Prepositions

Prepositions are one of the grammar rules that are hard to understand and grasp. A preposition is a word that helps explain the time, space or logical relationship in a sentence. It helps bring two parts of a sentence in order for it to make sense. A preposition is always placed in front of a noun or pronoun. They are the words that start a prepositional phase. It begins with the first preposition in the sentence and it ends with the object or noun of the phrase or sentence.

Essentially there are no specific rules to prepositions and when to use them but there are some guidelines when using them. You want to make sure you use the correct preposition in order for it to make sense and for your sentence to flow correctly. Always remember that a noun follows the preposition, only in certain cases may a sentence end with a preposition. Prepositions are more of a matter of memorizing when to use them and in what context.

The following chart shows some examples of each.

Prepositions- Time

Preposition Usage Examples
On
  • What day
  • On Friday, we are going to the movies.
In
  • Months
  • Seasons
  • Time of Day
  • Year
  • We are going to Hawaii in August.
  • It gets really cold in December.
  • In 2018, I will travel to Brazil.
At
  • For night
  • For Weekend
  • For a certain point of time
  • I’m going to sleep at half past 11 pm.
  • We’re going to study at night.
  • We were at the weekend get together with our friends.
Since
  • From a certain point of time
  • I have been waiting for my dad since the afternoon.
For
  • Over a certain point of time
  • I have been waiting for four years for this movie to come out.
Ago
  • Certain time in the past
  • Three years ago I went to Mexico with my friends.
Before
  • Earlier than a certain time
  • I like waking up before seven so I can cook a healthy breakfast.
To
  • Telling the time
  • I have class from 11 am to 1 pm.
Past
  • Telling the time
  • Call me halfway past 5 so we can speak into detail.
to/till/until
  • Marking beginning and end of a period of time
  • The store is open until 10 pm.
  • I have to stay with my grandma till 4 pm.
by
  • In a sense of at the latest
  • Up to a certain point
  • I have to finish all of my homework by seven pm in order to relax.

Prepositions- Place (Position and Direction)

Preposition Usage Examples
In
  • Places (such as rooms, buildings, countries)
  • Things (such as books, cars,
  • The groceries should be in the building.
  • I found this quote in the book.
At
  • Meaning next to or by an object
  • Pick up the shoes that are at the door.
On
  • Attached
  • The picture on the wall looks really nice with the rest of the decor.
By, Next to, Beside
  • Left or right of something or somebody
  • She was standing by your brother trying to get by.
Under
  • On the ground or lower
  • I left my purse under the table.
Below
  • Lower than something else
  • The handouts are below the folders of homework.
Over
  • Covered by something else
  • Meaning more than
  • Jack put on a buttoned up shirt over his undershirt.
  • Only people over 21 are allowed at the club down the street.
Above
  • Higher than something else
  • The fireworks above us are so beautiful.
Across
  • Getting to the other side
  • I have to get across the bridge to reach my destination
To
  • Movement to a place
  • We are going to the theater after dinner.
Into
  • Entering a place
  • Go into the kitchen and grab me some cups
Towards
  • Movement in the direction of something
  • Move towards the green car
Onto
  • Movement to the top of something
  • Can you move the cups and plates onto the table?
From
  • In the sense of where from
  • I picked some flowers from the garden.
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