Learn How To Use Common Prepositions !

Learn How To Use Common Prepositions !

We are going to tell you all about prepositions in English grammar. There are nine very common words in English that, although small, are some of the most difficult words to learn and use correctly. They are the prepositions:

‘with’, ‘at’, ‘by’, ‘to’, ‘in’, ‘for’, ‘from’, ‘of’, ‘on’.

Even worse, sometimes they can be used interchangeably, as in “sit on that chair, sit in that chair”, but usually there are rules with regard to how they are used. One way to help you learn these nine key prepositions is to learn and adapt the following sentences to describe your own life:

  • I am from Brazil. I live in Sao Poalo which is west of Rio de Janeiro.
  • My child was born at a quarter to three in the morning.
  • I went on holiday to Prague with my family.
  • She came by train with her sister for a weeks’ holiday last year.
  • I like food I can eat with my hands.
  • I am on duty later so cannot do a lesson then.
  • I drive for twenty kilometers to get to work.

Prepositions Definition

Preposition is a word or group of words which is used before a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase to show direction, time, place, location, spatial relationships, or to introduce an object.

Types of Prepositions

Prepositions indicate direction, time, location, and spatial relationships, as well as other abstract types of relationships.

  • Direction: Look to the left and you’ll see our destination.
  • Time: We’ve been working since this morning.
  • Location: We saw a movie at the theater.
  • Space: The dog hid under the table.

How to use a Preposition?

Let’s take a look at some examples and how they can be used!

  • “He put the tiles on the wrong wall.”
  • “She is going to college in September.”
  • “I’ll meet you at 5.30.”

Prepositions are always used to indicate the relationship of a noun or phrase to something else. When using a preposition, you must always have the subject and verb before it, and follow it with a noun. You should never follow it with a verb!

Let’s have a closer look at some examples.

Prepositions of Position

You can use prepositions to show where an object is positioned, in relation to something else, such as whether it is placed on the surface of something, inside something, or in another position.

Some common prepositions of position are:

  • On: “She placed the lid on the cooker.”
  • Above: “The plane flew over the houses.”
  • “In front of: “The books should go in front of the other items.”

What’s Prepositional Phrase:

Phrases that begin with preposition.

Is Who a Preposition?

No Who is not a preposition.

Prepositions of Time with examples

Different prepositions can be used to indicate time in specific ways:

At: this can be used to indicate a specific time, for example:

  • “We are arriving at 22.50.”

In: this is used to express events taking place during lengthy periods of time, such as a month or year, for example:

  • “They first moved to the country in 1978.”
  • “We are going on holiday in March.”

On: Like “in” this is used for specific points in time – in this case, you use this preposition to indicate particular dates or days. For example:

  • “He’s moving in on Saturday.”
  • “I will need it back on the 17th.”

Preposition with Examples

Unfortunately, there’s no reliable formula for determining which preposition to use with a particular combination of words. The best way to learn which prepositions go with which words is to read as much high-quality writing as you can and pay attention to which combinations sound right. Here are a few examples of the most common prepositions used in sentences.

  • I should rewrite the introduction of my essay.
  • Sam left his jacket in the car.
  • Did you send that letter to your mother?
  • We’re cooking for ten guests tonight.
  • Dan ate lunch with his boss.

Preposition: IN

Use: When talking about time, we use ‘in’ when referring to an unspecific time of the day, a month, a season or a year.

Here are some examples:

  • “I always brush my teeth in the morning.”
  • “My birthday is in June.”
  • “It’s always cold in winter.”
  • “My brother was born in 1999.”

Use 2: When talking about places, ‘in’ is used to indicate a location or place. Here are a few examples:

  • “I used to live in Florida.”
  • “The city of Bangkok is in Thailand.”
  • “I am in my room.”

Examples of At On in Prepositions of Place

  • Preposition: ON

Use1 : The word ‘on’, when talking about time, is for specific dates and days.

Some examples are:

  • “He was born on September 24th.”
  • “I go to the gym on Mondays and Wednesdays.”

Use 2: When talking about places, ‘on’ is used when we are speaking about a surface. Something is on the surface of something else.

For example:

  • “The papers are on the coffee table.”
  • “I left the keys on the counter.”
  • Preposition: AT

Use 1: When talking about time, ‘at’ is used for a specific time.

So for example:

  • “I will see you at 8:00 pm.”
  • “My interview is at 3:00 pm.”

Use 2: When talking about places, ‘at’ is used to indicate a specific place.

Some examples are:

  • “We are meeting at the café.”
  • “The football game is at the stadium.”
Preposition Exercise For Practice:

1. I live ___ a house.
2. We will meet ___ 5:00 pm.
3. My birthday is ___ May 5th.
4. The last Olympics were held ___ 2012.
5. I usually study ___ Sundays.
6. My books were ___ this table, where did they go?
7. They left ___ 9:00 am.
8. We met ___ the park.
9. I like taking a nap ___ the afternoon.
10. It rains a lot ___ spring.

It will surely take time and practice to become an expert at using prepositions, but keep on trying and it will eventually stick!

Answers: in, at, on, in, on, on, at, at, in, in.

A List Prepositions:

about above across after
against along among around
at before behind between
beyond but by concerning
despite down during except
following for from in
including into like near
of off on onto
out over past plus
since throughout to towards
under until up upon
up to with within without


You can attempt the preposition quizzes posted by Mdcatpk.info Here to check how much you have learned from this article.