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Introduction
05 Jan 2021

Preposition

Prepositions demonstrate a relationship between their objects, which may be either nouns or pronouns, and another word in the sentence.

  • I used to play cricket with college students.
  • We hurried to the car from the front door because of heavy rain.
  • The cat was sleeping on the table next to the window.

Prepositional Phrases

They are made of a preposition and its object, plus any articles or adjectives that modify the object.

They act as modifiers themselves, and they may function as either adjectives or adverbs.

  • The book is on the shelf. (adjective modifying Book)
  • The cat jumped on the table. (adverb modifying jump)

Useful Rules about Prepositional Phrases

If a prepositional phrase ends with a pronoun, that pronoun must be one of the following:

Me, you, her, him, it, us, them, mine, yours, his, hers, ours, theirs.

When the prepositional phrase ends with a gerund, the gerund may or may not take an object.

Many articles and modifiers may occur between preposition and their objects. Also, modifiers may follow the object.

Note: Do not confuse the object of a prepositional phrase with the subject of a sentence. There may be a prepositional phrase between the subject of a sentence and the verb. This can lead to error of singular and plural verb.

Example: That group of friends goes to the restaurant together every Friday.


List of Common Prepositions

 

A

Above, about, across, after, along, alongside, among, at

B

Before, behind, below, beneath, between, beside, besides, by

D

Down, During

F

For, From

I

In, Into

N

Near

O

Off, on, onto, opposite, out, over

P

Past

R, S, T, U, W

Round, since, through, to, under until, up, within.

 

Most common prepositions and their usages

In, At, On

Into, Onto, Upon

Above, Over

Below, Under, Beneath, Underneath

Along, With, Along with

Between, Among, Amongst

By, of, off

From, till, until

Beside, Besides

Since, For

Round, Around

Mid, Amid, Amidst.

 Lets see in the coming sections the rules of each preposition.


At On Upon

At

  • Express point of time and place.
  • Distance and rate of degree.
  • Direction and cause.

 

On

On something touching.

It is both static and dynamic.

Static: the book is on the table                                       

Dynamic: Traffic is running smoothly on the highway.

Denotes:

  • Placement of things on a surface.
  • Concerns and situations.

 

Upon                                                          

On something in motion.                              

Example:                                                          

  • Cat jumped upon the rat.                                  
  • Eagle jumped upon the snake.

In Into Within

In

It is both static and dynamic.

It is used for-

Physical surroundings, mental state, dress, profession


Example:

  • He is in bed.
  • I am in stress/love/pain, etc.
  • He looks good in white suit.
  • Ram is in the army.

In front of names of countries and large cities

  • I live in Delhi.
  • I live in India.

Names of months and years                                        

  • I was born in October.
  • I was born in 1990.                                               

 

Into

It is always dynamic

In + to (inside direction).

  • Whenever there is a change of medium ‘into’ is used.
  • Inward movement or transformation of things
  • For transformations, into is used.

Example:

  • Ram is coming into the class.
  • A bus with 20 passengers fell into a ditch.
  • Translate this passage into English.

 

Within

Limitation of time and specified amount.


Example:

  • The essay must be written within word limit.

Between Among and Amongst

Between

  • Between two persons/things.
  • For equal distribution.

Among

  • Action between two or more than two things or persons.

Amongst

  • Vowel sound.

Examples:

  • Tell me the contrast between these beautiful colours.
  • Sweet will be distributed among the students.
  • Arms will be distributed amongst honest soldiers. (honest has a vowel sound).
  • Arms will be distributed among the soldiers.

Over Onto Above Up and Below

Over

  • Vertically up and non-touching.
  • Things higher in position.
  • Equivalent to across. (see example 2)

Example:

  1. We are flying over the Himalayas.                                  
  2. In Ramayana lord Hanuman jumped over the sea.
  3. In the above example – jumped over means jumped across.

 

 

 Onto

 Placed properly.

 

 Example:

  1. Put my books onto the table.
  2. Jockey jumped onto the horse.

 

 

 Above

  • More than/higher than/greater in number.
  • Things placed comparatively higher

 

 Example:

  1. Today the temperature is over 400 C.
  2. We are flying above the clouds.

 

 

 Up

 Upward position or inclination

 

 

 Below

  • Fewer than (in number); less than (in quantity).
  • Anything under the mark, surface or standard.

 

 Example:

  1. Today’s temperature is below 300 C.
  2. A number of Indians live below the poverty line.


Under Beneath Underneath

Under/Beneath

  • Lower position
  • Hidden (beneath)

Examples: (Under)

  1. We are living under the same roof.
  2. There is a snake under the cabinet.

Examples: (Beneath)

  1. My cellphone is beneath the pillow.
  2. They buried the body beneath the leaves.

 

Underneath

  • Beneath water

Example:

  1. There are many jewels underneath the surface of the sea.
  2. Harry Potter threw his magic wand underneath the sea.

To Towards Across and Through

To

  • Indicates place and purpose.
  • Also used for distance.

Examples:

  1. I go to gym every day.
  2. They walked to the end of the road.

Towards

  • Direction, concern, regard.

Examples:

  1. One should be respectful towards one’s teachers.
  2. NH-8 goes towards Jaipur.

Across

  • From one side to another.

Examples:

  1. Ram swam across the river.

Through

  • Movement in an enclosure.

Examples:

  1. Blood runs through the veins.
  2. High voltage current runs through the transformer.

By and With

By

  • Limit, time, position, measure.

Used for evidence, time, proximity, transportation.

Evidence

  • It is 4:30 by my watch.

Time

  • He will be there by 7:70 pm.

Proximity (near)

  • He is by the sea.

Transportation –

  • He came by bike.

 

With

  • Meaning Together
  • Used with tools and instruments
  • Position not defined. (see example 3).
  • Method of dealing, result association

Example:

  1. Virat played a beautiful straight drive with the bat.
  2. I write with my left hand.
  3. Come with me.
  4. I disagree with you.

Along and Along with

Along

On sideways.

Example:

  1. They were walking along the beach.
  2. Park your car along the highway.

 

Along with

Concurrently.

Position is defined.

Example:

  1. I took two slices of bread along with a cup of coffee.

For and Since

For

Purpose, destination, time, reason.

Example:

  1. Loose cloths are for exercise.
  2. The train will leave for Jaipur in an hour.
  3. The party will go on for late hours.
  4. I am going to market for shopping.

 

Since

Something that began sometime back.

Example:

  • Teacher has been teaching since morning.

 

Before and After

Before

Ahead of something.

Example:

  • Guests arrive before time.

 

After

Coming next in order.

Example:

  • Police are running after the thief.

 

From Of Off and About

From

About time and origin

Example: (Origin)

  1. The energy to drive your body comes from the soul.
  2. Light comes from the sun.
  3. Anuj is from Haryana.

 

Of

Relation, quality, reason.

Example:

  1. Virat Kohli is the captain of Indian cricket team.
  2. The table is made of wood.
  3. She died of cancer.

 

Off

  • Separation or connection breach.
  • Taken apart.

Example:

  1. One of the gamblers jumped off the building.
  2. Switch off the lights when not in use.

 

About

Something unsure – time, distance etc.

Example:

  • The zoo is about 5 kms from our home.

Against Behind Till Untill

Against

Support or opposition

Example:

  1. Do not lean against the door
  2. Put the ladder against the wall.

 

Behind

Position after, hidden, on the other side.

Example:

  • The Child hides behind the curtain.

 

Until/Till

  • Speaks about time only.
  • Never write ‘not’ after Until
  • Till + not

Example:

  • You have to be at the office till/until 10 am.
  • We walked until sunset.

 

Despite Beside Besides

Despite

  • Equivalent to ‘In spite of’
  • Never write ‘of’ after despite.

Example:

  • Despite living with us he chose to settle in a metro city.

 

Beside and Besides

Beside – by the side of

  • Baby is sleeping beside its mother.

Besides – in addition to

  • Manuja likes coffee besides tea.

 

Mid Amid Amidst

Mid, Amid and Amidst

Note: Amid and Amidst are equivalent.

Example:

  1. Ram is sitting in the mid of the students.
  2. A saint lives amid/amidst the groves
  3. I lost my ring amid/amidst these chairs.

 

Round Around

Round and Around

Round

Circle

Example:

  • The earth moves round the sun.

Around

  • Not circle
  • Near by

Example:

  • There is a river around my village.

In At On for place and Time

‘In’ and ‘At’                                                     

For place.

  • ‘In’ for larger and
  • ‘at’ for specific.                       

Example:

  • I live at Vasant Vihar in Delhi.

In, At and On

For Time

In – for time span.                                                                     

On – time.                                                                                 

At – specific time.                                                                      

Example:

One’s date of birth –

I was born at 8 pm on Sunday/4th October in Year (1987).

At: Specific time.

On: say, date, festival, etc.

In: year, century, etc.

 

Preposition used in phrases of the day

Phrases of the days and their related prepositions:

  • At for Dawn, dusk, sunrise, sunset, noon, midnight, twilight
  • In the Morning, afternoon, evening.

NightAt or in?

At, if night is used for its primary purpose:

·    Example: Nocturnal are active at night.


In, if used otherwise.

Example:

  • We were walking on the beach in the night.
  • We celebrated a birthday party in the night.

Preposition Rules

Rule

No preposition after transitive verb

  • He ordered a cup of coffee. (x ordered for)
  • There was an attack on India.

 

Married – to or with?

Marry is a Transitive verb.

Therefore, it doesn’t take any preposition after it.

Example: Sita marries Ram.


Note: In Passive voice transitive verb changes into Intransitive verb.

Therefore, intransitive verb can take preposition after it.

Example: Ram was married to Sita.

 

Points to Remember

Don’t of Prepositions.

Never write the following prepositions after the following verbs.

Verbs

Prepositions

 Succeed

 After

 Proceed

 Before

 Resemble

 To/With

 Sign

 On

 Pick up the quarrel is wrong.

  •  Pick up – only for physical things.
  •  Pick up the marbles.

 Combat with your idea (is wrong)

 Combat with – only for physical things.

 

 Pervades

 In

 Emphasis

 On

 Enter

 In/Into

 Reach + at

 ‘Reach at’ is used only in the case of destination.

 Example:

  •  The train reaches at the destination.
  •  We reached at the conclusion.

 Return

 To/Back

 Advised, allowed, asked, requested,   prohibited, forbidden

 To

 Under

 Shade

 Comprises

 Of

 Discuss and Describe are not followed by About.

 

List of verbs with different Prepositions

 Agree

  • Agree with (somebody)
  • Agree to (something)

 Angry

  • Angry with (somebody)
  • Angry to (something)
  • Angry at (system)

 Deal

  • Deal in (something)
  • Deal with (somebody)
  • Deal with (theme)*
    • This movie deals with human emotions.

 Trade

  • Trade in (something)
  • Trade with (somebody)

 Part

  • Part with (something)
    • I can’t part with my cricket bat.
  • Part from (somebody)
    • I can’t part from my family.
  • Part of (departure)
    • He has parted of his mother.

 Partake

  • Partake of (refreshment)
    • You should partake of lunch.
  • Partake in (activities)
    • You should partake in sports.

 Die

  • Die of (disease)
    • Every year a large number of Indians die of cancer.
  • Die from (cause)
    • Many farmers die from hunger.
  • Die for (noble reason)
    • Many soldiers died for the nation.

 Live

  • Live in
  • Live at
  • Live on (depend)
    • Baba Ramdev lives on fruit and vegetables only.

List of Fixed Preposition


List of Fixed Preposition

 Aim + at

 Abound + in/with

 Boast + of

 Confident + of

 Dispose + of

 Infested + with

 Write + to (a man)

 Congratulated + on

 Compliment + on

 Sent + to (an address)

 Popular + with

 Damage + to

 Entrusted + with

 Interested + in

 Contain + in

 Good, Bad, Slow + at

 Part + with

 Adequate + to

 Challenge + to

 Fault + with

 Advice + on

 Married + to

 Call + on (pay a visit)

Did You Know

  • Prepositions are used to describe how and when something happened.
  • They can be used to end a sentence – What are you up to?
  • Prepositions become adverb or adjective in a sentence when put before a noun.
  • Many English veterans start their sentence with a prepositional phrase, which is always intriguing.
  • Preposition trap is when anyone get confused between two prepositions like – Between and Among.
  • When you start a sentence with a prepositional phrase it is required to separate the phrase with rest of the sentence by putting a comma after it.