Preposition concept | Preposition uses and exercises

In this article will shall cover the topic preposition in details, the meaning  and types , rules and uses of preposition and a list of most commonly used appropriate preposition and finally we shall practice some  exercises  to make our understanding clear and strong. See more English Grammar

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Preposition meaning and examples

A preposition is a word that comes before a noun or pronoun and shows the relation of the person or things referred by it.‘Pre-‘means earlier or before, and ‘–position’ means the place. So preposition is the word that placed before something (noun, pronoun,) and establishes the relation of the noun to the other parts of the sentence. As for examples

  1. There is a cow under the tree.
  2. We see with our eyes.
  3. The book is on the table.
  4. I met her at Delhi.
  5. John is crazy about his game.

In these sentences under, with, on, about and at is a preposition which is used before the pronoun or noun and establish the relation between the other parts of the sentence.

preposition rules

1. Every learner must know that we cannot use preposition immediate before a verb because it should be followed by a noun not by a verb. If in case it is used before a verb then you must use ‘ing’ form of the verb which is a gerund form or verb in noun

  1. I would like to go now.
  2. He used to drink.

*Here In these sentence, to’ is not a preposition. It is infinitive, so it is essential to know that verbs placed immediately after preposition must be in gerund  For examples

  1. He is afraid of losing the game.
  2. Raja prevented me from drinking alcohol.

Here you can notice, of’ and from is a preposition which are used before verbs and loosing and drinking is a verb in gerund form.

2. In interrogative sentence which begin with words like- what, who, which, whom. Then the preposition takes –end or front position in the

  1. What are you thinking of?
  2. Who were you talking to? 
  3. What are you staring at / etc?


If the object of preposition is a relative pronoun ‘that’ then the preposition comes at the end of the sentence as;

  1. Here is the book that you asked for.
  2. This is the novel that he is fond of.

4. In the case of infinitive (to + verb) the preposition is placed after infinitive as;

  1. This is a beautiful place to stay at.
  2. I need a pen to write with. Etc

*In the above sentences ‘to + stay ‘and ‘to + write’ is infinitive and ‘at, ‘with’ is preposition which are used after the infinitive’

5. In some cases, preposition is attached with the verb. These verbs take appropriate preposition with them. He hates being laughed  at. Laughed at is an appropriate preposition.

Look at the table no 1:2

Use of preposition

Though there are lots of preposition in english grammar and the preposition which are commonly used ,these preposition have been categorized into three types based on-

  1. The expression of time,
  2. The expression of place
  3. The expression of direction.
1.preposition of time (At, In and On) 

These three prepositions are very commonly used preposition in English grammar. Let’s understand these prepositions in reference with time.

At preposition use for a certain moment or point of time, it is mainly used for a precise time, as for example

  1. The train leaves at 2.30 pm.
  2. He went home at dinner time.

On preposition is used for a specific day and dates, whether as a day of the week (on Sunday, on Monday, on Tuesday…) or as a special day in the year (on Christmas day, on Good Friday, on independence day. etc.)

  1. She will come on Friday.
  2. On Christmas day we give each other presents.
  3. He was born on august 1993.
  4. My sister was married on my birthday.

In preposition is used before  words which denote a period of time (months, years, centuries, and long periods. for example

 i.e. in Elizabethan age, in romantic period.

Table 1:1

On  ( precise time)

In (period of time) months,

year, centuries.

At ( point of time)

Days and date

On Monday

On Sunday

On Christmas day

On independence day

On my birthday

On 25th January

In may

In summer

In the summer

In spring

In the 1990s

In the golden age

In the future

At 10 o’clock

At 2.45 pm

At dinner time

At noon

At sunshine

At sunrise

At the moment

2.Preposition of place

First – At, in and on (in reference with place)

At preposition is used specially for a point like at the corner, at the bottom of the page, at the end of the road, at the entrance etc.

For instance

  1. She is waiting for you at the bus stop.
  2. You will see a temple at the end of the road.

  in preposition use when it refers enclosed position or inside of something. Like a)in the garden,) in a box,c) in India

For example

  1. I work in a company.
  2. They live in India.

ON preposition is use for surface on the wall, on the door, on the cover. On earth, on the carpet, on the menu bar

For example

  1. There was a no parking sign on the wall.
  2. The author’s name in on the cover of the book.

3.Preposition based on direction.

To preposition is use to denote movement or direction, as for example

  1. Turn to the right.
  2. I am going to madras.
  3. He has gone to Chennai.
  4. We should do our duty to our country.

Below, under, and beneath.

 under and Below both means to a lower place. But the difference is that below is used when there is a space between things.As for example. He placed the lamp below the boxes. In this sentence below used because there is no physical contact between the lamp and the boxes there is space between them.

Under usually denotes physical contact i.e. I wear a sweater under the jacket.

Below and under also use when it means junior in position. like

For example

  1. He is under me. (Means he is junior in position)
  2. He is working under me. etc

Beneath preposition is used for something that is under the other things. For example

  1. He is sitting beneath the tree.

During and for

Simply during means ‘in course of ’ ,so  use the preposition during with a known period of time. I.e. the periods known by their name. 

Such as Christmas Easter, the middle age, the romantic age etc.

For preposition is use to denote purpose or and the lapse of time during which something takes 

  1. It has been raining continuously for 20 hours.
  2. I have not seen her for a year.
  3. I went there for the summer.

Between and Among

The preposition between is used for two things or person and among is used when it refers more than two persons or things, as the number is indefinite in our

For examples

  1. Ram is standing between seta and Geeta.
  2. He distributed his property between his two sons.
  3. He was happy to be among his friends again.
  4. The teacher distributed chocolates among his students.etc

With and by

Preposition with is use for instrument or in the company of i.e.

  1.  He killed the snack with a stick.
  2. I write with a pen.

And by is use for agent, near in place, measure. For example

  1. The letter was written by him.
  2. Sit by me.
  3. Rich sells by quintal. Etc

click to know subject-verb agreement in english grammar

preposition exercises with answers

Few question and answers as a practice of preposition which will help you to gain greater understandings of preposition.

1.The shopkeeper does not have the shoes, I was looking…

  1. By
  2.  About
  3. For
  4. To

Answer: The shopkeeper does not have the shoes, I was looking for.

2.Books are often compared to.. ……a granary.

  1. With
  2. To
  3. By
  4. At

Answer: Books are often compared to in a granary.

3.he is … me in the class.

  1. Above
  2. By
  3. For
  4. At

Answer: .He is above me in the class.

4.devide 20 mangoes …..three boys.

  1. To
  2. Among
  3. Between
  4. For

Answer:  Divide 20 mangoes  among three boys.

5.He will never pass his hs examination… he works hard.

  1. If
  2. Since
  3. Unless
  4. Because

Answer: He will never pass his H.S examination unless he works hard.

6.There was nothing he could do … wait.

  1. And
  2. Then
  3. Except
  4. Otherwise

Answer: There was nothing he could do  EXCEPT wait.

7.she  died … fever.

  1. Of
  2. By
  3. For
  4. From

Answer: she  died of fever.

8.They are very great full….your kindness.

  1. For
  2. To
  3. With
  4. Towards

Answer: They are very great full for your kindness.

9.He assured me… his sincerity.

  1. By
  2. Of
  3. For
  4. With

Answer: He assured Me of  his sincerity.

10.we all have to adjust ourselves…new circumstances.

  1. With
  2. To
  3. In
  4. At

Answer:  We all have to adjust ourselves with new circumstances.

prepositions vs adverbs


 Thus, the preposition is word that comes before nouns or pronoun and establishes their relation. Though there are lots of prepositions and its rule in English grammar. Some of the most important rules and use of prepositions which have been discussed above. If this information is helpful please share and for any quarries leave us your comments.

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