Prepositions

Three Groups of Prepositions:                                                                                                                                   a. Prepositions of place, position and direction.
b. Prepositions of time.
c. Prepositions for other relationships.

SOME COMMON PREPOSITIONS
PLACE POSITION DIRECTION TIME OTHER
above
across
along
among
at
away from
behind
below
beside
between
beyond
by
down
from
in
in front of
inside
into
near
off
on
opposite
out (of)
outside
over
around
through
to
towards
under
up
after
before
at
by
for
during
from
in
except
as
like
about
with
without
by
for

Although prepositions are hard to generalize with separate rules, there is one simple rule about them. And, unlike most rules, this rule has no exceptions.

Rule:

They are always followed by a „noun“, never followed by a verb.
By „noun“ we include:

  • Noun (dog, money, love)
  • Proper Noun (name) (London, Mary)
  • Pronoun (you,him,us)
  • Noun Group (my first car)
  • Gerund (swimming)

If we want to follow with a verb, we must use the „-ing“ form which is really a gerund or verb in noun form

Subject + Verb Preposition „noun“
The pen is on the table.
He lives in England.
Henry is looking for you.
The newspaper is under your green book.
Pascal is used to English people.
She isn’t used to working.
We ate before coming.

Prepositions of Time / Place at, in, on

  • At for a PRECISE TIME
  • In for MONTHS, YEARS, CENTURIES and LONG PERIODS
  • On for DAYS and Dates
    At In On
    At 4:30 pm in March on Monday
    At 3 o’clock In Winter On 6 March
    At noon In the summer On 22 Dec.2012
    At dinnertime In 1990 On Christmas Day
    At bedtime In the next century On your birthday
    At the moment In the future On New Year’s Eve
  • Notice that use of the prepositions of time in and on in these common expressions:
    • In the morning /On Monday morning
    • In the mornings / On Sunday mornings
    • In the afternoon(s) / On Sunday afternoons
    • In the evening(s) / On Friday evenings
  • When we say next, last, this, every we do not use at,in,on.I went to New York last June (not in last June)
    She is coming back next Monday. (not on next Monday)
    I go home every Easter . (not at every Easter)
    We’ll call you this afternoon. (not in this afternoon)

Place: at, in, on
In General:

  • At for a POINT (dog, money, love)
  • In for an ENCLOSED SPACE
  • On for a SURFACE
At In On
At the bus stop In London On the wall
At the corner In the garden On the ceiling
At the entrance In a box On the floor
At the crossroads In a building On the carpet
At the top of the page In a car On a page

Some other common uses of at / on / in

At In On
At home In a car On a bus
At work In a taxi On a train
At school In a helicopter On a plane
At university In an elevator On a bicycle
At the top In the sky On the radio
At the bottom In the street On the left
At the side In a row On a horse
At reception In a boat On a boat

Notice how we can use on a boat or in a boat depending on the type and the size of the particular boat/ship.
More Prepositions

Prepositions use Example
during while in during the film,during the war, during my stay
for for two days, for an hour
from / to from Saturday to Monday, from 5 to 9
between the time period from one to another between 1986 and 2012, between Saturday and Monday
until/till before a certain time until/till Sunday,5 o’clock
by at the least by Tuesday, by next month, by tomorrow
to movement towards to school, to work, to the station
into movement towards inside something into the cinema, into the car
out of to leave a place/a thing out of the cinema,out of the car
by near/next to/beside LINK stand by me, by the lake
through through the tunnel, through the room
across opposite ends across the river, across the street
against against the wall, against the door
into movement towards inside something into the cinema, into the car
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Prepositions Quiz

Screen shot 2012-10-23 at 7.14.36 AM
1.He responded _____ shrugging his shoulders.
from
with
by
2. Were you _____ the phone a lot this afternoon? I tried calling you five times and always got a busy signal.
on
in
at
3. I’m tired of waiting _____ him. I’m leaving.
from
with
for
4. No, I came here _____ foot. My bicycle had a flat tire and my car was out of gas.
with
by
on
5. I’ll wait _____ 5:00, but not one minute longer!
from
until
at
6. What are you afraid _____ ? Nothing bad’s going to happen.
of
at
to
7. The accident happened _____ the intersection of 10th Street and Applegate Drive.
in
at
from
8. Was this handcrafted or made _____ machine?
with
from
by
9. Chuck isn’t here. He’ll be away _____ at least an hour.
until
from
for
10. My roommate wrote that letter _____ me. I couldn’t do it because I sprained my wrist playing volleyball.
to
from
for

PREPOSITIONS OF TIME

Three Groups of Prepositions

in
• centuries
• years
• seasons
• months
• during parts of the day

on
• dates
• days
• special days

at
• weekends
• night
• time
• great annual festivals
• meals

A) Write at, in or on.
1. Classes start…………….. September.
2. My birthday is …………….. 15 July.
3. They like meeting …………….. lunchtime.
4. The film starts …………….. 9 o’clock.
5. All the family meets …………….. Christmas day.
6. I usually stay at home …………….. the weekend.
7. They have Karate lessons …………….. the evening.
8. The bank closes ……………..3:00 pm.
9. We are going skiing …………….. Easter.
10. I don’t like getting up early …………….. the morning.
11. We usually go to the pub …………….. Saturday night.
12. Justin Bieber was born …………….. 1994.
13. He doesn’t drive …………….. night.
14. …………….. winter we go to school by bus.
15. They don’t watch TV……………..dinner.