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A preposition is followed by a noun . it is never followed by a verb.

If we want to follow a preposition


by a verb, we must use the .. ing form which is really a gerund or verb in noun.
Rules:
1. When object of the preposition is an interrogative Pronoun;What ,Who, Whom, Which,Where
etc., the preposition take end or front position:
(a) W hat are you thinking of?
(b) Who were you talking to?
It is used to be thought ungrammatical to end a sentence with a preposition;but now it is accepted.
2. when object of the preposition is Relative pronoun that the preposition takes end position:
(a) Here is the magazine that you asked for.
(b) This is the dish that she is fond of.
3. When object of the preposition is infinitive(to+verb), the preposition is placed after infinitve:
(a) This is good hotel to stay at.
(b) I need pencil to write with.
4. In some sentences ,Relative pronoun is Hidden.
(a) This is the house(where) I lived in.
(b) This is the girl(that) I told you of.
Some important prepositions
1. At/In/On
These are very commonly used prepositions.
Note:
(i)
AT is used when a PRECISE TME is to be denoted.
(ii)
IN is used for the MONTHS,YEARS,CENTURIES and LONG PERIODS
(iii)
ON is used for DAYS and DATES
(a) I have a meeting at 10 am.
(b) That shop closes at midnight
(c) Richa went home at lunchtime.
(d) Where will you be on independence Day?
(e) Do you work on Sundays?
(f) Her birthday is on 26 Apirl.
Important: We should not use; at, in, on, with; last, next, every.
(a) I went to Mexico last May. (not in last May)
(b) Hes coming back next Sunday.(not on next Sunday)
NOTE:
The use of these prepositions in reference of Place:
(i)
(ii)
(iii)

AT is used for a POINT


IN is used for an ENCLOSED SPACE.
ON is used for a SURFACE.
(a) Rima is waiting for you at the bus stop.
(b) The shop is at the end of the lane.

(c)
(d)
(e)
(f)
(g)
(h)
(i)
(j)

Do you work in a company?


I have a meeting in Delhi?
Do you live in India?
Saturn is in the solar system.
The authors name is on the cover of the book.
There are no prices on this menu.
You are standing on my foot.
There was a No smoking sign on the wall.

Please note that these three prepositions are most commonly used, in writing and speeking , so the
students must learn the use of these prepositions well.
2. At/In/To/Into:
A. At shows stationary position ,In shows movement.
(a) She is at home.
(b) The train is in motion.
B. At is used for small place, town, etc. while In for big place, town, etc.
(a) He lives at Alwar in Rajasthan.
(b) A temple is situated at Madurai in Chennai.
C. At is used for point of time and In is used for the period of time.
(a) The train will arrive at six in the morning.
(b) He will meet you in the morning.
D. In/ Into: In shows existing state of things while into shows movements.
(a) He jumped into the river.
(b) There are three students in the class.
E. To/Into: To and Into is used as following:
(a) In the direction of: Turn to the right.
(b) Destination: I am going to Hubli.
(c) Until: from Monday to Friday ;five minutes to ten.
(d) Compared with: They prefer hockey to soccer.
(e) With indirect object: Please give it to me.
(f) As part of infinitive: I like to ski; he wants to help.
(g) In order to: we went to the store to buy soap.
3. Into:
(a) To the inside of: we stepped into the room.
(b) Change of condition: The boy changed into a man.
4. On/Onto:
On can be used for both existing position and movement:
(a) He was sitting on his bag.
(b) Snow fell on his hills.
On can also be used as an adverb:
(a) Go on. Come on.
Onto is used when there is movement involving a change of level:
(a) People climbed onto their roofs.
(b) He lifted her onto the table.
5. With/ By:

With is used for instruments and By is used for agents:


(a) The snake was killed by him with a stick.
(b) The letter was written by suresh with a pencil.
6. Since/For/From:
Since is often used with present perfect or past perfect tense. Since is used for point of time
and never for place, as; Since 6 Oclock/last night/ last Monday/since/ etc.,
(a) It has been raining since two Oclock
(b) He had been ill Since Monday.
For is used of a period of time: for two hrs/ two days/long time/ some time/ etc.,
(a) Boil it for 2 hours.
(b) He lived in this house for 6 months
From is normally used with to or till/until
(a) He is from Mumbai
(b) Where do you come from?
7. For/During:
During is used with known periods of time.
(a) During the summer
(b) During the middle age.
8. Below/Under/Beneath:
Below and under both mean lower than (in level) and sometimes either can be used .But
under usually denotes physical contact and below denotes space between the things:
(a) He put the books under the pillow.
(b) He placed the lamp below the Almirah
Beneath: Something that is Beneath another thing is under the other thing:
(a) I could see the muscles of his shoulder beneath his T-shirt
Beneath could also mean unworthy as per status or in lower strata in social class
(a) It is beneath his dignity to beg for money.
9. In/Within:
In means the maximum time limit, while within means the period upto which the work will
be completed.
(a) I will complete the work in a month.
(b) I can repair the car within two hours.
10. Ago and Before:
Ago is used for past events while before is used in reference to two events.
(a) He came three days ago.
(b) The train had left before he reached the station.
11. Beside/Besides:
Beside and Besides have altogether different meanings.
(a) He was sitting beside sarla.
(b) He has a car besides a motor cycle.
12. Between/Among:
Between is normally used for two things or person .
(a) He distributed his property between his two sons.
Among is usually used for more than two person .
(a) He was happy to be among friends again.
13. Among/Amongst:

Both have same meaning: either of them can be used if followed by the. If followed by the
word ,beginning with the vowel ,the amongst should be used.
(a) He distributed the toffees among/amongst the poor.
(b) He distributed the toffees amongst us.
14. Of/Off
Of:
A: Location: east of here.
B: Possession: Friend of mine
C:Part of group: One of us.
D: Measurement: a cup of milk.
Off:
A: Not on; away from: Please keep off the grass.
B: At some distance from: There are island off the coast.
(a) He is the member of our family.
(b) He is off duty now.
15. Above/Over:
Above & Over, both mean heigher than and sometimes either can be used:
(a) The helicopter hovered above/over us.
But Over also means ,covering/on the side of /across:
(a) I put a cloth over her.
(b) He put a blanket over the dead body.
Above can have none of the meaning.
Over can mean higher rank:
He is over me.
16. In/With:
In is used for the following situations:
A. Place ,thought of as an area; in London; in Europe
B. Within a location: in the room; in the building
C. Large units of time: That happened in March, in1992.
D. Within a certain time: I will return in an hour.
E. By means of : write with a pencil.
F. Condition: in doubt; in secret.
G. A member of: He is in the Navy.
H. Wearing : The boy in the blue shirt.
I. With reference to: lacking in ideas;
With is used in the following situations:
A: Accompanying: He came with her.
B:Having;Containing: Here is a book with a map of the island.
C: By means of; using: I repaired the shoes with glue.
D: Manner: With pleasure;
E: Because of: we are paralyzed with fever.

F: Agreement:I agree with you.


17. opposite/In front of:
opposite is used mening antonym and position in front . in front of always means front
position.
(a) Ram is sitting opposite Shyam.
(b) His house is opposite to ours.
Infront of :
(a) He parked the car in front of the hotel.
18. By and Before:
By a time/ by a date usually implies before that time or date
The train starts at 7.15 so you had better be at the station by 7.00
(a) By the end of july, I ll have read all those books.
(b) Before you sign this,you can discuss it with your father.(conjunction)
19. After and Afterwards:
After must be followed by a noun, pronoun or gerund:
(a) After breakfast, he ordered a taxi.
(b) Dont run immediately after a meal/after eating.
(c) Dont have a meal and run immediately afterwards.
Afterwards can be used at either end of the clause and can be modified by soon, immediately etc.,
(a) Soon afterwards, I got a call.
(b) I got a call not long afterwards.
20. But and Except:
Both have the same meaning and are usually interchangeable.
After nobody/none / nothing/nowhere etc., usually but is used:
(a) Nobody but shyam knew the way.
(b) Nothing but the best is sold in our shop.
Except is used when the prepositional phrase comes later in a sentence.
(a) Nobody knew the way except shyam.
NOTE: After but and except bare infinitive is used.
21. To and Towards:
The preposition to indicate the movement with the aim of a specific destination , which can be
place or an event
(a) I am going to USA tomorrow.
(b) I need to go to the Bank.
TOWARDS
A. The preposition towards indicate movement in a particular direction.
(a) She was carrying a suitcase and walking towards the railway station.
22. Through and into:

The preposition through refer to the movement


(a) We couldnt get the new sofa through the door.
(b) They drove through some spectacular countryside.
23. Across, over, and along:
The preposition across and over are used to talk about movement from one side of place to
another.
(a) Ill jump over the wall and open the gate.
(b) How are we going to get across the stream?
Over also functions as a preposition expressing position. it often has a similar meaning often has a
similar meaning to the preposition above, eg:
(a) There was a mirror above/over the sink.
(b) A white tablecloth was spread over the table.
(c) The hotel is over the bridge.
Across is sometimes used to express the position in relation to something which stretches from one side
of place in relation to the speaker eg:
(a) The bank is across the street.
The preposition along is used to show movement following a line, eg:
(a) We walked along the river.
(b) I followed Mr Jackson along the corridor
(c) Well wisher began placing flowers along the railings.
It is also sometimes used to show a specific position in relation to a line, eg:
(a) Somewhere along the path, theres a signpost.
PREPOSITIONS THAT ESTABLISH RELATIONSHIPS IN TIME

The prepositions for specific points in time: on, at, in, and after.
On is used with the days of the week: We are going out on Monday [on Tuesday, on Sunday].
On is used for specific dates (optional in informal usage): The trade fair will start on March 12,
2003 [on March 12, on the 12th of March, on the 12th ].
At is used with clocked time: She picks her son from school at 4:30 p.m.
At is used with the following times of the day: noon, night, midnight, sunrise, sunset:
We sail for Palawan at noon [at midnight, at sunrise].
At is used with certain major holidays (without the word Day) as points of time: The family
always gets together at Thanksgiving [at Christmas, at Easter, at Halloween].
In is used with the following times of the day: morning, afternoon, evening: She waters her
roses in the morning [in the afternoon, in the evening].

In is used with dates that do not carry the specific day: The Spanish explorer reached the
Philippines in March 1521.
In is used with months, years, decades, and centuries as points of time: The famous writer was
born in April [in 1946, in the 1940s, in the 20th century].
In is used with the seasons as points of time: He promised not to leave her in autumn [in summer,
in spring, in winter].
After is used with events that happen later than another event or point of time: The overseas
worker came home only after the holidays.
The prepositions for periods or extended time: since, for, by, from...to, from...until,
during, within, between, and beyond.
Since is used with an event that happens at some time or continuously after another time or event:
She has not watched a movie since last month. They have been producing noodles since the war.
For is used with particular durations: Our president will be abroad for three weeks [not for long,
for most of next month].
By is used with an act completed or to be completed by a certain time: She expects to finish
writing the book by April [by then, by the second quarter].
From...to is used to refer to the beginning and end of an activity or event: The weather was
stormy from Wednesday to Friday.
From...until is used to refer to the beginning of one period to the beginning of another: Our sales
rose continuously from Christmas until right before Holy Week.
During is used to refer to a period of time in which an event happens or an activity is done: She had
coffee during the morning break.
Between is used to refer to an action taking place between the beginning and the end of a period:
You must get the job done between now and Friday.
Within is used to refer to an action that must take place or be completed within a given period: You
must get the job done within the week.
Beyond is used to refer to a period of time after a particular event has taken place or a particular
time has elapsed: Beyond the mid-1990s all of our offices had shifted to word processors.
Prepositions for specific time frames. In is used with the three basic time frames: past,
present, future: He was a kindly man in the past. She is doing nothing in the present [...at
present is the preferred usage at present]. In the future, change the oil of your car regularly.
In is used with prescribed time periods: The project must be completed in a month [in a year, in
five years].
UNNECESSARY PREPOSITIONS
Sometimes we use prepositions where they are not necessary. While expressions like check up on and
as from are not exactly considered incorrect, they should be avoided in academic and formal writing.

Study the examples given below.


Incorrect: If we dont hurry, we will miss out on the show.
Correct: If we dont hurry, we will miss the show.
To miss out on is to fail to participate in something. This expression is not exactly wrong; however, you
can express the same idea using miss.
Incorrect: Are you able to meet with me in the morning?
Incorrect: Are you able to meet up with me in the morning?
Correct: Are you able to meet me in the morning?
To meet with something is to experience trouble, danger or difficulty unexpectedly.
She met with an accident yesterday. (NOT She met an accident yesterday.)
In other cases, meet should be used without a preposition.
Incorrect: There will be no more chemistry lessons this term, as from Monday
Correct: There will be no more chemistry lessons this term, from Monday.
Incorrect: Will you please separate out the good mangoes from the bad ones?
Correct: Will you please separate the good mangoes from the bad ones?
Incorrect: Do not throw things out of the window?
Correct: Do not throw things out the window?
Of is totally unnecessary here.
Incorrect: Where are you going to?
Correct: Where are you going?
UNNECCESSARY PREPOSITION
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)
(f)

She met up with the new coach on the ground.


The glass fell off of the desk
He threw the glass out of the window
He wouldnt let the cat in/inside of the house
Where did they go to?
Where is your college at?

ELLIPSIS IN PREPOSITION
When two words or phrases are used in parallel and require the same preposition to be idiomatically
correct, the preposition does not have to be used twice:
(a) The children were interested in and disgusted by the movie.
(b) It was that this player could both contribute to and learn from every game he played.

(c) We should prevent damage and theft of public property.(incorrect)


We should prevent damage to and theft of public property.(correct)
PREPOSITION OMITTED
1. Some transitive verbs do not preposition with them.
Such commonly used verbs are; reach resist, resemble, afford, accompany, attack, assist, pick,
pervade, precede, etc.,
(a) He ordered for a cup of tea. (incorrect)
He ordered a cup of tea. (Correct)
(b) India attacked on Pakistan. (incorrect)
India attacked Pakistan. (Correct)
2. Nouns denoting time( morning, evening, day, night, month, week, year) if preceded by objective
like; this , that, next, every, last etc.,
(a) She is going to Surat next morning.
(b) I met her last evening.
3. Nouns, yesterday, today tomorrow, also used without preposition:
(a) Please meet me tomorrow
(b) He is arriving today.
4. Words denoting time and place, like, last, week, last month, abroad, minute, bit, inside, outside
etc.,
(a) He came her last month.
(b) She is going to abroad next week.
5. Home: If verbs showing movement like go get etc.,
(a) It took them three hours to get home.
The preposition at is also used with home as following:
(a) You can do this work at home.
(b) We can stay at home.
(c) He is at home.
6. Verbs denoting; command, request, invitation and advice eg: advise ask, beg, command, tell,
urge, warn, etc.,
Look at the following examples:
(a) I advised her to wait.
(b) We urged him to try again.
(c) She warned him that ice was thin.
But note that recommend when used with other construction, needs to before the person
addressed:
(a) He recommended me to buy it.
(b) He recommended it to me.
(c) He recommended me.
Prepositions of time are generally omitted before words like last, first, next or this.
I met him last Friday. (NOT I met him on last Friday.)
We will discuss the matter next time.

I will visit my parents this week.


The use of preposition in the following types of sentences is optional.
I was here (in) the July before last.
They visited us (on) the day before yesterday.
He left the city (on) the next day.
We lived there (for) three months.
Prepositions are after certain verbs
Some intransitive verbs become transitive when a preposition is placed after them.
Examples are: listen to, apply to, partake of, aware of, beware of, depend upon, dispense with, dispose of
and prevail upon
Different prepositions
Some words which differ slightly in form and meaning from each other take different prepositions after
them
Examples are:

Desire for; desirous of


Confidence in; confident of
According to; in accordance with
Sensible of; insensible to
Affection for; affectionate to
Ambition for; ambitious of
Fond of; fondness for
Neglectful of; negligent in
Dislike to; liking for
Gerund after preposition
The infinitive cannot be used with certain words which require a preposition followed by a gerund.
I am thinking of visiting my parents.
He is bent of attending the meeting.
You have no excuse for being late.

PREPOSITION TABLE CHART

Preposition of
time

Explanations

days

weekend (American English)

Example

Many shops don't open on


Sundays.

What did you do on the


weekend?

I visited Italy in July, in spring,


in 1994

on

in

at

since

for

ago

before

to

past

to

months / seasons / year

morning / evening / afternoon

In the evenings, I like to relax.

period of time

This is the first cigarette I've had


in three years.

night

It gets cold at night.

weekend (British English)

What did you do at the


weekend?

used to show an exact or a


particular time:

There's a meeting at 2.30 this


afternoon / at lunch time.

from a particular time in the past


until a later time, or until now

England have not won the World


Cup in football since 1966

used to show an amount of time.

I'm just going to bed for an hour


or so.

back in the past; back in time


from the present:

The dinosaurs died out 65


million years ago.

at or during a time earlier than

She's always up before dawn.

used when saying the time, to


mean before the stated hour

It's twenty to six.

telling the time

five past ten

until a particular time, marking


end of a period of time

It's only two weeks to


Christmas.