Prepositions: What is a Preposition? Preposition Meaning, Preposition Examples and Preposition Exercises and Worksheets for using Prepositions in English

Prepositions: What is a Preposition? Preposition Meaning, Preposition Examples and Preposition Exercises and Worksheets for using Prepositions in English

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Learning Pundits Content Team

Written on Sep 30, 2017 12:27:31 AM

Grammar Rules with 10 Tips on using Prepositions

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What is a Preposition?

A Preposition indicates relationships between two nearby words (between a noun or pronoun and other parts of the sentence) in a sentence and usually appears before a noun or a pronoun.


Let's meet near the shopping mall. (Near is a preposition; shopping mall is its object)

Forms of Prepositions:

a)    Prepositions of Place tell you where something happened. Example: We saw a movie at the theater.

b)    Prepositions of Time when something happened. Example: We saw the movie at 3.30 this afternoon.

c)    Prepositions also indicate direction, spatial relationships, as well as other abstract types of relationships. Example: Look to the left and you’ll see the movie theater.

d)    Some prepositions are two or three word phrases known as Complex Prepositions or Prepositional Phrases. Example: He got the job in spite of his poor results.

Prepositions of Place:

1.    In: This is used to indicate a place inside a room, house, town, city etc

a)    I watch TV in the living room.

b)    I live in New Delhi.

2.    At: An exact position or place or event

a)    She met him at the concert.

b)    I met him at the door.

3.    On: Above a surface, a particular side, a floor in the house, for television etc.

a)    My apartment is on the third floor.

b)    I watched the Mahabaratha on TV.

4.    From: In the sense of ‘where from’

a)    I bought dresses from the mall.

5.    Under/ Below: Lower or above something

a)    The birds are flying below the clouds.

6.    By/ Near/ Beside/ Next to: Adjacent to something

a)    Dilip is waiting by the car.

7.    Over: exceeding, overcoming an obstacle, above

a)    They climbed over the wall to flee.

b)    He is over 70 years old.

Prepositions of Time:

1.    At: A certain point in time

a)    I will meet you at lunch time.

2.    On: Days, weekends.

a)    What are you doing on Sunday?

3.    In: Certain periods of time, months, seasons, mornings etc.

a)    It gets cold in winter.

4.    Since/ For: From a certain point in time in the past till now.

a)    He has been living in Jaipur since 2010.

b)    She has been sleeping for more than ten hours.

5.    Ago: A certain time in the past

a)    He came to Jaipur two years ago.

6.    Before: Earlier than a certain point in time

a)    He goes for a walk before dawn.

7.    From: The time when something starts

a)    The shop remains open from 9:30 AM till 10:00 PM.

8.    Till/ Until: up to a certain point in time

a)    He waited until half past six.

9.    By: Not later than; at or before

a)    He returns from school by 5 o’clock.

Other Types of Prepositions:

1.    Off: Leaving a public transport vehicle

a)    She got off the train.

2.    Of: Expressing amount or ownership

a)    She is a friend of mine.

b)    Show her the picture of the palace.

3.    Out of: Leaving a vehicle or a building

a)    She got out of the lift in a hurry.

4.    About: Dealing with a certain topic

a)    We were talking about the movie.

5.    By: a method of travelling; indicating the creator; indicating a change/ progression

a)    This book was written by Ruskin Bond.

b)    Prices have risen by 2.5 percent.

6.    At: Indicating age

a)    She learned to drive at 65.

7.    On: A method of travelling

a)    He got there by foot.

b)    Please get on the bus before it starts.

8.    From: expressing origin or a change in state

a)    It is a gift from Ashish.

b)    The fever went from bad to worse.

9.    In: Entering a car/ taxi

a)    I asked her to get in the car.

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Tips on using Prepositions:

Tip #1: What follows a Preposition?

Preposition is ALWAYS followed by:

a)    Noun: The coffee is on the table.

b)    Proper noun: He is going to Raipur.

c)    Pronoun: Mahesh gave it to them.

d)    Noun group: I took a drive with my new car.

e)    Gerund: He went crazy on hearing the news.

Preposition is NEVER followed by a verb: If a Preposition is followed by a verb, then it should be in ‘-ing’ form, which means a gerund or verb in noun form.

a)    I always dream about winning the lottery.

Tip #2: Cases where a Preposition is not followed by an object

A. The object in interrogative pronoun is understood:

1)    That is something with which I cannot agree. (Incorrect)

2)    That is something I cannot agree with. (Correct)

B. The object of the preposition is relative pronoun ‘that’:

1)    This is the book of that he always talks. (Incorrect)

2)    This is the book that he always talks of. (Correct)

C. Preposition is placed after the infinitive if the infinitive qualifies the noun:

1)    He gave me a pen to write. (Incorrect)

2)    He gave me a pen to write with. (Correct)

Tip #3: Preposition with Pronouns

Preposition with Pronouns: If object of the preposition is a pronoun then it should be in the objective form (me, her and them), not subjective form (I, she and they).

a)    This is from my wife and I. (Incorrect)

b)    This is from my wife and me. (Correct)

Tip #4: Omission of Preposition

Await, Lack, Regret, Concern, Board, Ensure, Affect, Sign, Join, Direct, Order, befall, Eschew, Attack, Invade, Resist, Resign, Reach, Succeed, Precede, Pervade, Resemble, Demand, Consider, Violate, Accompany, Comprise, Investigate, Discuss, Enter, Stress, Emphasize: When these verbs are used in active form NO Preposition is used after them.

a)    She resembles with her sister.

b)    I will discuss about the subject with the teacher.

Omission of Preposition ‘to’: When verbs of communication like ‘advise, tell, ask, beg, command’ etc. are used before an object, then ‘to’ should not be used with the verb.

a)    I advised to him to go.

Tip #5: Since

‘Since’ as a Preposition: is used to express some definite time from the past till the present.

a)    The person is missing since last Monday.

‘Since’ as a Conjunction: joining two sentence clauses

a)    Many things have changed since I left the city.

b)    Since you will not work, you shall not eat. (as conjunction meaning ‘because’)

‘Since’ as Adverb: is used to express ‘from a time in the past till now’.

a)    He left the city in 1998 and I have not seen him since.

Tip #6: To & Beside

‘To’ as a Preposition:

a)    I am used to driving.

‘To’ as an Infinitive:

a)    I love to drive. (here the verb ‘drive’ is in its basic form and is not the main verb, so it is an infinitive preceded by ‘to)

‘Beside’ and ‘Besides’:

a)    She sat beside the table. (here ‘beside ‘ means near)

b)    Besides Bharatnatyam she also learning Kathak. (here ‘besides’ means in addition to)

Tip #7: On Vs. In and Upon

‘On’ and ‘In’: ‘In’ is used to refer to ‘by end of the specified time’ whereas ‘On’ is used to denote the exact time, neither before nor after.

a)    The train will leave in ten minutes.

b)    The train is on time.

‘On’ and ‘upon’:On’ and ‘upon’ are prepositions that convey same meaning and can be used interchangeably. However, in some cases ‘on’ is used to denote position where as ‘upon’ is used to denote some movement.

a)    The pillow is on the bed.

b)    He threw the pillow upon the bed.

‘On’ as preposition of Time and Place:

a)    The shop remains closed on Sunday. (Time)

b)    The shop is on the right. (Place)

Tip #8: In Vs. Into, At and Within

‘In’ and ‘at’: ‘In’ is used in wider and bigger sense of town, cities, countries etc. But ‘At’ is used to denote comparatively smaller places.

a)    She lives at Laketown in Kolkata. (Kolkata is a big city but ‘Laketown’ is a small locality.)

‘In’ and ‘into’:In’ is used to denote position whereas ‘Into’ is used to express motion toward something.

a)    I live in this house. (‘In’ refers to the position where I live.)

b)    I walked into the house. (‘Into’ refers to my movement towards the house)

‘In’ and ‘within’:In’ is used to refer to the end of a specific time, whereas ‘Within’ is used to denote ‘before the end of specified time’.

a)    He will return in five minutes.

b)    He will return within five minutes.

Tip #9: Preposition or Adverb?

Identify Preposition from Adverb: A preposition always has an object. An adverb never has an object.

a)    Please come in the kitchen. (Preposition ‘in’ has object ‘the kitchen’)

b)    Please come in(adverb ‘in’ has no object; it qualifies the verb ‘come’)

Tip #10: By & With

‘By’ and ‘With’:

a)    He struck the bird with an arrow. (‘With’ is used to denote instrument, equipment)

b)    The bird was struck by the archer. (‘By’ is used for the ‘doer’ of the action)

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Spot the Errors:

Each of the following sentences will contain a mistake in the usage of Prepositions. See if you can spot that mistake.


He ordered for the employee’s transfer. (Incorrect)

He ordered the employee’s transfer. (Correct)


I am concerned with your health. (Incorrect)

I am concerned for your health. (Correct)


Ravi is more concerned for getting the job done. (Incorrect)

Ravi is more concerned with getting the job done. (Correct)


I left home at Monday morning to catch a flight for Bangalore. (Incorrect)

I left home on Monday morning to catch a flight to Bangalore. (Correct)


He is one of the best players from India and he takes pride of it. (Incorrect)

He is one of the best players in India and he takes pride in it. (Correct)


I look forward to see you. (Incorrect)

I look forward to seeing you. (Correct)


I dived in the water. (Incorrect)

I dived into the water. (Correct)


The road repair work disrupted the traffic from two days. (Incorrect)

The road repair work disrupted the traffic for two days. (Correct)


I informed to the police of the burglary. (Incorrect)

I informed to the police of the burglary. (Correct)


The lion attacked on the deer. (Incorrect)

The lion attacked on the deer. (Correct)

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Prepositions: What is a Preposition? Preposition Meaning, Preposition Examples and Preposition Exercises and Worksheets for using Prepositions in English


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