English Knowledge - SPLessons


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SPLessons 5 Steps, 3 Clicks
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shape Introduction

A Preposition is a word that is placed before a noun or a pronoun to show the relation between the nearby words in a sentence.
In the following examples, the highlighted word shows the relation between the mouse and the box.
  1. The mouse is in the box.
  2. The mouse is behind the box.
  3. The mouse in under the box.
  4. The mouse is in front of the box.
  5. The mouse is over the box.
  6. The mouse is on the box.
  7. The mouse is next to the box.

Different categories of Preposition
Prepositions can be divided into two categories. (i) Based on their use in sentence (ii) Based on the construction of prepositions themselves.

Based on their use in sentence:
There are six types of prepositions which are based upon their sentence usage. They are:
  1. Prepositions of time
  2. Prepositions of place
  3. Prepositions of direction
  4. Prepositions of agent
  5. Prepositions of instruments

The prepositions used to refer time in many features are prepositions of time. Example: at, on, in.
Prepositions Time reference
IN In April, in 2017, in evening, in the 5th week of April, in spring, in the 21st century
ON On Sunday, on 21st November, on Gandhi Jayanti,
AT At 3 O’ clock, at sunrise, at the moment.
The prepositions used to refer some place are prepositions of place. Example: on, at, in.
Prepositions Place
IN In hall, in dining room, in the box, in the library, in Africa.
ON On the table, on the box, on the wall, on the map, on the roof.
AT At the bus stop, at the entrance, at the bottom of the glass.
Words which express the direction of something are prepositions of direction. Example: towards, downstairs, through, into.
  1. The baby crawled through the hallway straight into the kitchen.
  2. The boy saw the tiger coming towards him.
  3. The flower vase is kept downstairs.
  4. The children jumped into the river.
Prepositions used to define a casual relationship between the doer and the action is prepositions of agent. Example: by, with
  1. A nice song was sung by the school choir.
  2. The jug is filled with juice.
Prepositions used for joining other words to nouns in the sentence are prepositions of device. Example: on, by, with the help of.
  1. He went to the office bybus.
  2. She broke the bricks with a punch.
Based on the construction of Preposition them selves: Sometimes prepositions are also divided on the basis of their own construction. They are:
  1. Simple prepositions
  2. Compound prepositions
  3. Phrase prepositions
  4. Participle prepositions
  5. Double prepositions
  6. Prepositions and adverb

Simple prepositions are used in simple sentences. For example:
  1. Radha sat on the bed.
  2. He fell off the ladder.
  3. The dog was hiding under the table.
Prepositions which are used to join two nouns, pronouns or phrases are called compound prepositions. For example: about, among, before, beside, inside, between, behind, around, beneath.
  1. The river was flowing between the mountains.
  2. The book was kept beside the telephone on the table.
  3. The enquired about the admission criteria in the college.
Prepositions indicating the relationships among various elements in the sentence are phrase prepositions. Example: because of, in reference to, instead of.
  1. She is crying because of her brother.
  2. I am giving this information on behalf of the teachers.
  3. Rohit works hard in order to get good marks.
Some more prepositional phrases are given below.

Participle Preposition: Preposition acting like a participle are participle preposition. Example: concerning, withstanding, pending, during, assuming, considering.
  1. I get sick during the winter season.
  2. His holiday homework is still pending.
  3. Assuming the professor to be absent, the students left the class.
Double Prepositions: Words having two prepositions are double preposition. Example: into, outside of, onto, from behind, from beneath.
  1. Suddenly he emerged from beneath the bed.
  2. The shadow appeared from behind the curtain.
  3. Solve two out of the four questions.
Prepositions and Adverbs: There are some prepositions which can be used as adverbs too. If the word is being used as a preposition, then it will have a noun or a pronoun as its subject. An adverb does not have any subject. Following are some illustrated examples.
  1. He sat in the armchair. (In is the preposition and armchair is the subject) Please come in. (In is used as an adverb and there is no subject)
  2. He stood before his parent. (Before is the preposition and parents are the object) I have never seen him before. (Before is the adverb and there is no subject)
  3. He will return after a month. (after is the preposition and month is the object) He came soon after. (After is the adverb and there is no subject)

The most Common Prepositions:
Letter Prepositions
A about, above, across, after, against, along, among, around, at
B before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, but, by
C concerning
D despite, down, during
E except
F for, from
I in, inside, into
L like
O of, off, on, onto, out, outside, over
P past
S since
T through, throughout, toward, to
U under, until, up, upon, underneath
W with, within, without

shape Rules

Grammar Rules While Using Prepositions: Rule 1. A preposition does not have to come before its noun or pronoun. One of the never dying rules of English grammar is that a sentence can never end with a preposition. This is wrong. A sentence can end with a preposition if the meaning of the sentence is clear.
  1. That is something I will never agree with.
  2. How many of you can he depend on?
Rule 2A. The preposition “like” means ‘similar to’ or ‘similarly’. It should be followed by an object of the noun, pronoun or noun phrase. But it should not be followed by subject and verb. (When a verb is involved, avoid using like) Correct- She looks like her mother. (Meaning she looks similar to her. Mother is the object, like is the preposition) Incorrect- She looks like her mother does. (Avoid using like with noun and verb)
Rule 2B. Use as, as if, as though, or the way instead of like when comparing a subject and a verb. You look the way your father does Do like your teacher asked. Do as your teacher asked. They are considered to be like any other Hindi words. I, as most people do, try to use good grammar.
Rule 3. Avoid using preposition ‘of’ in place of the word ‘have’, which is a helping verb. Example- We should have done it.
Rule 4. It is better to use ‘different’ after preposition ‘from’. Many experts avoid using different than. For example- You’re different than I am. But the better sentence is, You’re different from me.
Rule 5. Use ‘into’ rather than ‘in’ to express motion toward something. Use ‘in’ to tell the location. For example- I swam in the pool. I walked into the house. I dived into the water.

shape Tips

Tips for Using Prepositions
  1. It is alright to end a sentence with a preposition.
  2. A noun always comes after preposition.
  3. A verb never comes after a preposition.
  4. It is alright to begin a sentence with a prepositional phrase, or a preposition, but be careful when you do so.
  5. A prepositional phrase will always begin with a preposition but will always end with an object of the preposition, i.e. a noun or a pronoun.
  6. The subject will never be considered a part of the prepositional phrase.
  7. A verb too cannot be a part of prepositional phrase.