Understanding Prepositions

What Are Prepositions?

In the English language, prepositions are words that show the relationship between a noun or pronoun and another word in the sentence. Prepositions usually come before a noun or pronoun and indicate direction, time, location, or spatial relationships. Some common prepositions include “in,” “on,” “at,” “under,” “above,” and “between.”

For example:

  • The book is on the table.
  • She will meet you at the park.
  • The cat is hiding under the bed.

Understanding prepositions is essential for constructing clear and meaningful sentences.

Types of Prepositions

There are three main types of prepositions:

  1. Prepositions of Time: These prepositions indicate when something happens. Examples include “before,” “after,” “during,” and “since.”
  2. Prepositions of Place: These prepositions describe where something is located. Examples include “in,” “on,” “at,” “beside,” and “between.”
  3. Prepositions of Movement: These prepositions show the direction of movement. Examples include “to,” “from,” “through,” and “across.”

By understanding the different types of prepositions, you can effectively convey information and paint a clearer picture in your writing.

Using Prepositions in Sentences

Prepositions are crucial for providing context and clarity in sentences. They help specify the relationship between different elements in a sentence. Let’s look at some examples:

  1. Prepositions of Time:
    • We have class after lunch.
    • The party starts at 7 o’clock.
    • I will see you before the movie.
  2. Prepositions of Place:
    • The dog is under the table.
    • The school is near the park.
    • She lives in the yellow house.
  3. Prepositions of Movement:
    • The bird flew across the sky.
    • She walked towards the beach.
    • They ran into the forest.

By using prepositions correctly, you can create more descriptive and accurate sentences.

Common Mistakes with Prepositions

It’s common for students to make errors when using prepositions. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Confusing “In” and “On”:
    • Use “in” for enclosed spaces and “on” for surfaces. For example, “in the box” and “on the table.”
  2. Misusing “At,” “In,” and “On” for Place:
    • Use “at” for specific locations, “in” for enclosed spaces, and “on” for surfaces. For example, “at the park,” “in the room,” and “on the wall.”
  3. Using Prepositions Incorrectly in Phrasal Verbs:
    • Phrasal verbs are idiomatic expressions consisting of a verb and a preposition or adverb. For example, “look forward to,” “give up,” and “put up with.”

Being aware of these common mistakes can help you improve your preposition usage in writing and communication.

Practice Makes Perfect

To master the use of prepositions, practice is key. Try the following exercises to enhance your understanding:

  1. Fill in the Blank: Complete sentences with the appropriate prepositions.
    • She is sitting _ the chair.
    • The keys are _ the table.
    • They will arrive _ 6 p.m.
  2. Sentence Correction: Identify and correct preposition errors in sentences.
    • He is good in playing the piano.
    • They walked towards to the store.
    • I am looking forward for the weekend.

By practicing regularly and paying attention to prepositions in your everyday language, you’ll become more proficient in using them accurately.


Prepositions play a vital role in structuring sentences and providing context in writing. By understanding the different types of prepositions, practicing their usage, and avoiding common mistakes, you can enhance the clarity and effectiveness of your communication. Keep practicing and paying attention to prepositions in your language to improve your writing skills.

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