A Preposition is a word used with a noun or pronoun to show its relation to some other word in a sentence.
PREPOSITIONS OF TIME
1. At is used:
(a) With a definite point of time
I usually get up at 5 o’clock.
She leaves her house every day at 9 a.m.
(b) With festivals
He will come at Holi.
2. In is used:
(a) With the parts of the day, (with noon, use at), months, seasons and years.
He takes a walk in the afternoon.
In summer the weather is warm.
(b) With the future tense referring to the period in which action may take place
You must be careful in future.
3. On is used with days and dates:
My brother will arrive on Monday.
My birthday is on the first of June.
4. By refers to the latest time at which an action will be over:
The examination will be over by 5 p.m.
5. For is used with perfect continuous tense showing the duration of an action:
I have been here for three years.
6. Since is used with the point of time when action begins and continues:
He has been ill since last Tuesday.
Since 1980, Shalini has lived in Delhi.
7. From refers to the starting point of an action:
This water came from a spring.
She came from USA.
PREPOSITIONS OF POSITION
1. At refers to an exact point:
The tourist stayed at the Tourist Hotel.
He studied at Oxford.
He is waiting at the door.
2. In refers to larger areas:
He lives in Bombay.
3. Between is used for two persons or two things:
Share these sweets between him and me.
It is a secret between you and me.
4. Among is used with more than two persons or things but before the word which starts with a consonant letter:
Divide the sweets among the three boys.
5. Amongst is also used with more than two persons and things but before the word which starts with a vowel letter.
Divide the sweets amongst us.
6. Above is used for higher than:
The sun rose above the horizon.
We were flying above the clouds.
7. Under is used for vertically below:
It is shady under the trees.
8. Below is used for lower than:
When the sun sets it goes below the horizon.
Your work is below average.
9. Over is used for vertically above:
There is an aircraft coming over.
The bathroom is over the kitchen.
10. Beneath means a lower position.
The ground was slippery beneath her.
PREPOSITIONS OF DIRECTION
1. To is used to express motion from one place to another:
We walked to the river and back.
2. Towards refers to directions:
He saw me running towards him.
She glanced towards the mirror.
3. Into denotes motion towards the inside of something.
She fell into a ditch.
4. At refers to aim.
He aimed at bird.
5. For denotes directions:
I will leave for Pune today.
The minister left for the U. K.
6. Against shows pressure:
She cleaned the edge of her knife against the plate.
He leaned against a tree.
7. Off refers to separation:
He was wiping sweat off his face.
Kim fell off his chair in a swoon.
8. From refers to the point of departure:
The man parted from his friends.
We scrambled from our trucks and ran after them.
OTHER USES OF PREPOSITION
1. About shows nearness:
I was about to go to bed when there was a knock at the door.
His father is about to retire.
2. Along stands for in the same line:
She led them along the corridor.
The current passes along the wire here.
3. After refers to sequence.
She came after me.
Soon after, Faraday began his researches into electricity.
4. Across means from one side:
He blew a cloud of smoke across the table.
She ran across the field.
5. Before stands for in front of:
A thief was brought before the judge.
The garage is before the road.
6. Behind means at the back of:
She sat down behind the hedge.
The sun went behind a cloud.
7. Beyond means on the farther side of:
This is beyond his power.
Love is beyond all human control.
8. Beside means by the side of:
I sat down beside my wife.
9. Besides means in addition to:
Besides being a teacher, he is a skilled craftsman.
- Abide by: Everyone must abide by the judgment of the court.
- Abide with: we must abide with our friends through thick and thin.
- Abound in: The Sea abounds in wealth.
- Abscond from: He absconds from classes only when he is ill.
- Absent from: The clerk is absent from his section.
- Absolve of: The judge absolved the official of charges of corruption.
- Absorb in: Lata is absorbed in singing.
- Abstain from: Postal employees abstained from their duties protesting against the Government’s indifference towards their problems.
- Abundance of: There is abundance of oil and natural gas in the Godavari basin.
- Abundant in: Rice is abundant in the Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
- Accede to: The Government acceded to the demands of the striking employees.
- Accompanied by: Bill Clinton, the President of the United States of America, accompanied by his daughter and other high-level officials, visited India.
- According to: According to Darwin, man has evolved out of the ape.
- Account for: The accountant must account for the shortage of cash in the treasury.
- Accuse of: The man was accused of smuggling and murder.
- Accustomed to: The boy is accustomed to reading till midnight.
- Acquit of: The judge acquitted him of all charges of corruption.
- Acquaint with: After returning from South Africa, Gandhi went round the country to acquaint himself with the people and their problems.
- Adapt to: We must adapt ourselves to different environments.
- Admit to: He admitted his son to a public school.
- Adhere to: Government employees must adhere to a code of conduct.
- Adjacent to: My office is adjacent to my house.
- Adjourn to: For want of quorum the committee meeting was adjourned to the next day.
- Afraid of: Children are afraid of dogs.
- Agree to: The Government agreed to the demands of the employees.
- Agree with: I agree with you that afforestation brings ecological balance.
- Agree on: All the members of the teachers’ association agreed on the need to observe punctuality.
- Ail from: The nation is ailing from disunity.
- Aim at: The hunter aimed his shot at the deer.
- Akin to: Man is akin to other animals in almost all matters.
- Argue against … with: The leaders of the opposition parties argued with the Prime Minister against revising the Constitution.
- Ashamed of: Ashamed of her failure in the examinations, a girl committed suicide.
- Ask for: He asked me for a sheet of paper.
- Aspire after: Avaricious persons aspire after more and more money.
- Associate with: Vinoba Bhave was associated with the Sarvodaya Movement.
- Attend to: I have urgent work to attend to.
- Attend on: Doctors and nurses attend on patients.
- Attentive to: Snakes are said to be attentive to music.
- Authority on: Dr.S.Radhakrishnan was an authority on Eastern philosophy.
- Authority over: In India the executive has no authority over the judiciary.
- Avail of: We must avail ourselves of every opportunity to prosper in life.
- Aware of: In a democratic country the people must be aware of their duties and responsibilities.
- Bear with: As a teacher I cannot bear with indiscipline.
- Believe in: Indians believe in superstitions.
- Beloved of: The last child is generally the most beloved of the parents.
- Benefit from: We must be benefited from the experience and example of others.
- Benefit of: There is no benefit of sending sub-standard sports team abroad.
- Bend before: We should not bend before traitors.
- Bend on: The University is bent on introducing information technology courses.
- Bend to: Weak persons bend to pressure.
- Bestow on: God bestowed his favour on me.
- Binding on: The resolutions passed by the majority of the cabinet, are binding on the entire Cabinet.
- Bless with: I am blessed with four daughters.
- Blind in: The beggar seems to be blind in both the eyes.
- Blind to: Parents generally are blind to the faults of their children.
- Blush at: The newly married couple blush at each other.
- Boast of: One should not boast of one’s own virtues.
- Boil with: Gopal boiled with anger when Ravi called him a rogue.
- Born of: Michael Faraday was born of poor parents.
- Brim with: On the eve of the examinations, the boy is brimming with confidence.
- Bristle with: An honest man’s path is always bristled with difficulties.
- Brood over: There is no use of brooding over our past misfortunes.
- Busy in: I am busy preparing notes.
- Busy with: The Principal is busy with examinations.
- Capable of: Bears are capable of climbing trees.
- Care about: Selfish rulers do not care about the welfare of toiling masses.
- Care for: Some persons do not care for breakfast.
- Careful of: The student was careful of his words in front of the Principal.
- Cash in on: Unscrupulous people try to cash in on our ignorance.
- Cause for: Although there is political instability in the country, there is no cause for panic.
- Charge against: An opposition leader leveled charges of corruption against a minister.
- Charge with: An official of the Air Force was charged with spying for a foreign country.
- Claim to: Both sons and daughters have a claim to ancestral property.
- Clash of: The clash of interests between America and Russia took the world to the brink of disaster.
- Clash with: The Border Security Force jawans clashed with some cross country smugglers.
- Climb up…down: Cats can climb up and down the trees very quickly.
- Cling to: One must cling to the truth at all times.
- Close to: Huck and Jim are close to each other.
- Collide with: Many people died when a passenger bus collided with a transport lorry.
- Collude with: Terrorists and extremists colluded with smugglers to destroy the country.
- Combine into: Paes and Bhupati have combined into a fine doubles team in Tennis.
- Commensurate with: Wages must be commensurate with the volume of work.
- Commit to: Democracy is committed to the welfare of the people.
- Commune with: Spiritualists commune with supernatural powers.
- Compare to: Sardar Patel is compared to Bismarck of Germany.
- Compare with: Mumbai can be compared with Hollywood in some respects.
- Compensate for: The Management must compensate in cash for the loss of life or limb suffered by the workers.
- Eliminate from: Corrupt officials must be eliminated from public life.