A preposition is a word which shows the relations between a noun or a pronoun and some other word in a sentence. It is placed before the noun or the pronoun( or any other word acting like a noun )
Prepositions of time
A number of prepositions may be used to denote time:on Monday, before night, during the night, till tomorrow, after lunch.
- At, on, in
(a) At usually denotes a definite point of time but can also be used for indefinite periods:
at 3 o'clock, at midnight
(b) On is used with days and dates:
on Monday, on 5th December
(c) In is used with parts of the day, month, year, season:
in the morning, in winter
It denotes the latest time at which an action will be over:
The show will be over by 6 p.m.
It denotes the starting point of an action. It is almost always used with to or till/until:
The examination will be held from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Prepositions of position
- At, in
(a) At has the idea of an exact point; it is used with villages, small towns. In has idea of a larger area and is used while speaking of bigger towns, states, countries:
at Thamel, in Kathmandu, at Dhanusha, in England
(b) At conveys the idea of general neighborhood; in conveys the idea of something contained:
Please sit at the table when you eat.
I shall meet you at Hotel Hyatt.
The jam bottle is in the refrigerator.
- Between, among
Between is used with two persons or things, among is used with more than two:
A small table was lying between the two chairs.
The hare hid among the bushes.
- On, upon
Both on and upon can be used while speaking of things at rest; upon is used with things in motion:
My bag is on/upon the table.
- Above, over
Both above and over mean higher than:
The flags waved over our heads.
The flags waved above our heads.
- Below, under
Both below and under mean lower than. Sometimes we can use either of them. But under also means vertically below.
The traveller was resting under a tree.
She put the book under her pillow.
There was a beautifullake below us in the valley.
Prepositions of direction towards: to, toward, into, at, for, against
- To has the sense of destination, towards of direction:
We went to the school. (reached the school)
We went towards the school. ( in the direction of the school)
- Into denotes movement towards the interior of something:
The dog jumped into the pond.
- At has the idea of hitting:
She threw the stone at the dog.
- For suggests the beginning of a movement:
The workers left for the factory.
- Against shows pressure or contact:
He threw the bag against the wall.
Prepositions of direction from: from, off, out of
- From is used with the point of departure:
She has already gone from the office.
- Off shows separation. It is used in the sense of from the surface of, down from:
He fell off the cycle.
- Out of is the opposite of into. It means from the interior of:
The bird flew out of the cage.
Correct use of certain prepositions
- By, with
By is used to express the agent or doer of an action; with relates to the instrument with which the action is done:
The leopard was beaten by the villagers with a stick.
- After, in
After is used to denote some period of time in the past; in is used to show some period of time in the future:
She came back home after an hour.
We will come back home in an hour.
- Beside, besides
Beside means by the side of; besides means in addition to:
Please put this bag beside the box.
Besides giving me books, she gave me her notes.
- On time, in time
On time = at the arranged time; not before, not after
In time = not late, with a comfortable margin:
We reached the station in time for the train.
The train started on time.
Prepositions used in idioms and phrases:
not at all: not in any way
at any rate: whatever happens
at this point: at this place; at this moment
at rest: not moving
in addition to: as well as
in advance: before
in tune: at the correct pitch
in a minute: soon
on account of: because of
on the average: usually; normally
on fire: burning
on time: at the correct time
by heart: from memory
by oneself: alone
by the way: incidentally
little by little: gradually
for fun: for the sake of enjoyment
for sure: definitely
for sale: intended to be sold
for now: temporarily
out of the blue: unexpectedly
out of danger: safe
out of trouble: not in trouble
out of hand: not under control