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Grammar – What is a Preposition?

ETO-Preposition

A preposition is basically a word that shows the location of something. It typically means the physical location of a thing. If you want to learn how to speak English, you must know how to use the most common prepositions.

Check out these 3 images below that use location words:

1. The cat is on the table.

cat on table

2. The people sat around the room.

Sittingroom-edit1

3. The stars shine over / above our heads.

starshining

The words on, around, over and above all show location of an object in relation to another object.

What are prepositions of time?

We saw how prepositions were used with objects, but they can also be used to talk about time. Let’s look at the 3 examples below to get an idea.

1. At noon, we will have lunch.

2. In winter, it snows.

3. During the meeting, we had 3 people introduce themselves.

The words at noon, in winter and during the meeting are prepositions showing location in time.

Aren’t those last 3 examples prepositional phrases? Yes, they are!!!

What is a prepositional phrase?

(Preposition + Optional Modifiers + Noun, Pronoun or Gerund)

1. At + the dinner table

2. In + the night sky

3. Above + the heads of the people

What is a subordinate clause?

Basically, it is a type of prepositional phrase starting with one of these words: after, as, before, since, and until + a subject and a verb. Let’s look at a few examples:

1. After the class was finished

2. Until the project is complete

3. Before we eat

Here is a complete list of prepositions below to help you:

about
above
according to
across
after
against
along
along with
among
apart from
around
as
as for
at
because of
before
behind
below
beneath
beside
between
beyond
but*
by
by means of

concerning
despite
down
during
except
except for
excepting
for
from
in
in addition to
in back of
in case of
in front of
in place of
inside
in spite of
instead of
into
like
near
next
of
off
on

onto
on top of
out
out of
outside
over
past
regarding
round
since
through
throughout
till
to
toward
under
underneath
unlike
until
up
upon
up to
with
within
without

Please feel free to write in our comment box below any questions, comments or contributions you might have.

My last comments:

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By: Luke 

ETO American English teacher

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