What Is Preposition?Preposition, as the name suggests, literally means that which is placed before.
A preposition typically links nouns, pronouns, and phrases to other words in a sentence.
Prepositions include words, such as in, from, at, (and sometimes group of words, e.g. in regard to and with reference to), generally set before other words to connect them, and to indicate the relation which they bear to each other.For example:
- My text-book is on the table.
- She is above me in science subjects
Also, in the sentences below, the words in emphasis are prepositions:
- He drew comic pictures on the wall.
- The toy was found under the bed.
- The party starts at 7pm.
- She will visit Kenya in August.
- They were discussing about the movie.
- She reports to me.
Types of Preposition
Prepositions are generally classified into three classes: simple preposition, compound preposition, and complex prepositions.
- Simple Prepositions — are the most common prepositions; they include: in, on, of, at, from, among, between, over, with, through, and without.
- Compound Prepositions — are usually a combination of two prepositions used together as one; they include: into, onto / on to (on to is British English, onto is American English), out of.
- Complex prepositions — These are two or three word phrase that functions in the same way as a simple preposition, they include: according to, as well as, except for, in favor of, etc.
Prepositions frequently combine with other words in structures known as prepositional phrasesOpens in new window. In this structure, a preposition is followed by a determinerOpens in new window and an adjectiveOpens in new window or two, followed by a pronounOpens in new window or nounOpens in new window known as object of the prepositionOpens in new window.
This whole phraseOpens in new window, in turn, takes on a modifying role:
- acting as an adjective or an adverb Opens in new window,
- locating something in time and space,
- modifying a noun, or telling when or where or under what conditions something happened.
The Uses of Prepositions, with Examples
Preposition (i.e. pre-position) always occur before the thing it refer to.For example:
- I was trained in that academy. Here that academy is the object of the preposition in
Prepositional phrases may be adjectival or adverbial, according to what they modify.For example:
- The girl in my science class kissed me. Here, in my science class qualifies girl, and it is adjectival.
However, in:For example:
- The girl kissed me in my science class. in my science class modifies kissed, indicating where the kiss took place, and it is therefore adverbial.
Notable Features of Preposition
- Prepositions govern nouns and pronouns in the objective case; for example, as, In School, against us.
- The preposition is sometimes separated from the relative which it governs; for example, as, Whom shall I give it to? instead of To whom shall I give it? Placing it next to the word governed, is preferable.
- A number of times a preposition is put before the verb as a prefix, for example, as connect; and sometimes after verbs, for example, as, He will write to him, and write about it.
- A preposition will usually go before the noun or pronoun which it governs.
Talking of the Root ...
Preposition is derived from latin combination, prae, “before,” and positus, “placed”; and as mentioned, it is a word which generally comes before a noun or pronoun.
The peculiarity of a preposition is that it requires either a noun or pronoun to serve its purpose. Take for example, in the expression:
- The boy fell upon
Instinctively the ear discovers the necessity of some noun or pronoun to make sense; as,
- The boy fell upon the floor.
When the object is omitted after prepositions, they may be considered as adverbs, for example,
- He walks about
But some grammarians, with good reason, still look at them as prepositions in either case, supposing the noun or pronoun to be understood; for example,
- He walks about (the garden, is understood).
A number of the English prepositions are derived from the Saxon. Many of the prepositions are found in composition with other words, and they are called inseparable prepositions.
- For example, con in connect, and fore in forego.
There are many of these prefixes derived from the Latin.
We sometimes find a combination of prepositions in a phrase; for example, on account of, according to. These may be called prepositional phrasesOpens in new window.
Prepositions frequently change the meaning of a sentence. Thus, the word difference may be followed by with, between, in, and through.For Example:
- Thomas had a difference (quarrel) with his brother.
- There is a difference of opinion in many points between them.
- The difference has arisen through your mistake.
- Disappointed in a thing implies that the pleasure anticipated, previously to possession, was not afterwards realized; and
- Disappointed of a thing implies that we have not received what we expected.
In the chart below are the principal prepositions in English:
Beside is generally given as the preposition, and besides as the adverb; but both forms of spelling are found as prepositions and adverbs.
|Along||Between||Amid, or Amidst|
|Concerning||Underneath||Among, or Amongst|
|Without||At||Save, or But|
Some grammarians have classified the words till, until, since, among the list of prepositions; but this arrangement is unphilosophical; they should be considered as conjunctionsOpens in new window or adverbsOpens in new window.
- The words except and excepting are commonly, though incorrectly, classed among prepositions. The former may be considered as the imperative mood.
- The preposition on is frequently changed into o’ or a; for example, o’clock means on the clock; aside, means on the side.
- Sometimes, we do say, I am going A riding, A hunting, A fishing; the a is put for the preposition on.
- The words above and below should be used before the word stairs; for example, He is above stairs, and not below stairs.
- However, when there is motion implied, up and down should be used; for example, He was going up stairs, when she was coming down.
- The preposition to is used before nouns of place when they follow verbs of motion; for example, I went to Las Palmas; and the preposition at after the neuter verb to be; for example, I was at Las Palmas.
- The preposition in is set before countries, cities, and large towns; for example, He lives in England, and resides in Birmingham.
- Before villages, single houses, and cities which are in distant countries, at is used; for example, He resided at Marseilles, and is now stopping at Richmond.
- Between refers to two things only; for more than two, among is used.
- I sat between two very large people.
- We split the profit among the four of us.
Care should be taken to use the proper prepositions after verbs. The appropriate prepositions after verbs, participles, etc., will be found on subsequent heading below.
|Abashed at||Bereft of||Dedicate to|
|Abhorrence of||Beset with||Deduct from|
|Accused of, by||Besmear with||Deference towards|
|Acquit of||Besprinkle with||Deliberate with, upon|
|Adapted to||Bestow on, upon||Dependent on|
|Adjoining to||Betake to||Derogatory to, from|
|Affectionate to, towards||Betroth to||Descend from, into|
|Aggreable to||Beware of||Detach from|
|Allied to||Bidder for||Deter from, by|
|Amenable to||Calculate on, to||Detrimental to|
|Anger to, towards||call on, for||Devolve on, upon|
|Angry with||Capture of||Disagree with|
|Antipathy to, towards||Cede to||Diagreable to|
|Apart from||Change for||Dispense with|
|Appeal to, from||Charm with||Doubted of|
|Appertain to||Comply with||Differ from|
|Apply to, for, at||Compress into||Difference with, between, in, through|
|Application to, for, at||Concerned for||Dissapointed of, in|
|Approve of||Condole with||Disapprove of|
|Appropriate to||Conduce to, towards||Dissent from|
|Apprise of||Conducive to||Eager in, to|
|Ashamed of||Confer with, on, upon||Encamp in, on, upon|
|Ascribe to||Confide in||Encounter (noun) with|
|Associated with||Confident of, in||Endow with|
|Aspire to||Conformable to||Engaged in, with|
|Atone for||Connive at||Engagement with|
|Attain to||Consonant to, with||Enmity towards, against|
|Attach to||Conscious of||Enraged with, at|
|Attend on, upon, to, at||Consign to||Envy towards|
|Attentive to||Consist of, in||Equal to|
|Attribute to||Conspire against||Equidistant from|
|Avail of||Conspiracy agaisnt||Erase from|
|Averse to, from||Conversant with||Escape from|
|Aversion towards||customary for||Essay (noun) on|
|Avert from||Content with||Excel in|
|Awake from||Contribute to, towards||Exception from|
|Backward in||Contrary to||Exemption from|
|Bargain with, for||Converse with||Expert at, in|
|Barter with, for||Convinced of, by||Expel from|
|The preposition from after this verb (expel) is not necessary, for expel means to drive from|
|Bear with||Dead in, to||Export to, from|
|Behalf of||Dear to||Exclude from|
|Believe in||Debar from||Faithful to|
|Belong to||Decide on||Fall under|
|Beneficial to||Decorate with||Pamper with|
|Fasten to||Know of||Pant for, after|
|Favorable to||Laught at||Part with|
|Fawn upon||Lavish in||Partial to|
|Fight with, against||Liable to||Partake of|
|Fire at||Martyr for, to||Participate in|
|Fitted to||Meddle in, with||Party to|
|Flee from||Mediate between||Patient in|
|Follow after||Merciful towards||Peculiar to|
|Fraught with||Mix with||Penetrate to, into|
|Frown on, upon||Moderate with||Peopled by, with|
|Gaze at||Motive for||Perfect in|
|Gifted with||Muse over, upon||Perpendicular to|
|Glance at||Mystery about||Persevere in|
|Glad at, of||Natural for, to||Persist in|
|Glow with||Need of||Plead for, with|
|Glut with||Needful to||Pleased with|
|Graft into, upon||Neglectful of||Present at, to|
|Grapple with||Negotiate with||Privilege of, in|
|Grieved with||New to||Protest against|
|Grieve for||Next to||Provide with|
|Guilty of||Nigh to||Pursuant to|
|Harmony with||Near to||Radiate from|
|Hateful to||Nonconformity with||Rail at|
|Hear of, from||Noncompliance with||Rank with|
|Hearken to||Noxious to||Ravished with|
|Heed (noun) to||Nursery of, for||Reason with|
|Heedless of||Obedience to||Rebel agaisnt|
|Heir to||Obey in||Rebound from|
|Hesitate in, to, about||Object to, of||Recede from|
|Hide from||Obnoxious to||Receptacle for|
|Hie to||Obsequious to||Reclaim from|
|Hinted at, to||Observance of||Recline against|
|Hover about||Observations on||Reconcile to|
|Hinge on||Obstruction to||Recover from|
|Hurl against||Obvious to||Recourse to|
|Inscribe upon||Occured to, in||Reduce under|
|Insist upon, on||Offence at, to||Refrain from|
|Instil into||Offended with||Regard to|
|Illustrative of||Operate upon||Reinstate in|
|Impart to||Opportunity for, to||Rely upon|
|Impervious to||Opposition to||Repel by, with|
|Impressed with||Oration on||Reply to|
|Inconsistent with||Orifice in||Repose in|
|Incumbent on||Origin of||Reproach with|
|Indefatigable in||Originated in||Reserve for|
|Indicative of||Ornament to||Resemble in|
|Indignant at, with||Overture to||Resemblance to, in|
|Intent on, upon||Overwhelmed with||Rescue from|
|Inveigh against||Owe to||Resign to|
|Resolve to, upon, on||Tipped with||Victim of, to|
|Respond to||Tolerated by||Victory over|
|Recoil from||Touched with||Vindication of|
|Reflect on, upon||Trample on, under||Vexed at|
|Replete with||Transition of, from||Volunteer to|
|Repugnant to||Transported to, from||Vain of|
|Resort to||Troublesome to||Verdict of, for, against|
|Respect for||Type of||Vote for, against|
|Responsible for||Unable to||Voyage to|
|Revolting to||Unacceptable to||Voyage to|
|Share with||Unaccustomed to||Vulnerable to|
|Scruple to, at||Unacquainted with||Wade through, in|
|Search after, into||Unanimous in||Wager with|
|Speak of, about, to||Unapproved of, by||Warfare with|
|Shrink from||Unaware of||Warn of|
|Scoff at||Unbelief in||Weary of|
|Subscribe to, towards||Uncalled for||Wheedle with|
|Tarry in||Uncharitable towards||Whine about|
|Taste for, of||Unequal to||Wish for|
|Tea with||Unfrequented by||Worry with|
|Tedious in||Uninterested in||Wrangle with|
|Teem with||United in, with||Wreak upon, on|
|Tell of||Unkind towards||Write to, of, about, for, against|
|Temporize in, with||Unsuccessful in||Yearn over|
|Tending towards||Upbraid with||Yield to|
|Tendency to, towards||Unwelcome to||Youthful in|
|Tenor of||Unworthy of||Zeal in, towards, against, for|
|Terminate in||Useful to||Zealous for, in|
|Testify to, of, against||Vacancy in||Zest for|
|Think on, upon, of||Vary in, with||Thirst for|
|Tied to||Variance in, between||Veneration for|
|Tinctured with||Vicissituded of|