What is Preposition | Rules of Preposition | Examples

What is Preposition | Rules of Preposition | Examples


What is Preposition ?

Preposition are derived from two words Pre + position. Here Pre means before and Position means placed. Hence A preposition is a word or phrase which is placed before a Nouns and Pronoun. Preposition or prepositional phrase shows the relationship between the noun and the pronoun with some others  words in the sentence.

Forms of Preposition

There are four forms of preposition.

(i) Simple Preposition: Preposition of one words is called simple preposition. As- ‘ In, of, to, at, by, for, from, off, on, out, through, till, up, with, down.’

(ii) Compound Preposition: Preposition formed by adding a Prefix to a Noun, Adverb or Adjective is called as Compound preposition. Outward they look like one-word preposition but in fact they are compound words. As – ‘About, above, across, along, amidst, among, amongst, around, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, inside, outside, underneath, within, without.’

(iii) Phrase Preposition: Some phrases also serve as Single preposition. As – ‘According to – in the consequence of’,

‘Agreeably to – in course of’, ‘along with – in favour of’, ‘away from – in front of’, ‘because of – in lieu of’, ‘by dint of  – in order to’, ‘by means of – in place  of’, ‘by reason of – in reference to’, ‘by virtue of – in regard to’, ‘by way of – in spite of’, ‘conformably to – instead of’, ‘for the shake of – in the event of’, ‘in accordance with – in account of’, ‘in addition to – owning to’, ‘in (on) behalf of – with a view to’, ‘in case of – with an eye to’, ‘in comparison to – with reference to’ , ‘in compliance with – regard to’.

(iv)  Participle Preposition : Some present participle are also used as preposition as – ‘Concerning, considering, barring, during, notwithstanding, pending, regarding, respecting, touching’.

Use of Preposition 

Generally Preposition are used before their objects ( Table, Office, tea, Delhi ). For Example

(i) The book is on the table.

(ii) He is in his office.

(iii) She comes from Delhi.

In the above sentences in, on, from are prepositions. A preposition may have two or more than two objects. The preposition will be used before the first of all these objects. For Example

(i) The cattle graze in valleys and pastures.

(ii) She is very fond of grapes, apples and oranges.

Rule 1: Preposition is used after the Object

(A)  When the object is Relative Pronoun ” that’ , Then the preposition is placed at the end of the sentence. For Example

(i) This is the book that you asked for.

(ii) That is the car that you traveled by.

(iii) I know the men that you are talking to.

(B) Also when the object is some understood (hidden)  Relative Pronoun.The preposition is placed at the end of the sentence. For Example

(i) That is the men (whom) I was talking of.

(ii) There is the book (that) you are looking for.

(C) When the object is an Interrogative Pronoun ( Who / Whom / Which / what ).The preposition is placed at the end of the sentence. For Example

(i) What are you looking at. ?

(ii) Whom are you going with ?

(iii) Which of these houses do you live in. ?

(D) Sometimes for the shake of the emphasis the object is placed at the beginning of the sentence. In that case the preposition is also placed at the end of the sentence. For Example

(i) Him I deployed on.

(ii) This I insist on.

(iii) That you must speak out.

(E) In the Passive Voice also the preposition is also placed at the end of the sentence. For Example

(i) He can be relied upon.

(ii) Was the proposal agreed to.  ?

Rule 2: Omission of Preposition

In some situation, the preposition is not used, there either is not required, or it is omitted.

(A) No preposition is used before the transitive verb. For Example

(i) I shall meet you again. ( ‘Meet with you’ is wrong )

(ii) They caught the thief. ( ‘caught to the thief’ is wrong )

(iii) I read a book. ( ‘read of a book’ is wrong )

(iv) We have done our work. ( ‘have done of our work’ is wrong)

(B) Before expression of Place and Time, No preposition (for, from, in on ) is used. For Example

(i) I came here last week. ( ‘In  last week ‘ is wrong)

(ii) I am going abroad. ( going for abroad is wrong )

(iii) Please wait a minute. ( ‘wait for a minute’ is wrong )

(iv) She is waiting outside. ( waiting on outside is wrong )

(C) When some expression of time ( such as morning, evening, day, night, month, year, etc. ) have some qualifying words such as this, that, next, every, last, all used before them, no preposition is used. For Example

(i) He went this morning

(ii) He met me last evening.

(iii) He is coming again next week.

Note: but if these expressions of time having no qualifying words before them, Then the no preposition is used. For Example

(i) He went in the morning.

(ii) He met me in the evening.

(D)  No preposition is used before Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.  For Example

(i) Please come tomorrow.

(ii) He is returning today. ( not ‘ on today’)

(E) No preposition is used before Home. For Example

(i) I am going home.

(ii) I go home every Sunday.

Note: But If there is a possessive adjective before home, or if home is used in the sense of house, we use appropriate preposition before it.

(F)  If two verbs are used in the sentence and both the verbs have to take  different preposition, we must use appropriate preposition for each verb separately. For Example

(i) I have been thinking about and waiting for you since morning.

(ii) He has been looking for and enquiring after you for a long time.

(G) There are some verbs which take no preposition after them. These include ‘ Attack, await, accompany, assist, request, investigate, inform, obey, comprise, order, rich, resemble, resist, violate, “. It is wrong to use any preposition after the above noted words, but this error is often committed. For Example

(i) America attacked on Iraq. ( no ‘on’)

(ii) I await for your instruction. ( no ‘for’)

(ii) I shall assist to you ( no ‘to’ )

Some Typical Preposition 

In /  Into

In is used to show the position of rest of the thing within another thing, while shows a thing in motion, something moving inside something else. In = Position of rest, Into = Position of motion. For Example

(i) The table is in the room.

(ii) There is a tiger in the cage.

(iii) The bell fell into the  wall.

(iv) The tiger moves into the cave.

In / Within

‘In’ expresses the time range – up to the last point / moment of the given period, while within expresses the limit before the last moment of the given period. For Example

(i) He will return in (at the close of ) a week ‘s time.

(ii) He  will return within ( in less than / before the close of ) a week’s time.

In / At

In points to a large area of time or place, while at refers to a small area or fixed point of time and place. Therefore, we use ‘ in ‘ for countries, states biggers cities and ‘at’ for villeges and towns.Similarly, We use ‘in’ for large range of time, and ‘at’ for a fixed point of time. For Example

(i) he lives at Agra.

(ii) He lives in Bombay.

(iii) He lives in Utter Pradesh.

Note: The is one difference between ‘in’ and ‘at’. At refers to a stationery position, while in refers to a state of motion. For Example

(i) The train is in motion.

(ii) He is at home.

(iii) The work is in progress.

On / Upon

‘On’ refers to a state of rest or stationery position, while upon refers to a state of motion. For Example

(i) He jumped upon the table.

(ii) The book is on the table.

With / By

‘With’is used for instruments (lifeless), while ‘By’is used for living person or Agent. For Example

(i) The letter was written with a ball-pen.

(ii) The letter was written by Ram.

(iii) The branch of a tree was cut with an axe.

Between / Among

Between is used for two person, things or ideas, while among is used for more than two. For Example.

(i) Divide this property between two brothers.

(ii) There is a passage between two lanes.

(iii) He passed the night among the aliens.

Till / To

‘Till’ is  used for time, and ‘to’ is used for place. For Example

(i) He worked till 8 O’clock.

(ii) He came to the outer gate.

Since / From

‘Since’ is used before a noun or a phrase to show a certain point of time. It is used in Perfect tense only. ‘ From ‘  is  also used to show a point of time but it is used in non-perfect tense. Remember that both since and from show only a point of time, not a period of time. We can since Friday, or since 1995,or since today, but we can not say since four days or from a week. For Example

(i) I have been living in Canada Since 1990.

(ii) I studied english from the age of six.

Note: for a period of time we use ‘for’. For Example

(i) I worked in this office for six months.

(ii) I have been living in Canada for five years.

Beside / Besides

‘Beside’ mean by the side of, while ‘besides’ means in addition to. For Example

(i) He came and stood beside me.

(ii) He has a scooter besides a car.

Among / Amongst

Both these words have almost the same meaning and usage, but among is more popularly used. But there is one difference in the usage.   ‘Amongst’ must be used in those sentences in which the word coming  after it begins with a Vowel. For Example

(i) He is very popular amongst us.

(ii) He is very popular among the students.

On / At

Both these can show a time. But ‘On’ is used for a fixed date, or day. While ‘At; is used for hours. For Example

(i) I shall come on Sunday.

(ii) I shall come at 5 p.m.

For / During 

Both these show period of time, but the difference between them is that ‘for’ is used for an indefinite period, while ‘during’ is used for a definite period. For Example

(i) He has gone for a long time.

(ii) He is on leave for a month.

(iii) He will stay with me during June.

Of / Off

‘Of’ is a preposition of joining, while ‘off’ is a preposition of separation. For Example

(i) He is off duty today.

(ii) He jumped off the roof.

(iii) A member of the family, page of a book, student of a college, one of many etc.

Download Rules of Preposition In English Grammar With Examples PDF

Candidates can download rules of preposition In English grammar with examples pdf file by clicking on below link.

Rules of preposition In English Grammer

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