21 December 2013


A preposition describes a relationship between other words in a sentence. In itself, a word like "in" or "after" is rather meaningless and hard to define in mere words. For instance,

 when you do try to define a preposition like "in" or "between" or "on," you invariably use your hands to show how something is situated in relationship to something else. Prepositions are nearly always combined with other words in structures called prepositional phrases.

Prepositions of Time: at, on, and in

We use at to designate specific times.

The train is due at 12:15 p.m.

We use on to designate days and dates.

My brother is coming on Monday.

We're having a party on the Fourth of July.
We use in for nonspecific times during a day, a month, a season, or a year.

She likes to jog in the morning.

It's too cold in winter to run outside.

He started the job in 1971.
He's going to quit in August.

Prepositions of Place: at, on, and in

We use at for specific addresses.

Grammar English lives at 55 Boretz Road in Durham.

We use on to designate names of streets, avenues, etc.

Her house is on Boretz Road.

And we use in for the names of land-areas (towns, counties, states, countries, and continents).

She lives in Durham.

Durham is in Windham County.

Windham County is in Connecticut.

Prepositions of Location: in, at, and on
and No Preposition
(the) bed*
the bedroom
the car
(the) class*
the library*
the library*
the office
the bed*
the ceiling
the floor
the horse
the plane
the train

Prepositions of Movement: to and No Preposition

We use to in order to express movement toward a place.
They were driving to work together.

She's going to the dentist's office this morning.

Toward and towards are also helpful prepositions to express movement. These are simply variant spellings of the same word; use whichever sounds better to you.
We're moving toward the light.
This is a big step towards the project's completion.

With the words home, downtown, uptown, inside, outside, downstairs, upstairs, we use no preposition.
Grandma went upstairs

Grandpa went home.

They both went outside.

Prepositions of Time: for and since

We use for when we measure time (seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years).

He held his breath for seven minutes.

She's lived there for seven years.

The British and Irish have been quarreling for seven centuries.

We use since with a specific date or time.

He's worked here since 1970.
She's been sitting in the waiting room since two-thirty.

Prepositions of Movement

Prepositions can be used to show movement.
For example:-
to, through, across
We use to to show movement with the aim of a specific destination
For example:-

I moved to Germany in 1998.  

He's gone to the shops.
We use through to show movement from one side of an enclosed space to the other.    
For example: 

The train went through the tunnel.

We use across to show movement from one side of a surface or line to another.
For example:
She swam across the river.

Prepositions of Place

Prepositions can be used to show where something is located.

The prepositions at, on, and in

We use at to show a specific place or position.
For example:

Someone is at the door.

They are waiting at the bus stop.
I used to live at 51 Portland Street.

We use on to show position on a horizontal or vertical surface.
For example:

The cat sat on the mat.

The satellite dish is on the roof.
We also use on to show position on streets, roads, etc. 

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