Prepositions

A preposition is a word that explains the time, space or logical relationship between the other parts of the sentence. In other words, it links all the other words together, so the reader can understand how the pieces of the sentence fit.

Prepositions – Time
English
  on in       at           since for ago    days of the week months / seasons time of day year after a certain period of time (when?) for night for weekend a certain point of time (when?) from a certain point of time (past till now)

Usage
         on Monday

Example

in August / in winter in the morning in 2006 in an hour at night at the weekend at half past nine since 1980 for 2 years 2 years ago before 2004 ten to six (5:50) ten past six (6:10) from Monday to/till Friday

over a certain period of time (past till now)  a certain time in the past earlier than a certain point of time telling the time telling the time    

before  to past  

to / till /  until till / until 

marking the beginning and end of a period  of time in the sense of how long something is going to last in the sense of at the latest up to a certain time  

He is on holiday until Friday.

by

 

I will be back by 6 o’clock. By 11 o'clock, I had read five pages.

Prepositions – Place (Position and Direction)

English
 in      at    

Usage
room, building, street, town, country book, paper etc. car, taxi picture, world meaning next to, by an object for table for events place where you are to do something typical (watch a film, study, work) attached for a place with a river being on a surface for a certain side (left, right) for a floor in a house for public transport for television, radio left or right of somebody or something        

Example
in the kitchen, in London in the book in the car, in a taxi in the picture, in the world at the door, at the station at the table at a concert, at the party at the cinema, at school, at work the picture on the wall London lies on the Thames. on the table on the left on the first floor on the bus, on a plane on TV, on the radio Jane is standing by / next to / beside the car. the bag is under the table

on

      

       

by, next to,  beside  under 

on the ground, lower than (or covered by) something else lower than something else but above ground

below

the fish are below the surface put a jacket over your shirt over 16 years of age walk over the bridge climb over the wall a path above the lake

over

   

covered by something else meaning more than getting to the other side (also across) overcoming an obstacle higher than something else, but not directly over it getting to the other side (also over) getting to the other side something with limits on top, bottom and the

    

above

across

 

  

walk across the bridge swim across the lake drive through the tunnel

through

English
sides  to     into 

Usage

Example

movement to person or building movement to a place or country for bed enter a room / a building

   

go to the cinema go to London / Ireland go to bed go into the kitchen / the house go 5 steps towards the house jump onto the table a flower from the garden

towards

movement in the direction of something (but not directly to it) movement to the top of something in the sense of where from

 

onto from

 

 

Other important Prepositions
English
  from  of     by  on       in  who gave it who/what does it belong to what does it show who made it walking or riding on horseback entering a public transport vehicle entering a car / Taxi leaving a public transport vehicle leaving a car / Taxi rise or fall of something travelling (other than walking or horseriding) for age for topics, meaning what about

Usage
          

Example
a present from Jane a page of the book the picture of a palace a book by Mark Twain on foot, on horseback get on the bus get in the car get off the train get out of the taxi prices have risen by 10 percent by car, by bus

off  out of  by  

 

at

 

she learned Russian at 45 we were talking about you

about 

Rules for Prepositions IN, ON, AT, TO Basic Rules 20 Special Rules for Prepositions IN, ON, AT, TO 1. Look AT and listen TO prefer TO, inferior, superior TO 2. TO with verbs of desire, necessity, expectation love TO, like TO, hate TO, want TO, need TO, have TO, hope TO, expect TO 3. AT night IN the morning, IN the afternoon, IN the evening 4. ON transportation ON the bus, ON the train, ON the subway, ON a plane, ON a jet, ON a ship, ON a bicycle, ON a motorcycle, ON a surfboard, ON a skateboard BUT IN a car, IN a taxi, IN a small boat, IN an elevator, IN a helicopter 5. AT an intersection (where two streets cross) AT Broadway and 42nd Street, AT Fifth Avenue and 34th Street 6. ON an island, ON a farm, ON a college campus, ON earth, ON a planet 7. Expressions that mean sometimes use different prepositions: from time TO time, ON occasion, once IN a while 8. IN a park, IN a yard, AT a playground 9. ON anything flat ON a plate, ON the wall, ON the floor, ON a shelf, ON the blackboard, ON a table, ON a desk, ON the stove, ON your face, a hat ON your head 10. IN a room or anything smaller IN the closet, IN a drawer, IN a cup, IN a bowl, IN a glass, IN your mouth, ideas IN your head, a look IN your eye, a ribbon IN your hair 11. TO when moving from point A TO point B go TO school, drive TO work, take a trip TO Boston, take your kids TO school, fly TO London, walk TO the library, bring your dog TO the vet 12. ON a/an [adjective] morning, afternoon, evening, night, day ON a cold afternoon, ON a sunny morning, ON a rainy evening, ON a Saturday night, ON a spring day, ON a special night 13. ON vacation, ON the weekend, ON a trip, ON a picnic, ON your break, ON a leave of absence, ON your lunch hour 14. IN the water swimming (or drowning), ON the water boating

15. AT the beach (the whole place), lie ON the beach (=ON the sand), play IN the sand 16. ON anything like a line ON the coast, stand ON line, ON the border, ON the side, ON a team/committee 17. ON forms of communication ON TV, ON the radio, ON the phone, ON the fax machine, ON the computer, ON a disk, ON a CD, ON a hard drive, ON a channel, ON a screen 18. A report or news article ON the economy (ABOUT the economy) 19. ON time for an event or activity: Come to the meeting ON time. Be in class ON time. 20. IN time (or too late) TO do something: Get to the station IN time TO catch a train. Prepositions The following examples give you an idea about the use of Prepositions.

1. abide by : Everyone must abide by the judgment of the court. 2. abide with : we must abide with our friends through thick and thin. 3. abound in : The sea abounds in wealth. 4. abscond from : He absconds from classes only when he is ill. 5. absent from : The clerk is absent from his section. 6. absolve of : The judge absolved the official of charges of corruption. 7. absorb in : Lata is absorbed in singing. 8. abstain from : Postal employees abstained from their duties protesting against the Government’s indifference towards their problems. 9. abundance of : There is abundance of oil and natural gas in the Godavari basin. 10.abundant in : Rice is abundant in the Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. 11. accede to : The Government acceded to the demands of the striking employees. 12. accompanied by : Bill Clinton, the President of the United States of America, accompanied by his

daughter and other high-level officials, visited India. 13. according to : According to Darwin, man has evolved out of the ape. 14. account for : The accountant must account for the shortage of cash in the treasury. 15. accuse of : The man was accused of smuggling and murder. 16. accustomed to : The boy is accustomed to reading till midnight. 17. acquit of : The judge acquitted him of all charges of corruption. 18. acquaint with : After returning from South Africa, Gandhi went round the country to acquaint himself with the people and their problems. 19. adapt to : We must adapt ourselves to different environments. 20. admit to : He admitted his son to a public school. 21. adhere to : Government employees must adhere to a code of conduct. 22. adjacent to : My office is adjacent to my house. 23. adjourn to : For want of quorum the committee meeting was adjourned to the next day. 24. afraid of : Children are afraid of dogs. 25. agree to : The Government agreed to the demands of the employees. 26. agree with : I agree with you that afforestation brings ecological balance. 27. agree on : All the members of the teachers’ association agreed on the need to observe punctuality. 28. ail from : The nation is ailing from disunity. 29. aim at : The hunter aimed his shot at the deer. 30. akin to : Man is akin to other animals in almost all matters. 31. argue against … with : The leaders of the opposition parties argued with the Prime Minister against revising the Constitution. 32. ashamed of : Ashamed of her failure in the examinations, a girl committed suicide.

33. ask for : He asked me for a sheet of paper. 34. aspire after : Avaricious persons aspire after more and more money. 35. associate with : Vinoba Bhave was associated with the Sarvodaya Movement. 36. attend to : I have urgent work to attend to. 37. attend on : Doctors and nurses attend on patients. 38. attentive to : Snakes are said to be attentive to music. 39. authority on : Dr.S.Radhakrishnan was an authority on Eastern philosophy. 40. authority over : In India the executive has no authority over the judiciary. 41. avail of : We must avail ourselves of every opportunity to prosper in life. 42. aware of : In a democratic country the people must be aware of their duties and responsibilities. 43. bear with : As a teacher I cannot bear with indiscipline. 44. believe in : Indians believe in superstitions. 45. beloved of : The last child is generally the most beloved of the parents. 46. benefit from : We must be benefited from the experience and example of others. 47. benefit of : There is no benefit of sending sub-standard sports team abroad. 48. bend before : We should not bend before traitors. 49. bend on : The University is bent on introducing information technology courses. 50. bend to : Weak persons bend to pressure. 51. bestow on : God bestowed his favour on me. 52. binding on : The resolutions passed by the majority of the cabinet, are binding on the entire Cabinet. 53. bless with : I am blessed with four daughters.

54. blind in : The beggar seems to be blind in both the eyes. 55. blind to : Parents generally are blind to the faults of their children. 56. blush at : The newly married couple blush at each other. 57. boast of : One should not boast of one’s own virtues. 58. boil with : Gopal boiled with anger when Ravi called him a rogue. 59. born of : Michael Faraday was born of poor parents. 60. brim with : On the eve of the examinations, the boy is brimming with confidence. 61. bristle with : An honest man’s path is always bristled with difficulties. 62. brood over : There is no use of brooding over our past misfortunes.

63. busy in : I am busy preparing notes. 64. busy with : The Principal is busy with examinations. 65. capable of : Bears are capable of climbing trees. 66. care about : Selfish rulers do not care about the welfare of toiling masses. 67. care for : Some persons do not care for breakfast. 68. careful of : The student was careful of his words in front of the Principal. 69. cash in on : Unscrupulous people try to cash in on our ignorance. 70. cause for : Although there is political instability in the country, there is no cause for panic. 71. charge against : An opposition leader leveled charges of corruption against a minister. 72. charge with : An official of the Air Force was charged with spying for a foreign country. 73. claim to : Both sons and daughters have a claim to ancestral property. 74. clash of : The clash of interests between America and Russia took the world to the brink of disaster.

75. clash with : The Border Security Force jawans clashed with some cross country smugglers. 76. climb up…down : Cats can climb up and down the trees very quickly. 77. cling to : One must cling to the truth at all times. 78. close to : Huck and Jim are close to each other. 79. Collide with : Many people died when a passenger bus collided with a transport lorry. 80. collude with : Terrorists and extremists colluded with smugglers to destroy the country. 81. combine into : Paes and Bhupati have combined into a fine doubles team in Tennis. 82. commensurate with: Wages must be commensurate with the volume of work. 83. commit to : Democracy is committed to the welfare of the people. 84.commune with : Spiritualists commune with supernatural powers. 85.compare to : Sardar Patel is compared to Bismarck of Germany. 86.compare with : Mumbai can be compared with Hollywood in some respects. 87.compensate for : The Management must compensate in cash for the loss of life or limb suffered by the workers. 88. eliminate from : Corrupt officials must be eliminated from public life.

Never, Never use for + verb + ing to express the purpose of the verb. Example: “He went to the store for buying milk and bread.”( to buy) This is wrong usage and a common mistake!