ALL ABOUT PREPOSITIONS

The books are on the table.

A preposition is a word which shows the relation between a noun or a pronoun and some other word in a sentence.

1) The books are on the table.

‘On’ shows the relation between the bag and the books.

2) She painted the fabric ‘with’ colours.

With’ shows the relation between the fabric and colours.

i) There is a teacher in the class.

Here the preposition ‘in’ joins a noun to another noun.

ii) She is fond of music.

Here preposition ‘of’ joins a noun to adjective.

iii) The dog jumped off the wall.

Here the preposition ‘off’ joins a noun to a verb.

TYPES OF PREPOSITION

1] Simple preposition or preposition proper

2] Compound preposition

3] Complex or phrase preposition

1) SIMPLE PREPOSITION

These are made of one or two syllable and some may have adverbial roles. Common simple prepositions are:

About         before             down             on         through

Above           behind            during           out         to

Across     below     for    over        under

After     beneath     from     past    until

Along      beside      in        round      up

Amid    between   of        since        with

Among   beyond    off       till           at

Around   by                             

2] COMPOUND PREPOSITIONS

Compound Prepositions are formed by making compound of two simple prepositions.

In + to = into                 with + in = within

On + to = onto          with + out = without

out +side =outside 

through+out= throughout

in + side =inside

on + round = around              

up + to = upto            by + side = beside

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Double Prepositions : outside of, from behind, out of, from beneath.

3] COMPLEX PREPOSITION (Prepositional phrase)

These two or three-word phrases function in the same way as simple prepositions.

According   apart from        along with

As to         as for          at variance with

Because of     by dint of  by means of

By virtue of      due to         for the sake of

In accordance with        in case of                       in charge of

In course of                   in order to                      in front of

In connection with        in favour of                   in lieu of

In response to                in spite of                      in view of

Instead of                      on account of                on behalf of

Together with               with a view to                with reference to

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Participial prepositions

These present participles which are used without any noun or pronoun attached to them function as prepositions.

Barring, concerning, considering, during, notwithstanding, pending, regarding, respecting, touching.

E.g. Bears hibernate during winter.

        He said nothing regarding his promotion.

         Considering the weather, we decided to stay home.

        She was held in custody pending trial.

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PREPOSITION AND IT’S COMPLEMENT       

 Prepositions do not stand alone but needs complement. The complements of preposition can be a noun, pronoun, other parts of speech or a clause.

Noun-                         He kept the book on the table.

Pronoun-                    I spoke to him politely.

Adverb-                      They had reached by then.

-ing clause                  He was surprised at her saying this.

Wh-clause                  She was shocked at what he did.

OMISSION OF PREPOSITION

After the verbs – arrive, come, go, get, take, bring, send – the word ‘home’ is used as an adverb so it does not usually take a preposition.   

He takes home a good salary.

Bring home an LCD T.V. and enjoy weekend movies.

POSITION OF A PREPOSITION

Prepositions usually come before its complement but sometimes it is placed after the complement.

Wh- structures                        What are they looking at?

Relative clause                        That is the house that Jack built.

Passive structures                    He hates being laughed at.

Infinitive structures                 It is a nice place to live in.      

RELATIONS EXPRESSED BY PREPOSITIONS

Prepositions can be classified into six types according to relationship with other words.

1. Place / position –   at, in, on, by, between, among

2. Time                 – at, in, on by, during, for, from, since, within

3. Movement        – through, across, along

4. Direction          – at, in, from, into, to, towards

5. Agent/ instrument or mannerby, with, for, in, from

6. Cause/ reason    – for, from, of, with

1] PLACE AND POSITION    [ at, in , on, by, between, among]

At   – A point  in space   – at the corner/end/ side/exit

          Name of bulding/ public place – at the Taj Mahal.

           Less known town/ village        – at home, at school.

In  –   Large town, country  –  in New York, in  France

          A point  within area  –   in the street, in the newspaper

 (In the end – finally, At the end -a point where something stops.)    

On – Position touching surface  –  on the table/ on the river

         Supported by someone or something- on the head/on a pole

         Position before page           –  on page 10

By – nearness                             –  by the door/ by the stream

Between– In the middle of two things – between two people.

Among–in the middle of more than two things – among the trees.

{Other prepositions which indicate position- below, by, under, behind, in front of, on top of, above, over}

TIME  [  in, at, on, by, for , during, from, since, within]

In –  Month                             – in March, in December

       Year                                 – in 2007, in 2020

       Decade                             – in the 70’s

       Centuries                          – in the 12th Century

       Parts of the day                – in the afternoon, in the evening

       Seasons                            – in spring, in winter

       After some time              –  in an hour/minute/day/year/month

                                                   In a week

On – Dates                           – on 2nd October

        Specific days                –  on a rainy day, on New year’s Day            

        Days of the week         –  on Wednesday/ Sunday

        Immediately after something – on his departure

{‘In time’ means with enough time to spare. ‘On time’ as pre planned, or at the nick of time.}

By – not later than the given time    – by 4 o’clock/ by tomorrow

At – Part of day                              – at night/ dawn /noon

During – throughout the period       – during winter/ summer

Since – From a specified time in the past  – since Sunday/ noon

For – Duration of time                      – for a year, for two hours

From –    Time  of starting               – From Friday

From..to – starting till end            – From 3pm to 6pm

Within     –  not later than the specified time  – within an hour

{ ‘Since’ refers to the starting point of an action. ‘For’ refers to a period of time or its duration}

DIRECTION   [  at, in into, from, towards, to]

From –  Starting point                 –  from college/ from the market

Towards – in the direction of       –  towards her mother

To   – in direction of something   –  to the school/ to his home

Into – moving to a point within something- into the river

In – Towards geographical direction – in the north

At – throwing towards                  – threw a pebble at the bird

MOVEMENT        [ through,  across, along ]

Along  –  Parallel or close to something –   along the bank of river

Across –  in front of or on something     – across the lane

Through –  from one end to another       –  through the village

MANNER/ AGENT

For –    As a reward                         –  for his courage/  for $ 50

In   –   Showing medium material   –  in cash/ in ink/pen/pencil

By  –   Person who created it           – by Shelly/ by Shakespeare    

          Means of transport/ transfer – by car/train/air,   by cheque

From  –   Material                           –  from wool/paper/wood

With   – Instrument                         -with a knife/ with a periscope

CAUSE/REASON      [for , from ,of ,with]

Of      –   Cause                           – She is proud of her beauty.

For    –   Reason                         –  Birbal is famous for his wit.

From –   Reason of something   – He is suffering from jaundice.

With  –  because of something   – He is shaking with laughter.

Prepositions with different uses

At – place, time, direction

By – Agent, manner, time, place

On– place, time, reason

In  – place, time, direction, manner,

About – approximation, subject, place,

For – place, reason, agent, time

From – Direction, time, manner, reason

Of   –  Position, cause, origin, measurement

Out of – Place, cause, origin, condition

To – Direction, time, possible range.

With – instrument, reason, material, company

Words followed by appropriate Prepositions:

Abide – by, at, in, with                       adequate  – to / for  

Abound – in, with                               adapted  –  to / for / from

Absent – from                                     adjacent  – to  

Absorbed – in                                      adhere –  to

Absent – from                                     admit   – of/ to

Abstain – from                                    advantageous – to

Access – to                                          affection   – for

Accompanied – by, with                     affectionate  –  to

According – to                                    afraid –  of

According – to                                    affected   – by

Acquainted – with                               agree  –  with/ to / on

Accountable – to                                  alarmed  – at

Account – for                                       alien  – to

Accused – of                                        alight  –  from / on

Acquit – of                                           alive   –  to

Alliance   – with                                   aloof  –  from

Amazed  – at                                         ambiton   –  for

Amount  –  to                                        ambitious  – of     

 Amused  – at                                        angry  –  with/ about/ at

Annoyed  –  at/ with                             answer   –  to/ for

Anxious   –  about/  for                         apologise – to / for

Appeal – to / for / against                     appetite  – for

Apply – to/ for                                      approve – of

Apt  –  at / in                                          aptitude – for

Apprehensive – about/ of                      appropriate  – to/ for

Apropos (with reference to)  – of          arrangement – with/ for

Arrive –  at/ in                                        ascribe   to

Aspiration    – for                                   assent –  to

Associate – with                                    attach  –  to

Attack   –   on                                         attend  –  to/  upon

Attribute  –  to                                        authority  –   on / over

Avail   –  of                                            available    –   to

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Bad  –  at                                                beg  – of /for

Believe – in                                            beneficial –  to

Bent  –  on                                              bestow  –  on / upon

Beware  –  of                                          blind – of/ in / to

Blessed   –  with                                     boast  –  of

Born   –    of                                           bound   –    for

Burden –  with                                        busy   –   with

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Callous – to                                        capable –  of

Capacity  – for                                    care  – for/ of

Cause – of                                          cautious – of

Certain – of                                        caution  –  against

Charge  –  of/ against                         claim – to

Clear  – of                                          cling –  to

Close  – to                                          clothed – in

Coincide  – with                                 comment  – on

Compare  – with                                 compensate  –  with/ for

Competente – for                               compete  –  with

Complain  – to/ of / about                  composed   – of

Conceal  –   from                               conceive  –  of

Condemn  –  to/ for                            confident –  of

Confer   –  on                                     confined  –  in / to                                                                                                

Conform  –  with                               congenial  – to

Congratulate  –  on                            conscious   –   of

Consist  –  of/ in                                consistent  – with

Consult  –  with                                 contact  –  with

Contrast   –   with                              convince   –   of

Connive  –  at                                    contrary  –  to

Contribute  –   to                               control   over

Correspond  –  to/ with                      count   –   for

Credit   –  to/ with                              cure    –    of

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 Deaf  –  in/ to                                    deal  –  in/ with

Debar  –  from                                    decide  –  on 

Dedicate  –  to                                    defend  –   from

Deficient  –  in                                   deficiency  – of

Delight  – in  / at                                deliver   – to / from

Depend  –  upon/ o                            deprive  – of

Derive  –  from                                  descend – from

Deserving  – of                                  desire – for

Desirous  – of                                    despair – of

Detach –  from                                   deter  –  from

Devoid   – of                                      devoted  – to

Die – of /by from/for/in/through       differ – from / with

Difference – between                        different – from    

Difficulty  – with                               disappoint – in /of

Disappointed – with                          discussion – with

Disagree – with                                 disgrace – to

Disgust – with                                   dislike  – for

Dispense  – with                                displease  – with/ at / by

Displease  –  with / at/ by                  dispose – of

Dispute – with / about                       disqualified – for / from

Dissent – from                                   dressed – in

Dissimilar – to                                   dissuade – from

Distinguish  – between/ from             divert  –   from

Divide  – into                                      doubt – about/ of

Due – to                                              dull – at / of                                                                                                               

Dwell – in/ upon                                 dye – with

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Eager – for/ after                                 eligible  –  for

Emerge  –   from                                  encroach  –  upon

End  –  in                                              endow  – with

Engage   – with/ in to                           enter  –  into / upon / for

Entertain –  with                                   entitle  – to

Entrust –  with                                      envy – of/ at

Envious  –  of                                       equal – in / with / to

Essential – to/ for                                 escape  – from

Excel  – in                                             example  –  of

Exception  –  to/ of                               exchange –  with / for          

Exclude  –  from                                   exclusive   –  of

Excuse  –  from/ for                              exempt    –   from       

Expect   –  from / of                              experience  – of / in

Expert  –  at / in / on                              explain  –  to

Expose   –   to

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Faith   –  in                                               faithful  –  to

False  – to                                                 familiar  –  with

Famous  –   for                                         fatal  – to

Favour   – of                                             favourable  –  to / for

Fear  – of                                                  feel   – for

Fight  –  with / over/ against                     fit   for

Fond  –  of                                                 Fondness –  for

Foreign   –  to                                            forgetful   –  of

Free  –  from/ of                                        frightened  – of /at

Frown  –  on / at                                         full –  of

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Gifted  – with                                              glad  –  at/ about / of

Glance  –  at/  over                                      glory   –  in

Good   –  at/ for                                           grateful   –  to/ for

Greedy  –  of  / for                                       greed  – of / for

Grieve – at / for /over                                 grumble  –  at / over

Guard  –  against                                         guess – at 

Guilty –  of

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 Happen to                                                    hanker  – after

hatred – of/ for                                             harmful  –  to

hear  –  of / from                                           heed   –  to

heir  –  to                                                       hide   –  from

hinder  – from                                               hint –  at   

hope   -for                                                     hostile    –  to

hunt   –  for / out                                            hunger  –  for           

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Identical –  with                                           ignorant   –  of

Immaterial – to                                            ill  –  of/ with                                                            

Immersed –  in                                             immune  –  to

Impart  –  to                                                 impart   –  to

Impatient  –  of / for                                    import  – from     

Import   –  from                                           impose  –  upon

Impress  –   with                                          indulge  –  in / with

Infer  –   from                                              incentive  –  to

Inclination  –  to                                          include  –  in

Indebted  –  to                                             inclusive  –  of

Independent  –  of                                       indifferent  –  to

Inferior  –  to                                               infested  –  with

Influence  – with / over/ upon                     inform   –   of                                              

Inform   – of                                                infuse  –  into

Innocent  –  of                                             inquire – about/into/for     

Insensible –  to                                            insist  –  upon 

Inspire   –  with                                           interest  –  in

Interfere  –  with / in                                   intimate  –  with

Introduce  –  to / into                                  intrude – into /upon

Invited  –  to                                               involved – in

___________________________________________________

 Jealous  –  of                                               jeer  –  at

Jest  –  about                                                join  – in / with

Jump – at / to                                              junior  –  to   

____________________________________________________

Keen – on                                                    key  – to

Kind  –  to / of                                              knock –  at

____________________________________________________

Lack  – of / in                                               lame  – of

Lament  –  for / over                                    laugh  –  at

Lavish  –  in / with  / upon                           liable  –  to/ for

Likeness  –  to / of                                       liking  – for

Live – in/ at/ on/ by/ for/ with                     long  –  for

Lost  – to/ in                                                 loyal  –  to

___________________________________________________

Mad  – with / about                                   marry  –  to

Match  –   for                                             meditate  –  upon

Meet  –   with                                             menace  – to

Mindful  –  of                                             mix – in / with

Mourn – for                                               moved  – to

Muse – on                                              

____________________________________________________

Natural  – to                                               necessity – for / of/ to

Necessary  – for/ to                                    need – of / for

Neglect – of / for                                       negligent – of

Negotiate  – with                           

____________________________________________________

Object – to                                                objection –to/ against

Oblige – to / for                                        obstacle – to

Occupied – with/ in                                  occur – to

Offend  – against                                       offended  – with

Offensive – to                                           open  – to

Opportunity  –  for                                    oppose  – to

Opposite  – to                                            opposition  –  to

Originate  – in/ from                                  overcome  –  with

Overwhelm  –  with                                   owe  –  to

___________________________________________________

Parallel  –  to                                              part – from/ with

Partake – in                                                partial  – to

Participate  – with/ in / about                     passion – for

Patient  –  with                                           peace – with

Particular – about                                      passion – for

Patient  –  with                                           peace  –  with

Peculiar – to                                               peculiar  – to

Permit – of                                                 persist – in

Pity –  for                                                    play – on / with

Plead – for / with                                        pleased – with

Plunged – in                                               polite – in

Poor  – in                                                    popular  – with / for

Precaution – against                                   prefer  – to

Prejudice – against                                     prepare – for

Present – with                                            preside- at/ over            

Pretend – to                                                prevent  – from

Prey –  on / to                                              pride – in / on

Proud – of                                                   prior – to

Proceed – with /from/ against                     proficient – in

Profit – by                                                   profitable – to

Prohibit  – from                                           prompt – in

Prone  – to                                                   proof – against

Proportionate – to                                       protect – from/ against  Provide – against/for/with                           protection – against   pursuance  – of                                           

___________________________________________________

Qualify – for                                               quick – at

Quarrel – with/ over/ about                        quest  – for

____________________________________________________

Ready – for/ at /with                                   reason – for/ with

Rebel – against                                            reckon – with / on

Reconcile – with /to                                    recourse  – to

Recover – from                                           reduce – to

Refer – to                                                    reflect – upon

Refrain – from                                            regard – for

Rejoice – in / at                                           related – to

Relation – to/ between/ with                       relevant – to

Relieved – from/of                                      rely – on

Remarkable – for                                         remedy – for / against

Remind – of                                                 render – into\

Repent – of                                                  repentance –  for

Replace – by / with                                      replace – by / with

Reply  –  to                                                   reproach – for

Require  – of / from                                      resign – to

Required – to                                               resolve–into/upon                                    

Respectful – to                                             restore – to 

Responsible – for /to                                    rest – with

Restrict – to                                                  retire  – from/ to        

Result – of / from/in                                     revenge – on 

Reward – with                                              rich – in

Rid – of                                                         rob – of

Rude – to/ about    

____________________________________________________

Sacred – to                                                   safe – from

Satisfaction – in/at/with/ of                         satisfy – with

Search – for/ of                                            secure – from/against

Seek – for/ after/ from                                 senior – to

Sensible – of                                                sensitive – to

Sentence – to                                                short – of

Shrink – from                                               silent – about

Sick – of                                                       similar – to

Similarity  – to/between                                side – with                                                                                                                                            

Slave – of / to                                               slow- about/at/down       

Smell – of                                                     smile – at/ upon

Snatch  – at                                                   sorry – for/about Spread – out/over                                         stain – on

Stare – at                                                      start – for/ from

Stick – at/ to                                                 strange – to

Subject – to/ of /for                                      stoop – to

Submit – to                                                   subordinate – to

Subscribe – to                                               subsequent – to

Subsist – on                                                  substitute – for

Succeed – in/to                                             succumb – to

Sufficient – for                                              suffer – from

Suitable – for / to                                          supply – to / with

Superior – to                                                 supplement – to

Sure – of                                                        surprise – at

Suspect – of                                                   suspicious – of

Suspend – from                                             sympathy – for/ with

Sympathise – with                                         sympathetic – to

Synonymous – with

____________________________________________________

Talk – to/ about                                            tamper – with

Taste – of                                                      teem – with

Testify – to                                                   thankful  – to/for

Think – of/ about /on/ over                          thirst – for

Tide – over                                                   tired – of

Tolerant – of /towards                                  touch – on/ with

Treat – of / to                                                tremble – with

True – to                                                        trust – to/with/in

Typical – of

____________________________________________________

Unaware – of                                                 unconscious – of

Unite – with                                                   urge – upon

Use – of                                                         used – for/ to

Useful – to                                            

____________________________________________________

Vary – from                                                    versed – in

Vested – with                                                  vexed – with

Victim – of / to                                                View – on/ to

____________________________________________________

Wait – for/ upon                                             weak – in

Weakness – for                                               want – of / for

____________________________________________________

Yearned – for                                                 yield – to

____________________________________________________

Zeal – for                                                        Zest – for

____________________________________________________

Rules for usage

i) Do not use infinitive with certain words which require a preposition followed by a Gerund (verbal noun).

She is addicted to smoking.(not-to smoke)

He assisted me in rowing the boat.

I am fond of reading books.

ii)  Sometimes both constructions are possible.

She was afraid of telling the truth.

She was afraid to tell the truth.

iii) Certain words always take the infinitive.

He advised us to leave the place.

I hope to get the first prize.

iv) Prepositions are  sometimes wrongly omitted:

   What use is it?    [incorrect]

   Of what use is it? [correct]

v) Prepositions are sometimes inserted where they are not required.

 Where have you been to? [incorrect]

 Where have you been?      [correct]

He jumped into the river.

6 thoughts on “ALL ABOUT PREPOSITIONS

  1. I love this post of your Tah, I appreciate it immensely when people talk about grammar.
    Thank you for doing this post.
    I hope you do one on colon and semi colon. I find it extremely confusing 😔

    Liked by 1 person

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