English grammar basics: The prepositions (with examples)
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In English, a preposition is a short word that shows the relationship of a noun/pronoun with another word in the sentence. They are always found in prepositional sentences and are usually located before the name or pronoun.
A preposition is used to give a spatial or temporal indication, a position or a logical link between two things:
- I’m going to the office.
- He’s at the bar.
- My pen is on the table.
- We meet in an hour.
- I saw a beautiful movie painting by Spielberg.
- I’m from Canada.
- The letter is under your book.
- She will be back in a few days.
- I’m leaving on friday.
- The book belongs to me.
- The bear was killed by the hunter.
- Tina is the girl in the blue dress.
- The cat is near the window.
Here are some common prepositions in English:
above, about, across, against, along, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, by, down, during, except, for, from, in, inside, into, like, near, of, off, on, since, to, toward, through, under, underneath, until, up, upon, with, within….
Prepositions are always used after specific nouns, adjectives and verbs and can change their meaning:
Nouns + preposition:
- concern for…
- interest in…
- love of…
- success in…
Adjective + preposition:
- afraid of…
- happy about…
- jealous of…
- made of…
- familiar with…
Verb + preposition
- give up…
- talk about…
- find out…
- grow up…
- belong to…
A combination of verb+preposition is called a “verbal phrasal”. The word that is attached to the verb is then called a particle. The phrasal verbs are very important to know because with different prepositions (or particles) you can then form many different words: look up, look out, look down…
⚠️ When prepositions are not necessary:
Sometimes, we may think that we should use a preposition in a sentence when it is not necessary:
- Where is your house
- Where did they go
- She wouldn’t let the dog inside
of/ inthe house.
- He threw the TV out
⚠️ Avoid repeating prepositions:
When two words or sentences are used in parallel and require the same preposition, it is not necessary to use it twice in a row to avoid repeating it:
- You can wear that dress in summer and
- Tina is making a chocolate cake with whipped cream and