What Is a Preposition?
Preposition as the name suggests literally means that which is placed before. Thus, a preposition is a word generally set before other words to connect them, and to indicate the relation which they bear to each other. They are mostly placed before nounsOpens in new window and pronounsOpens in new window as, “My text-book is on the table”; “She is above me in science subjects”.
In the sentences below, the words in emphasis are prepositions:
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 such cases, 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 adverbOpens in new window, locating something in time and space, modifying a noun, or telling when or where or under what conditions something happened.
Uses and Examples
1. Preposition (i.e. pre-position) always occur before the thing it refer to.
2. Prepositional phrases may be adjectival or adverbial, according to what they modify.