Basic English Grammar: Preposition »

Basic English Grammar: Preposition

Learn Basic English Grammar Types of Prepositions to score marks in English section in all competitive exams
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Basic English Grammar: Preposition

Prepositions are those words which are used to connect nouns, pronouns and phrases in any sentence. Usually preposition indicates the relationship between nouns that how they are connected to each other. It shows that whether words are connected through time, space or place. Usually preposition is placed before a noun or a pronoun.

Types of Prepositions

  1. Simple Prepositions

  2. Compound Prepositions

  3. Phrase Prepositions

  4. Participle Prepositions

  5. Double Prepositions

  6. Other Preposition

Type 1: Simple Prepositions

Simple preposition is used in simple sentences. The list of simple prepositions is given below. In, on, at, to, from, with, by etc.

For example:

  1. I am not coming with you.

  2. She is in the IT park.

  3. We are going to the market.

Type 2: Compound Prepositions

When we join two nouns, pronouns and phrases, we use compound prepositions. Here is the list of simple prepositions.About, across, among, between, beside, before etc.

For example:

  1. We are between two states.

  2. I will reach there before she leaves.

Type 3: Phrase Prepositions

Here is the list of Phrase prepositions. According to, in spite of, an account of, in front of, in order to, for the sake of, by means of, with reference to, in addition to, due to etc.

For example:

  1. According to me, there are three members in this family.

  2. She is now in front of me.

Type 4: Participle Prepositions

Participle preposition words are concerning, pending, and considering etc.

For example:

  1. I think I can do it easily considering my knowledge.

Type 5: Double Prepositions

These are the words like by outside of, out of, from behind and because of etc.

For example:

  1. We have to solve two questions out of 5.

  2. It was just because of you that we won the game.

Frequently Misused Prepositions

Prepositions may sometimes be confused because of slang and the general informality of talk. Some frequently misused prepositions are beside, besides, between, among, due to, inside of.

Type 6: Other Types of prepositions

  1. Prepositions for Time

  2. Prepositions for Place

  3. Prepositions for Direction

  4. Prepositions for Agent

  5. Prepositions for Instruments

  6. Prepositional Phrases

1. Preposition of Time

Prepositions of time are used to indicate time of an action or time relationship between nouns in the sentence. Such as at, to, in, etc. For example:
    1. I go to school daily at nine o’clock.
    2. My result gets declared in March.
Prepositions Time Nature
In 1. Months or Years e.g. in March, in 2005 2. Particular time of a day or a month or an year e.g. in evening, in morning, in the 3rd  week of April, in winter, in summer 3. A century or a specific time in past or future etc e.g. in the 20th century, in early days, in the stone age, in future, in past
On 1) A Day e.g. on Sunday 2) Dates e.g. on 7th of February, on February 7 3) Particular days e.g. on my birthday, on Independence Day
At 1) Time of a clock e.g. at 3 O’clock, at 4:20 PM 2) Short & precise times e.g. at night, at sunset, at noon, at lunch time, at the moment, at bed time.

2. Prepositions for Place (e.g. on, at, in)

Prepositions of place are used to show the place where something is located such as at, in, on, while, during, near, over, under, between, behind, etc. These prepositions are used for several types of places. e.g. on, at, in.

  1. “In” is mostly used for a place having some sort of (physical or virtual) boundary.

  2. “On” is usually used for a surface

  3. “At” is usually used for a specific place.

For example:

  1. Dog is on the floor.

  2. My home is behind the metro station.

  3. Mom is in the room.

3. Prepositions for Direction (e.g. into, to, through, towards)

Prepositions of direction are used to indicate direction of someone or something in the sentence such as over, under, to, on, into, in, onto, right, left, etc. These prepositions express the direction of something. e.g. into, to, through, towards.


  1. They are going to classroom.

  2. The snake was coming toward her.

  3. He threw a ball into a river.

  4. We are going over the bridge.

4. Prepositions for Agent (e.g. by, with)

These prepositions are used to express a causal relationship between the noun (doer) and an action. e.g. by, with etc


  1. A nice book was written by John Keats.

  2. A lot of noise was made by the kids.

5. Prepositions for Instrument, Devices, or Machines

Such prepositions are used for joining nouns (instruments, devices, machines etc) to other words in the sentence. e.g. on, by, with the help of, etc.


  1. He went to home by a car.

  2. This lock cannot be opened with the key.

6. Preposition verb

A preposition verb is a combination of a verb and a preposition. It is simply a verb followed by a preposition. Some verbs require specific prepositions to be used after them in a sentence. The combination of such a verb and its required preposition is called a prepositional verb. Prepositional Verb = Verb + Preposition.


  1. She is suffering from fever.

  2. I agree with you.

  3. I agree to your proposal.

7. Preposition of movement

TO: To is used when we have a specific destination in your mind.

Examples: The kitchen is to your left.

TOWARDS: Towards is basically used to show the direction rather than a destination.

Examples: John was running towards me.

THROUGH: Through is basically used to show the movement across something.

Examples: He cut through the tough steak with a knife.

INTO: Into shows the Movement from outside to inside.

Examples: I got into the room.

ACROSS: Across is used to show the movement from one end to other end.

Examples: Mark walked across the road.

OVER: Over is used to show the position of something when it is above something else.

Examples: The Sugar box is over the desk in the kitchen.

ALONG: Along is used to show the movement across the line.

Examples: We were walking along the river.

IN: In is used to show something’s position in relation to place surrounding it.

Examples: I am going have a picnic in the park.

ON: On is used to show something’s position in relation to a surface.

Examples: There was a box of pens on the table.

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