What is Preposition? Types of Prepositions With Examples || Grammar

What is Preposition?

The term ‘Preposition’ means ‘what is placed before anything else’.

A preposition is a word that appears before a noun or pronoun to indicate its relationship to another word in the sentence.

Now, look at the bold words in the following sentences-

  1. The book lies on the table.
  2. He sat in a corner.
  3. I am fond of fish.
  4. The man stood under a tree.

In the above sentences, on, in, of and under are the prepositions as they are placed before the table, corner, fish, and tree respectively.

Prepositions are used before nouns or noun-equivalents. The noun or noun-equivalent placed before a Preposition is called Prepositional Object.

List of all prepositions

Prepositions Beginning With ‘A’ List

Prepositions Beginning With ‘B’ List

Prepositions Beginning With ‘C’ List

Prepositions Beginning With ‘D’ List

Prepositions Beginning With ‘E’ List

Prepositions Beginning With ‘F’ List

Prepositions Beginning With ‘G’ List

Prepositions Beginning With ‘I’ List

Prepositions Beginning With ‘L’ List

Prepositions Beginning With ‘M’ List

Prepositions Beginning With ‘P’ List

Prepositions Beginning With ‘U’ List

Prepositions Beginning With ‘V’ List

Prepositions Beginning With ‘W’ List

Types of Prepositions

The Prepositions are divided into two ways – (A) According to structure

(B) According to their usage

(A) According to structure, there are six types of prepositions:

  1. Simple preposition
  2.  Double preposition
  3.  Compound preposition
  4.  Phrase preposition
  5.  Participle preposition
  6.  Disguised preposition

1. Simple Preposition

⇒ Gitanjali was written by Tagore. 

⇒ She cut his hand with a knife.

⇒ He is one of  Sebastian’s sons.

⇒ Emilie left after I had come.

⇒ The bridge is built over the river.

Note: In the above examples, by, with, of, after and over are called Simple Preposition as they have one word.

2. Double Preposition

⇒ The cat ran into the house. 

⇒ The lamp fell onto the table. 

⇒ The secretary was selected from among the members present.

⇒ A lump of live coal was taken from off the oven.

⇒ He came from within the house.

Note: When the statement cannot be clearly explained by a single preposition or a simple preposition, then multiple prepositions have to be used such as – into(in, to), onto(on, to), from among, from off, from within etc. These are called double prepositions

3. Compound Preposition

⇒ The girl is walking across the road.

⇒ The police are running behind the thief.

⇒ I know nothing about the matter.

⇒ There is nobody within the house.

⇒ A church is visible behind the river.

Note: When a completely different preposition is made up of more than one preposition, it is called a compound preposition. These prepositions look like one term but consist of multiple prepositions.

E.g. – Behind=By+hind

Some Common Compound Prepositions with examples

Besides(by+sides) – Besides you, there are six other passengers on the bus.

Between(by+twain) – The incident occurred between 9 pm to 10 pm.

Beyond(by+yonder) – Nobody knows what awaits them beyond death.

But(by+out) – They interrogated everybody but Marry.

After(of+ter) – They left the room one after the other.

Against(on+going) – Against Sri Lanka’s 450, India scored just 290 runs.

Amid, Amidst(on+middle) – He kept himself calm amidst great provocation. 

Below(by+low) – His apartment is below mine.

Beneath(by+neath) – We sat beneath the tree to take a rest. 

Beside(by+side) – What you say is beside the point here.

Around(on+round) – Look around for your lost credit card. 

4. Phrase Preposition

⇒ A new teacher is appointed in the place of Mr Joshef. 

⇒ The accident happened in front of my house.

⇒ He succeeded by means of hard work.

⇒ He chose English instead of Mathematics.

⇒ The meeting will be cancelled in the event of his not coming.

Note: When one or more words start and end with a preposition (in the place of, in front of, by means of, etc.), it is called a Phrase Preposition or Phrasal Preposition or Prepositional Phrase

Some Common Phrasal Prepositions with examples

On the brink of – You are on the brink of ruin.

On the eve of – On the eve of her wedding, her entire family gathered.

On the face of – On the face of it, the country appears to be affluent.

On the ground of – On the ground of his being below age, his appeal was rejected.

On the pretence of – He worked as a spy in the United States on the pretence of being a student.

With a view to – He travelled to North India with a view to see several tourist destinations.

By dint of – He scored well in the examination by dint of regular study.

In agreement with – In this subject, I am not in agreement with him.

In comparison with – In comparison with Tagore, most of the poets are ordinary.

In connection with – I met him in connection with my application for a teaching position.

In consequence of – The class was hampered in consequence of the teacher’s long absence.

In consideration of – He was discharged in consideration of his tender age.

In course of – In course of the train journey, they fell in love. 

In keeping with – His actions are in keeping with his statements.

In quest of – I went to Hyderabad in quest of a better job.

In view of – In view of his physical problems, he was given a little work. 

In spite of – In spite of being poor, he was very honest.

In the event of – In the event of his absence, the meeting will be postponed.

In the interest of – Netaji always worked in the interest of his motherland. 

In the teeth of – He kept his confidence in the teeth of strong opposition.

In the light of – The allegations made against him were found to be baseless in light of newly received facts.

In order to – In order to be successful, you have to give a lot of effort.

In pursuance of – I have re-written the essay in pursuance of your recommendation 

In the middle of – She left the train in the middle of their conversation.

In proportion to – I have re-written the essay in pursuance of your recommendation.

In praise of – He wrote a song in praise of the place’s beauty.

In pursuit of – He put all his efforts in pursuit of achieving success.

On account of – I could not accept your invitation on account of my illness.

Owing to – He could not reach office on time owing to a traffic jam. 

On the verge of – The patient is on the verge of death.

On default of – You will be arrested on default of money. 

Instead of – My mother went there instead of my father.]

On behalf of – I signed the receipt on behalf of my sister.

Due to – This accident is caused due to the bad condition of the roads. 

5. Participle Preposition 

The use of Present Participle and Past Participle of some verbs is similar to the use of prepositions. These are called Participle Prepositions. For example:

Regarding this situation, I have nothing to do. 

The word ‘ Regarding’ is the Present Participle form of the verb ‘Regard’. But in the above sentence, ‘Regarding’ is used as a Preposition. So, it is called a Participle Preposition. 

Some Common Participle Prepositions with examples

Barring(excepting, apart from that): Barring traffic jam, we will arrive on time.

Concerning(about): Concerning his result, people are saying different kinds of things. 

Considering(taking into account): Considering the quality of the dress, its price is not so high.

During(at the time of): Don’t talk during the class. 

Notwithstanding(in spite of): Notwithstanding his denial, the policeman arrested him for the crime.

Pending(a period till): Pending any fresh instruction, he will be the school’s principal. 

Regarding(about): Regarding your application, we regret to inform you that the post is not empty.

Past: The railway line runs past my house.

6. Disguised Preposition 

Sometimes ‘a’ and ‘o’ are used instead of ‘on’ and ‘of’, respectively. So, they are called Disguised Prepositions. For example:

⇒ We wanted to go a-hunting (on hunting) in the forest. 

⇒ The morning starts at 6 o’clock (of clock). 

On the other hand, in some sentences prepositions are implied or understood. Such unspoken prepositions are also called disguised prepositions.

For example: 

⇒ Lemons sell one piece (for) a rupee.

⇒ We went Kolkata (on) yesterday. 

(B) According to their usage, Prepositions are divided into five kinds. These five kinds depend on the purposes for which we are using them.

Some of the prepositions given below can function in multiple categories, depending on how they’re used. They will appear in more than one list. For example – ‘at’ is used both as Preposition of Time and Preposition of Place. So, don’t think much about it.

1. Prepositions of Time

The most common prepositions – at, in, on, by, for, from, since, within, after and to are used to indicate time.

At: ‘At’ is used to show –

(a) clock time
(b) night/noon

Examples –

  • I will meet you at 5 pm today.
  • I never sleep at noon.
  • We will go to the zoo at the weekend.

In: ‘In’ is used to indicate –

(a) month
(b) year
(c) season
(d) parts of the day
(e) decade

Examples –

  • He will come back home in January.
  • I was born in 1995.
  • Everyone becomes exhausted in summer.
  • He has arranged a party in the evening.
  • The environment was not as polluted in the 1700’s as it is today.

On: ‘On’ is used to show –

(a) name of the day
(b) date
(c)specific day

Examples –

  • We will reach there on Monday
  • India observes teachers’ day on the 5^th September.
  • We will visit the Netaji Bhawan on Netaji’s Birthday.

By: ‘By’ is used to indicate –

(a) parts of the day
(b) within a specific time

Examples – 

  • I will reach there by night
  • The letter will be delivered by this weekend to your address. 

For: ‘For’ is used to indicate during or a span of time. 

Example – 

  • He is reading for two hours

From: ‘From’ is used to indicate a point of time (Future, Past, Present). 

Example –

  • We will stay here permanently from now

Since: ‘Since’ is used to indicate the past point of time. 

Example – 

  • He has been suffering from a fever since last Sunday

Within: ‘Within’ is used to mean within a specific time. 

Example – 

  •  You have to finish the homework within an hour

After: ‘After’ is used to mean after in terms of time.

Example – 

  • After dinner, I go to bed. 

To: ‘To’ is used to mean the rest of the ring (About the time of the clock). 

Example – 

  • It’s only ten minutes to nine.

2. Prepositions of Place 

 The prepositions – in, at, on, over, above , by under, between and among are used to indicate place. So, they are called prepositions of place. 

In: ‘In’ is used to mean in or inside of a place or a thing. 

Example – 

  • There are uncountable stars in the sky
  • There is the Taj Mahal in Agra

At: ‘At’ is used to indicate where a person or object was, is or will be. 

Example – 

  • He passed that night at station

On: ‘On’ is used to indicate over or on something. 

Example –

  • The book is on the table

Over: ‘Over’ is used to mean above or to get on top of something, to mean spread, to mean higher than something. 

Example –

  • All over the world, there is no person without problem. 

Over: ‘Over’ is used to mean something too high. 

Example –

  • The moon above the trees. 

By: ‘By’ is used to mean near or on the edge of something. 

Example – 

  • The restaurant is by the river. 

Between: ‘Between’ is used to mean in the middle of two. 

Example – 

  • The beautiful valley is lying between two hills. 

Among: ‘Among’ is used to mean in the middle of more than two. 

Example –

  • The gir is standing among the celebr

3. Prepositions of Direction

The prepositions like – at, to, in, into and from are used to indicate any direction. 

At: ‘At’ is used to refer to or towards. 

Example – 

  • The boys threw stones at the dog

To: ‘To’ is used to mean towards or intended to. 

Example – 

  • Look. He is coming back to the tent

In: ‘In’ is used to mean any approach or direction. 

Example – 

  • In which direction are we to move? 

Into: ‘Into’ is used to indicate speed or direction. 

Example – 

  • Look into the matter. 

From: I will bring a gift from London for you. 

4. Prepositions of Manner/Agent

The three prepositions – by, with, and in – are used to explain what, with what, and how something is done.

By: ‘By’ is used to mean by something or to mean a way of travelling or communicating. 

Example –

  • This article is written by an expert
  • I regularly travel by bus

With: ‘With’ is used to indicate a way or tool. 

Example – 

  • The sticks are tied with a rope. 
  • Cut the vegetables with a knife. 

In: ‘In’ is used to mean with what or how. 

Example – 

  • The payment will be done in cash

5. Prepositions of Cause

The four prepositions – for, of, from and with are used to indicate a reason. 

For: ‘For’ is used to indicate any intention. 

Example –

  • Get ready for a walk

Of: ‘Of’ is used to mean a cause. 

Example – 

  • I am afraid of dangers

From: ‘From’ is also used to indicate an intention or reason. 

Example – 

  • The man has become weak from hunger

With: ‘With’ is used to mean a result or a reason. 

Example – 

  • She is trembling with rage


What is an Appropriate Preposition? 

There are some nouns, adjectives, participles and verbs which are followed by specific prepositions. These prepositions are called appropriate prepositions.

Which words are used Both for Prepositions and Adverbs?

There are some words which are used as Prepositions and Adverbs also.

  Word      As Preposition          As Adverb
AboutI know much about you.He spent about 10 lacs on his daughter’s wedding.
AfterI will return home after a month.Her parents came soon after.
ApartHe stood apart from others.Reading apart, a student has to practice regularly. 
AroundThey are moving around Victoria Memorial. I shall always be around, when you need me. 
BeforeI will not come before evening.Did she come in the evening? No, she came before.
BehindThe thief hid behind the tree.She left me behind.
DownThe ship sailed down the sea.He came down.
InIs she in the roomYou may go in.
OffHe jumped off the train.The wheel came off
OnThe vase is on the table.Let us move on.
OverAkbar ruled over a vast empire.Take this parcel over to his house. 
RoundThey walked round the house.The boy turned round.
SinceI have not seen him since 4 years.I saw him on Sunday. I have not seen him since.
ThroughThis road goes through a village.I have read the novel through.

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