that suggests that they are beautiful or unique from the rest of womenfolk. Comments on the beauty of their physical features are usually wildly received but you have to be careful with some women who have superior intellect or sceptics who “have been there.” Comments like “you have such beautiful blue/ brown eyes.” or “you have such a fine body” may sound cliched or cony to them and your compliment will just fall flat. 
    In which case you have to be able to compliment their non-physical attributes as well, such as their “sweet voice” or “beautiful soul” or “warmth.” etc…..But, look here, in truth there are no special rules on these things. Almost every human being/ every girl has some qualities that can be complimented and very few people are immune to flattery.

  6. Just find those beautiful attributes in your subject of interest and comment about them. You will usually elicit a positive response because it will be a true comment.
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  7. So, if you value their presence, treat them like a human being with feelings and be careful even a little bit you don’t have to do all the valentiney stuff. It’s feeling that matters the most.
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