The preposition is a word used to associate nouns, pronouns, or phrases with other words in the sentence. They act to connect people, objects, times and places in one sentence. Prepositions are usually short words and are usually placed directly before the nouns. In some cases you will find prepositions in front of the verbs of gerunds.
A good way to think about prepositions is to use words that help to attach a sentence. They do this by expressing position and movement, possession, time, and how an action is completed.
In fact, several of the most commonly used words throughout the English language, such as of, to, for, with, on, at, a, are prepositions. Explaining prepositions may seem complicated, but they are a common part of the language, and most of them use them naturally, without even thinking about it.
In fact, it is interesting to note that prepositions are considered to be a ‘closed class’ of words in English. This means, unlike verbs and nouns, no new words are added to this group in time.
It somehow reflects their role as a functional workhorse of the sentence. They are unpretentious and subtle, but essential to the importance of language.
There are two very important rules to keep in mind when using prepositions. Because they are a little vague, learning the prepositions and using them correctly in the sentences requires practice. Since one-to-one translation is often impossible when working with prepositions, even the most advanced English learners have some difficulty initially.
The first rule is that in order to be clear, specific pretexts are needed. For example, the pretext in means one thing and the pretext on cannot replace it in all cases.
Some prepositions are interchangeable, but not always. The correct preposition means one specific thing and using a different sentence will give the sentence a completely different meaning.
I want to see you in the house now, Bill! Means something completely different from: I want to see you on the house now, Bill!
In the house means Bill goes out the door, takes in, and stands in the middle of the living room. On the house means Bill takes the ladder and climbs the roof of the house.
The second rule for the use of prepositions is that prepositions are usually followed by nouns or pronouns. There were times in the past when teachers adhered to this rule, but that made some sentences very cumbersome.
I am seeking someone I can depend on end up with a preposition, so people who insist that sentences should not end with a preposition would be forced to use confused and unnatural phrases. To avoid completing this sentence above with a pretext, you must say, someone I can depend on is whom I am seeking.
There are more than 100 prepositions in English
In addition, there are endless possibilities for creating prepositional phrases, phrases that begin with a preposition and end with a noun or a pronoun.
Prepositions usually convey concepts such as comparison, direction, place, purpose, possession of source, and time.
Using different prepositions or even different types of prepositions instead of examples can change the connection between the other words in the sentence.
- I prefer to read in the library.
- He climbed upthe ladder to get onto the roof.
- Please sign your name onthe dotted line after you read the contract.
- Go downthe stairs and through the door.
- He swam acrossthe pool.
- Take your brother with
Types of prepositions
There are three types of prepositions, including time prepositions, position prepositions and direction prepositions. Temporary prepositions are such as before, after, during, and until; place propositions are position markers such as around, between, and against; and direction suggestions are those that indicate the direction, such as across, up, and down. Each type of preposition is important.
Key examples of time prepositions include: at, on, in, before, after. They are used to indicate when something has happened, is happening or is about to happen.
- I was born onJuly 4th, 1982.
- I was born in
- I was born at exactly 2am.
- I was born two minutes before my twin brother.
- I was born afterthe Great War ended.
The above examples show that using prepositions is not easy, with five different prepositions being used to indicate when something happened. However, there are a number of guidelines that can help us decide which preposition to use:
Years, months, seasons, centuries and hours a day, use the pretext in.
- I first met John in
- It’s always cold in January
- Easter falls inspring each year.
- The Second World War occurred in the 20th century.
- We eat breakfast inthe morning.
For days, dates and specific holidays, we use the pretext on.
- We go to school onMondays, but not on Sunday
- Christmas is on December 25th.
- Buy me a present onmy birthday.
For times, exceptions and holidays, we use the pretext at.
- Families often argue at Christmas time.
- I work faster at
- Her shift finished at
Before and after this should be much easier to understand than other examples with time prepositions. Both are used to explain when something happened, is happening, or is about to happen, but specifically in relation to another happening.
- Before I discovered this bar, I used to go straight home after
- We will not leave before
- David comes beforeBryan in the line, but after
Other suggestions are: During, about, around, until and throughout.
- The concert will be staged throughout the month of May.
- I learned how to ski during the holidays.
- He usually arrives around
- It was aboutsix in the morning when we made it to bed.
- The store is open until
Suggestions for a place
For our biggest confusion, the most common time markers, on, at, it – are also the most common place markers. However, the rules are a bit clearer, since place suggestions are a firmer concept than time suggestions.
- The cat is on the table.
- The dogs are inthe kennel.
- We can meet at the crossroads.
On is used when it comes to something with a surface:
- The sculpture hangs on the wall.
- The images are on the page.
- The specials are onthe menu, which is on the table.
In is used when referring to something that is inside or within a limited range. This can be anything, even a country:
- Jim is in France, visiting his aunt inthe hospital.
- The whiskey is inthe jar in the fridge.
- The girls play inthe garden.
At is used when referring to something at a specific point:
- The boys are atthe entrance at the movie theater.
- He stood at the bus stop atthe corner of Water and High streets.
- We will meet atthe airport.
Many other place prepositions such as under, over, inside, outside, above, below are used in English. However, there is much less confusion as they relate to static definite positions rather than abstract ones.
- The cat is underthe table.
- Put the sandwich over
- The key is locked insidethe car.
- They stepped outsidethe house.
- Major is ranked above
- He is waving at you from below the stairs.
Suggestions for movement
Motion suggestions are very easy to understand because they are less abstract than place and time suggestions. They essentially describe how something or someone moves from one place to another. The most commonly used motion suggestion is to, which usually serves to emphasize that there is a movement to a particular destination.
- He has gone on vacation to
- She went tothe bowling alley every Friday last summer.
- I will go tobed when I am tired.
- They will go to the zoo if they finish their errand
Across refers to something that moves from one end to the other.
- Mike travelled acrossAmerica on his motorcycle.
- Rebecca and Judi are swimming acrossthe lake.
Into refers to entering or looking inside something.
- James wentinto the room.
- They stare intothe darkness.
Up, over, down, past и around indicate the direction of travel.
- Jack went upthe hill.
- Jill came tumbling down
- We will travel overrough terrain on our way to Grandma’s house.
- The horse runs aroundthe track all morning.
- A car zoomed pasta truck on the highway
List of suggestions
Although there are only about 150 prepositions in the English language, they are among the most important. Without them, the sentences we speak, read and write would be difficult to understand. The following list of suggestions is not complete, but is among the most comprehensive lists of proposals available anywhere.
- Across DO