Prepositions

Introduction

A preposition is a word that is used with a noun or pronoun to form a phrase that shows where, when, how and why. A preposition is a word that is used before a noun, pronoun or gerund to connect it to another word. A preposition is a closed class of non-inflecting words typically employed to connect a noun or a pronoun, in an adjectival or adverbial sense, with some other word. A preposition is a part of speech that is used to indicate the role that the noun phrase that follows it plays in the sentence. Prepositions form a closed class of words. Dependent preposition - Many nouns, verbs and adjectives are followed by a particular preposition. These prepositions are dependent prepositions, e.g. interested in, depend on, bored with.

by
in
near
over
under

Vocabulary

aboard

about

above

according to

across

after

against

ahead

along

along with

amid

around

as

as far as

as for

as to

aside from

at

because of

before

behind

below

beneath

beside

besides

between

beyond

but

but for

by

by means of

by way of

concerning

contrary to

despite

down

during

except

for

from

in

in addition to

in back of

in case of

in front of

in lieu of

in place of

in regard to

in spite of

inside

instead of

into

like

near

next to

of

off

on

on account of

on behalf of

onto

opposite

out

out of

outside

over

past

per

prior to

regarding

round

since

thanks to

through

throughout

till

to

toward

under

underneath

unlike

until

up

upon

up to

with

within

without

A prepositional phrase is a group of words that consists of a preposition and the related noun or pronoun form e.g. under the table. There are sixty or so prepositions, e.g. in, on, about, of. These small words (some are fixed phrases such as, 'out of', 'across from', etc.) are useful as they link to a noun or noun phrase (which is said to then act as the object of the preposition); this creates a prepositional phrase. Prepositions indicate relationships between different parts of the sentence.

Vocabulary

The following table shows a list of prepositions.

Use

Example

The suspects landed in jail.

[The relationship between the noun jail and the verb landed is shown by the preposition in.]

Example

Please hide the packages under the bed.

[The relationship between the noun bed and the noun packages is shown by the preposition under.]

Example

The guitarist playing with our band is Samantha's uncle.

[The relationship between the noun band and the participle playing is shown by the preposition with.]

Example

I already knew about it.

[The relationship between the pronoun it and the verb knew is shown by the preposition about.]

Example

On the desk.

Example

To stand next to the chair.

Example

In front of the house.

Example

Clouds are over the earth and below the moon.

Example

Naomi went toward the mountain at 2 o'clock.

Example

the preposition "with" often signals that NP that follows is the instrument of the action described in the sentence.

Example

She ate the pizza with her fingers.

It can also indicate the co-agent, especially if the NP describes something that is animate.

Example

She ate the pizza with her friends.

As well as signalling a relationship between a noun phrase and the main verb of the sentence, a preposition can indicate a relationship between a noun phrase and another noun phrase.

This is particularly the case with "of", as in "The length of the ruler is 40 cm".

Prepositions are the head items of prepositional phrases.