Preposition in English Grammar

Preposition in English Grammar:

A Preposition is a word placed before a Noun or a Pronoun or their equivalents in the Objective Case to show its relation to the rest of the sentence; as

  • Please write with a pen.
  • Do not run after worldly things.
  • He will be here in a few hours.

Here, pen, things, and hours are the Objects of the Prepositions with, after, and in respectively.

Note: In sentences where the Interrogative Pronouns or Relative Pronouns are used; the Preposition is placed after its object; as

  • What are you looking for? [Interrogative ‘what‘ is the object of Preposition ‘for‘]
  • Here is the book that you are searching for. [The Relative Pronoun ‘that‘ is the Object of Preposition ‘for‘]

Kinds of Preposition:

(1) Simple Prepositions; as,

In, into, on, at, under, of, for, from, over, down, round, to, after, before, by, with, since, etc.

(2) Compound Prepositions; as,

Alone, inside, outside, upon, towards, between, among, across, until, within, without, underneath, beneath, amidst, amongst, etc.

(3) Couple Prepositions; as,

Far off, from within, from behind, out of, over again, etc.

(4) Participle Prepositions; as,

Considering, including, regarding, expecting, etc.

(5) Phrase Prepositions; as,

In front of, in spite of, out of, on account of, by means of, by dint of, by virtue of, etc.

Prepositions Distinguished:

(1) Between, among:

Between is used for two persons or things; among is used for more than two; as,

  • Divide these apples between Sonia and Pooja.
  • Divide these apples among five girls.

(2) In, into:

In shows resting within anything; into shows motion inward anything; as,

  • The pen is in my pocket.
  • I put the pen into my pocket.

(3) In, within:

In and within both refer to time. In means at the expiry of; within means before the expiry of; as,

  • He will return in a month. (at the expiry of one month)
  • He will return within a month. (before the expiry of one month)

(4) In, after:

In refers to a period of time usually in future, after refers to a period of time usually in the past; as,

  • I will come back in a week.
  • I came back after a week.

(5) On, upon:

On shows rest; upon shows movement; as,

  • The book is lying on the table.
  • The dog sprang upon the table.

(6) With, by:

With shows the instrument used for doing anything; by refers to the doer or the agent; as,

  • It was done by me.
  • I did it with my own hands.

(7) Till, to:

Till is used for time, to is used for place; as,

  • Please wait here till I return.
  • She ran to a safe place.

(8) After, behind:

After refers to time; behind refers to place; as,

  • He returned after an hour.
  • The culprit was put behind the bars.

(9) At, in:

(I) At is used with the names of small town, village or street; in is used with city, country or continent; as,

  • I was born at a village but now I live in a city.
  • My friend lives at Darya Ganj in Delhi.

(II) At is used to denote a point of time; while in is used for a period of time; as,

  • I usually get up at 5 A.M.
  • She will return in a few days.

(10) Beside, besides:

Beside means by the side of; while besides means in addition to; as,

  • Please come in and sit beside me.
  • Besides being fined, he was punished by the teacher.

(11) Since, for, from:

(I) Since is used for a point of time and for the period of time. Both since and for are preceded by a Verb in the Perfect Continuous Tense; as,

  • Boys have been playing since morning.
  • Boys have been playing for an hour.

(II) From is used for a point of time, places or days but it can be preceded by any tense; as,

  • I work (Present Tense) from morning till evening.
  • The postman went (Past Tense) from door to door.

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