English grammar basics: The prepositions (with examples)

English grammar basics: The prepositions (with examples)




Feel free to leave a comment if you find any errors or if you have any suggestions to make to improve this lesson.

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 at ?
  • Where did they go to ?
  • She wouldn’t let the dog inside of / in the house. 
  • He threw the TV out of the window.

⚠️ 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 in winter.
  • Tina is making a chocolate cake with whipped cream and with strawberries.



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