Grammar : Preposition
Preposition is a word that is used with a noun or a pronoun or
a verb to explain their relation with another noun or pronoun.
There are two types.
1. Simple prepositions:
1. A bird is on the tree.
2. I am fond of music.
3. The man was standing under the tree.
4. He runs after money.
5. I have to go to London to meet him.
6. Do not look at Sun at noon.
7. He is from your office.
8. One of you has to attend the meeting.
9. Go out.
10. You have to study English till you become a master of it.
11. He, with his friends, has gone to hotel to celebrate his birthday.
In the above sentences, the simple ones are colored red.
Few others are:
By, in, of, off, on, through, up, with, from, after, about, above,
across, amidst, among, around, before, behind,
below, within, between, inside, outside, without, beside, etc…
2. Phrasal prepositions:
A phrasal verb is formed by combining a verb with a preposition.
According to, agreeable to, along with, away from, in addition to,
in course of, in favor of, in honor of, in order to,
in spite of, with reference to, with regard etc…
Nouns, verbs, adjectives and participles are often combined with
prepositions such as Noun + Preposition, Verb + Preposition,
Adjective + Preposition, and Participle + Preposition.
Each combination has a separate meaning, sometimes totally different from the meaning of the main verb.
1. Every citizen should abide by the laws of his country.
2. This lake abounds in fish.
3. Rajeev Gandhi started his Prime Ministership with abundance of goodwill of Indians.
4. Why were you absent from class yester day?
5. When I entered the room, I found my grandfather absorbed in deep thought.
6. The Judge refused to accede to the request of the accused to release him on bail.
7. I regret that your proposal is acceptable to me.
8. Gupta is well-known to politicians and has a ready access to a number of ministers.
9. The Engineer was accused of taking a bribe from the contractor.
10. Are you acquainted with this neighborhood?
11. The accused was acquitted of the charge of perjury?
12. You have to adapt yourself to changing times.
The Phrasal ones in the above sentences are colored blue.
(Quite often as in this case-12, the main verb and the preposition may be separated by other intervening words)
One can give thousands of examples. There is no grammatical rule to describe why a particular preposition is used
along with a particular word to convey a particular meaning.
These combinations have come out of mere conventions and usages.
You would yourself be using such phrases in your writings and speeches without your even being aware of them.
There are two ways, a preposition can be used.
The first is as in the following phrases:
1. On the table
2. In the year
3. With his friend
4. From the village
5. At the post office
6. Between the books
7. Underneath the table’s
In sentences such as mentioned above, the preposition is written before the noun that governs it.
That is why it is called pre-position.
Few prepositions are in the forms of two-words, three-words, four-words.
According to, in addition to,
The second way in which a preposition is used is after a verb, adjective or adverb.
Few are followed by or preceded by a certain words to provide a fixed meaning.
1. Go after
2. Endow with
3. Participate in
4. Divide into
5. Confine to
6. Abstain from
7. Conform to
8. Affection for
9. Pity towards
10. Alliance with
11. Acquaintance with
12. Distrust of
13. Result of
14. Access to
15. Opposition to
16. Incidental to
17. Deficient in
18. Acquainted with
19. Delighted with
20. Accused of
21. Fond of
22. Anxious about
23. Grateful for
24. Tantamount to
25. Sympathy for
26. Sure of
27. Surrender to
28. Suspect of
29. Stick to
30. Ready for
'In', 'at', and 'on' have similar meanings, but there are conventions about their usages.
“IN” is used before large places such as a country, state or city.
1. In India
2. In Texas
3. In New York
“ON” is used before middle sized places such as a road, train, plane, ship etc…
1. On Mount road
2. On Parliament road
3. On the East coast
“AT” is used to denote an exact spot.
1. At the door
2. At 7 O’clock
“IN” is also used to denote a very small place
I was staying in a room at Door No.43 on Anderson Street in Boston on East coast in Massachusetts State in USA.
There are three conventional uses of these three ones in regard to time also.
“IN” is used before the year and month.
“ON” is used before the day and date.
“AT” is used before actual time.
That accident happened at 7.30pm on 7th March in 1989.
The correct phrasal forms to denote specific times of the day are:
1. At dawn
2. In the morning
3. At noon
4. In the afternoon
5. At dusk
6. At night
The preposition “between” must be used when referring to two things or persons.
1. The problem between Jack and Jill was solved by their parents.
2. This train is playing between New York and Chicago.
When more than two things or persons are involved, the correct preposition to be used is “among”.
1. Among all the students in this class, John is the most intelligent.
2. He dose not show partiality among his three children
3. There is not a good understanding among the Parliamentarians of the ruling party.
1. Buttercups are avoided by the grazing animals because of the bitter juices.
2. By the time Columbus arrived at America in 1492, other Europeans had already reached the New York.
3. In times of war, people must take precautions against not only actual violence but also acts of sabotage.
4. Between Stephen and his sister, the latter is the taller one.
5. Despite the road block, the police allowed us to enter the restricted area to search for our friends.
Go to the section on Articles to continue.
Go to the Grammar Index Page
From Preposition to HOME PAGE