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Prepositions are a class of words that
indicate relationships between nouns,
pronouns and other words in a sentence.
Most often they come before a noun.
The good news is that they never change
their form, regardless of the case, gender
etc. of the word they are referring to.
Prepositions are classified
as simple or compound.
 Simple prepositions are single word prepositions -
across, after, at, before, between, by, during, from, in,
into, of, on, to, under, with and without are all single
word prepositions.
 For example:-
 The book is on the table.
 Is there something under your chair?
 Compound prepositions are more than one word - in
between and because of - are prepositions made up of
two words - in front of, on behalf of - are prepositions
made up of three words.
 For example:-
 The book is in between War and Peace and The Lord of the
 Who is the person in front of you?
Prepositions are used to show movement to
or from a place. (e.g. to, through, across)

We use to to show movement with the aim
of a specific destination.
 For example:-
I moved to Germany in 1998.
He's gone to the shops.
Where will you go to after class?
We use through to show movement from
one side of an enclosed space to the
 For example:
The limousine went through the tunnel.
Where will the passengers pass through to check
their luggage?

We use across to show movement from one
side of a surface or line to another.
 For example:
She swam across the river.
What subdivision is across the UCP?

 More prepositions of movement…
She ran...
across the road. (from one side to the other)
along the road. (The length of the road.)
around the playground.
away from the policeman.
back to the shop.
down the hill.
into the room.
off the stage.
onto (on to) the platform.
out of the theatre.
the bridge. (from one side of an open space to
the other)
past the opening.
round the track.
through the tunnel.
to the door.
towards the bus stop.
under the shelter.
up the hill.
At and in can also be used as prepositions of
movement, but they're used to show the
purpose of the movement.
 For example:
I threw the paper in the bin.
Let's have dinner at my place.

When used after some verbs, the
preposition at also shows the target of an
 The bowler was sent off for throwing the
ball at the umpire, instead of to the batsman.
 Prepositions can be used to show where something is
 The prepositions at, on, and in
 We use at to show a specific place or position.
 For example:
Someone is at the door.
They are waiting at the bus stop.
I used to live at 51 Portland Street.
Where you at?
 We use on to show position on a horizontal or vertical
 For example:
The cat sat on the mat.
The satellite dish is on the roof.
Is my laptop on the table or on the rack?
We also use on to show position on streets, roads,
 For example:
I used to live on Portland Street.
We use in to show that something is enclosed or
 For example:
The dog is in the garden.
Put your tools in the box.

We also use in to show position within land-areas
(towns, counties, states, countries, and continents).
 For example:
I used to live in Nottingham.
Prepositions of Place


She slammed the door after her.
They ran after the thief.
I enjoy being among my friends.
I found my handbag among my luggage.

The secretary was sitting at her desk.
The man was standing at the taxi stand.

The car park is behind the building.
He never won a race, he was always behind the others.

The prisoner sat between the two policemen.
I held the pen between
my thumb and

The pen was in the drawer.
He lives in South Africa.
in front of

The teacher stands in front of the class.
The car was parked in front of the garage.
next to / beside / by

In my English lesson I always sit
next to/
my friend.
The bank is
next to/
the hotel.

The painting was hanging on the wall.
The boy was sitting on the chair.

The sign hanging over/above
the door read 'No
I put the tablecoth over the table.
I enjoy watching the planes fly above me.
under / below

The temperature outside was
The woman was sheltering under a tree.
When flying I enjoy watching the clouds below me.
First the good news:There are only three articles in
English: a, an and the.
There are two types of articles indefinite 'a' and
'an' or definite 'the'. You also need to know when
not to use an article.
The bad news is that their proper use is complex,
especially when you get into the advanced use of
English. Quite often you have to work it out by
what sounds right, which can be frustrating for a
 A and an are the indefinite articles. They refer to
something not specifically known to the person you are
communicating with.
 A and an are used before nouns that introduce something
or someone you have not mentioned before
 For example
 "I saw an elephant this morning."
"I ate a banana for lunch."
 A and an are also used when talking about your
 For example
 "I am an English teacher."
"I am a builder."
 You use a when the noun you are referring to begins with
a consonant (b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w,
x, y or z), for example, "a city", "a factory", and "a hotel".

 You use an when the noun you are referring to begins with
a vowel (a, e, i, o, u)

 Pronunciation changes this rule. It's the sound that
matters, not the spelling.

***Note! In some cases, nouns or adjectives, although
starting with a consonant letter, use “an” if the initial
syllable takes a vowel sound (e.g. “an hour”). Similarly,
nouns or adjectives, use “a” if the initial syllable sounds
like a consonant even if they begin with a vowel (e.g. “a
We say "university" with a "y" sound at the
beginning as though it were spelt
So, "a university" IS correct.

We say "hour" with a silent h as though it
were spelt "our".
So, "an hour" IS correct.
There are two ways to pronounce "the".
One "thuh" and the other "thee". To learn how to
pronounce them see the pronunciation files: How
to pronounce "the".
We use the when you have already mentioned the
thing you are talking about.
 For example:
 "She's got two children; a girl and a boy. The girl's eight
and the boy's fourteen."We use the to talk about geographical
points on the globe.
 For example:
 the North Pole, the equator
We use the to talk about rivers, oceans and seas.
 For example:
 the Nile, the Pacific, the English channel.
We also use the before certain nouns when we
know there is only one of a particular thing.
 For example:
 the rain, the sun, the wind, the world, the earth, the White House
However if you want to describe a particular
instance of these you should use a/an.
 For example:
 "I could hear the wind." / "There's a cold wind blowing."
 "What are your plans for the future?" / "She has a promising future
ahead of her."
The is also used to say that a particular person or
thing being mentioned is the best, most famous,
etc. In this use, 'the' is usually given strong
pronunciation whether or not it precedes a vowel:
 For example:
"Harry's Bar is the place to go."
"You don't mean you met the Tony Blair, do you?"
!Note - The doesn't mean all:-
 For example:
"The books are expensive." = (Not all books are
expensive, just the ones I'm talking about.)
"Books are expensive." = (All books are expensive.)
 We usually use no article to talk about things in general:
 Inflation is rising.
 People are worried about rising crime. (Note! People generally, so no
 You do not use an article when talking about sports.
 For example:
 My son plays football.
 Tennis is expensive.
 You do not use an article before uncountable nouns when
talking about them generally.
 For example:
 Information is important to any organization.
 Coffee is bad for you.
 You do not use an article before the names of
countries except where they indicate multiple areas or
contain the words (state(s), kindom, republic, union).
Kingdom, state, republic and union are nouns, so they need
an article.

 For example:
 No article - Italy, Mexico, Bolivia, England

 Use the - the UK (United Kingdom), the USA
(United States of America), the Irish Republic
 Multiple areas! the Netherlands, the Philippines, the British
 You can spend your life writing or speaking short
sentences, but (and that's a conjunction) if you want your
English to flow a bit more naturally you need to learn how
to join sentences together and (another conjunction) you
need some linking words to do this.
 Basically a conjunction connects two words, sentences or
clauses together:
 although, and, because, but, if, or, so, unless, when,
while ...
 There are two types of conjunction: coordinating
conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions.
 You can also use conjunctions in pairs, these are called
 A coordinating conjunction, also called a coordinator, links
parts of a sentence. This could be two independent (main)
clauses, two noun phrases, adjectives, adverbials etc of
equal importance.
 They include: for, and, nor, but, or, yet and so,
 There's a mnemonic for remembering them: FANBOYS.
 For example:-
It was cold. I wore a coat.
 Both sentences are valid on their own, but they can be
written so that they're obviously linked; "It was cold, so I wore
a coat."
The three most used coordinating
conjunctions are and, or, and but.
The coordinating conjunction and usually
expresses addition or combination.
 For example:-
I attended the meeting. + My friend attended the
meeting. = My friend and I attended the meeting.
The coordinating conjunction but expresses a
We were tired. + We were happy. = We were
tired but happy.
The coordinating conjunction or expresses
 For example:-
Would you like tea? + Would you like coffee? = Would
you like tea or coffee?
There are two negative coordinating
conjunctions: neither and nor.
 For example:-
She spoke neither German nor French. ("nor" must
always be part of the "neither ... nor" construction).
!Note - nor, for, and so can only
join independent clauses.
A subordinating conjunction, also called a
subordinator, joins a dependent / subordinate
clause to a main verb. They are used to show any
relationship between them and they turn the clause
into something that is dependant on the rest of the
sentence for its meaning.

 For example:-
Because it was snowing ... makes no sense on its own.
We went skiing, because it was snowing. Aha!

Subordinating conjunctions include: after,
although, because, before, if, in case, so that,
therefore, unless, when, while ...
 For example:
Before you came here, you thought you
understood English grammar.
We left the party when the police arrived.

!Note - The subordinate clause sometimes
comes at the beginning of a sentence.
Some conjunctions are used in pairs, they are
called correlative conjunctions. They are used to
show the relationship between ideas expressed in
different parts of a sentence.
Most are coordinating correlatives including:
 both ... and
either ... or
neither ... nor
not only ... but also
 For example:-
 He was not only a scoundrel, but also a cruel man.
We use either…or together when we want to
link two positives:-
 For example:-
Either the president or the vice-president will go to the
conference. (The president will go to the conference, or
the vice-president will go, not both of them though.)
We use neither…nor together when we want
to link two negative ideas:-
 For example:-
Neither the president nor the vice-president were able
to solve the problem. (The president couldn't solve the
problem and the vice-president couldn't solve it either.)
Some are subordinating correlatives.
 if ... then
less ... than
more ... than
so ... that
For example:-
She was so hungry that she could have
eaten a horse.

 Special credits to