Introduction to Prepositions

Do you know what bridges do? They connect places. Without them, places may end up being separated from each other. Now that’s what prepositions do too. They are the connecting words in sentences. What do they connect? Nouns/pronouns/phrases to other words in a sentence.

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A preposition shows where, when or how the action took place in a sentence. Let’s see a few examples because what explains better than an example:

  • The glass is on the table.
  • Roland is very fond of ice-cream.
  • The mouse jumped off the table.
  • The mother cat divided the food between her two kittens.
  • Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first ascenders atop Mount Everest.
  • The paper plane flew above the ground.
  • Christine danced with Christopher.
  • I wake up every day in the morning at 7:30 am.
  • He will come back from Mumbai in a week.

As you can see in the above examples, Prepositions usually show the relationship between the noun, pronouns and other words. Answering questions about where, when and how? Now the Prepositions are multi-faceted. One can use them in different situations. This leads us to our next topic of discussion-

Browse more Topics under Prepositions

Kinds of Prepositions

Fun fact: Prepositions don’t translate from one language to the other. Prepositions and their use vary across languages.

About the kinds of prepositions, it’s a bit tricky to explain the usage as it really has not many rules. But the wonders of logic will save this one. We will get into complete details of this part in our next chapter but let’s get introduced to the different kinds in this chapter:

  1. Simple Prepositions:  Words like for, by, at, out, in, of, off, through, till, up, to, with.
  • The whale dived into the water creating a massive splash.
  • I am from New Jersey.
  • Martha is here till her brother gets into college.
  • The moon does not shine by its own light.

2. Compound Prepositions: Prefix + noun/adjective/adverb – usually a=no and be=by

  • above, around, along, across, about, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, outside, within, without.

3. Double Prepositions: simple- two prepositions

  • My son emerged from behind the curtains to scare me.
  • According to the meteorology department, it is going to rain tonight.

4. Participle Prepositions: Verbs that act as a preposition. Usually, end in -ing.

  • Barring a few minor mistakes, the play went pretty good.
  • Everyone, please keep quiet during the class.

5. Phrase prepositions: 

  • My little brother collected my trophy on behalf of my sister.
  • Inspite of being the best soccer team, we didn’t win.
  • He succeeded by dint of perseverance and sheer hard work.
  • Owing to his ill health, she retired from work.
  • He died fighting on behalf of his country.
  • In consequence of her illness, he could not participate in the marathon.

These are broadly the categories in which prepositions can be arranged. There’s another interesting way of arranging prepositions that we will not cover in the Introduction to prepositions chapter but in our next connected piece called Kinds of Prepositions.

Solved Question for You

Q: Identify the prepositions in the following sentence:

My father traveled from the station to our house by car.

  1. from, to, by
  2. my, the, our
  3. my, our
  4. the

Ans: The correct answer is Option A. We are to identify prepositions in the given sentence. Prepositions are words that indicate position. From, to and by are therefore the prepositions in the sentence. The remaining options contain articles and pronouns and hence are incorrect.

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One response to “Kinds of Prepositions”

  1. shraddha says:

    all information is good but can u add more exceptions and errors that are commonly made while using prepositions.

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