Why are prepo­si­tions important?

Unfor­tu­nately, most of our early encoun­ters with a writ­ten form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion is via Instant Mes­sag­ing or SMS ser­vices. These modes of com­mu­ni­ca­tion are essen­tially one to one form of online com­mu­ni­ca­tion. These forms of online com­mu­ni­ca­tions are pri­mar­ily per­sonal in nature. Offi­cial com­mu­ni­ca­tion calls for proper chan­nels of com­mu­ni­ca­tion fol­low­ing the rules of gram­mar. To achieve proper gram­mar, one has to iden­tify the basic parts of speech. Prepo­si­tions are one of the eight parts of speech.

What is a preposition?

Prepo­si­tions are link­ers. They link groups of words. Nouns, pro­nouns and phrases to other parts in a sen­tence. Prepo­si­tions indi­cate the rela­tion between things in a sen­tence. A prepo­si­tion locates a noun and links it to the other part of the sen­tence. Sim­ply put, prepo­si­tion is a part of speech which intro­duces a prepo­si­tional phrase.

Let’s exam­ine some exam­ples:-

1) The cat sleeps on the sofa.

Here on is the prepo­si­tion and it intro­duces the prepo­si­tional phrase “the sofa”.

2) We drove to the store.

Here to is the prepo­si­tion and it intro­duces the prepo­si­tional phrase “the store”

Golden Rule:

Prepo­si­tion can only be fol­lowed by a noun or a sen­tence depend­ing upon the proposition.

Par­ti­cle and Prepositions

Prepo­si­tions do not alter the mean­ing of the verbs pre­ced­ing them. Par­ti­cles are phrasal verbs i.e. they are a part of the phrase.

Jack ran up the bill.

In this exam­ple, ran up is a phrase. Hence here up is a par­ti­cle.

Jack ran up the hill.

Here, up is used as a preposition.

Con­fus­ing Prepositions

Let’s exam­ine some of the con­fus­ing prepo­si­tions.

1) At/On/In

At prepo­si­tion is used to men­tion a par­tic­u­lar time. E.g. At mid­night.

On prepo­si­tion is used for cer­tain dates and days .E.g. On his anniver­sary.

In prepo­si­tion is used for period of time. E.g. In an year.

2) For/While/During/Since

For prepo­si­tion is used to express a period of time. E.g. I have been on this case for two years now.

While prepo­si­tion is used when more than one action is involved. E.g. The thief sneaked into their houses while they were holidaying.

Dur­ing prepo­si­tion is used to indi­cate the dura­tion of the action. E.g. He learnt gui­tar dur­ing his sum­mer vacation.

Since prepo­si­tion is used with a spe­cific date or time. E.g. They have been liv­ing here since 1990.

Some Com­mon Prepo­si­tions

  • aboard
  • about
  • above
  • across
  • after
  • against
  • along
  • amid
  • among
  • anti
  • around
  • as
  • at
  • before
  • behind
  • below
  • beneath
  • beside
  • besides
  • between
  • beyond
  • but
  • by
  • con­cern­ing
  • con­sid­er­ing
  • despite
  • down
  • dur­ing
  • except
  • except­ing
  • exclud­ing
  • fol­low­ing
  • for
  • from
  • in
  • inside
  • into
  • like
  • minus
  • near
  • of
  • off
  • on
  • onto
  • oppo­site
  • out­side
  • over
  • past
  • per
  • plus
  • regard­ing
  • round
  • save
  • since
  • than
  • through
  • to
  • toward
  • towards
  • under
  • under­neath
  • unlike
  • until
  • up
  • upon
  • ver­sus
  • via
  • with
  • within

• without

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