Last Updated : 01 Mar 2014

PREPOSITIONS

Definition :
A preposition is a word which is usually placed before a noun or pronoun to show the latter’s relation to some word in the sentence.

e.g

PronounVerbPrep.Noun
Theymeetbeforelunch
ArticleNounPrep.Pronoun
Aletterforyou

By definition, a preposition is placed before a word ("prepositioned") to indicate the word’s meaning within the context of the sentence

e.g

of the worldfor a friendat a hotel

 

Some Common Prepositions:
aboutasbut
aboveatby
acrossbeforedown
afterbelowfor
alongbesidefrom
aroundbetweenin
intoofonto
likeoffover
nearonpast
perthanunder
sincethroughuntill
tilltoup
withwithout

e.g

He walkedacrossthe forest
around
beyond
into
near
toward
out
Position

As its name tells us, a preposition is normally ‘placed before’ a noun phrase or some other element. The preposition + noun phrase together form a PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE.

Position of prepositions in different kinds of sentence:

e.g

Who is she working for?
She’s working for a friend

In the first example shows the preposition at the end of the sentence, and the second example shows the preposition in its usual position, at the front of its noun phrase.

Prepositional Adverb

Many word forms which are prespositions are also adverbs. These adverbs are called Prepositonal Adverbs. Most of them are adverbs of place.

Some Common Prepositional Adverbs:
aboutbyround
abovedownsince
acrossinthrough
afterinsidethroughout
aroundnearunder
beforeonup
behindoppositewithin
belowoutsidewithout
betweenpastover
beyond

 

Prepositions are usually in front of a noun phrase, whereas prepositional adverbs usually stand alone, wihtout a following noun phrase.

PrepositionShe stayed in the house
AdverbShe stayed in
PrepositionThe guests were standing around the room
PrepositionThe guests were standing around

Prepositional adverbs are always stressed. Prepositions are frequently unstressed.

Prepositional Verb

We use the term prepositional verb for an IDIOM made up of verb + preposition.

add tocare forlook for
agree withconsent topay for
aim at / fordeal withpray for
allow fordecide onrefer to
apply forhope forrely on
approve ofinsist onrun for
ask forlisten tostand for
attend tolive ontake after
believe inlong fortake to
belong tolook afterwish for
call for / onlook at

The verb and preposition express a single idea.

e.g

He takes after his grandfather (resembles)
We have asked for help (request)
I have to look after the house (take care of)

The verb and preposition are often together at the end of a sentence

e.g

I do not know who this book belongs to
We scarcely have enough to live on
Have the new chairs been paid for?

Kinds of Prepositions

Simple PrepositionsCompound PrepositionsPhrasal Prepositions

 

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