Difference between Preposition and Conjunction

In English grammar, prepositions and conjunctions are two key components of speech that are frequently used to connect words, phrases, and clauses.

Understanding the difference between prepositions and Conjunctions is critical for writing clear and effective sentences in English.

Difference between Preposition and Conjunction

Difference between Preposition and Conjunction #Meaning

A preposition is a word placed before a noun or noun equivalent to show its relationship to another word in the sentence.

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In the sentence “Lisa placed her hand on the desk,” the word on shows the relationship between the hand and the desk. Omitting the word on makes no sense.

The hand may be on the table, under the table, or above the table. The relation between hand and table is not known until some preposition is inserted. The word on is, therefore, a preposition.

Conjunctions are words used to join sentences, phrases or clauses. 

Conjunctions that join words or phrases

  • I need a book and a pen.
  • I need a book or a pen.
  • I need not a book but a pen.
  • I need a book as well as a pen of good quality.

Difference between Preposition and Conjunction #Types

There are 6 types of Prepositions

  1. Simple Prepositions
  2. Double Prepositions
  3. Compound Prepositions
  4. Participle Prepositions
  5. Phrase Prepositions
  6. Disguised Prepositions

Simple prepositions

Simple Prepositions are at, after, by, for, from, in, of, on, out, over, through, till, up, under, with, off, till, over, etc.

  • I put my keys on the table.
  • The plane flew over the mountains.
  • I will cook dinner with my mom tonight.
  • Please turn off the lights when you leave the room.
  • He will arrive at 10 a.m.

Double prepositions

When a single preposition is not sufficient to express the sense, two simple prepositions are combined to express the sense completely.

Some Double Prepositions are into, from among, from within, from behind, over against, out of, etc.

  • He was chosen from among a group of talented musicians.
  • The cat emerged from within the bushes.
  • The thief sneaked away from behind the parked car.
  • The car was parked over against the wall.
  • The bird flew out of the tree and into the sky.

Compound prepositions

Compound prepositions are formed by combining two or more words to form a new proposition. Compound prepositions are usually formed by prefixing a preposition with a noun, an adjective, or an adverb.

Some examples of Compound prepositions are as follows:

  • across (= on + cross),
  • amidst (= on + middle),
  • behind ( = by + hind),
  • about (= on + by + out),
  • above (= on + by + up),
  • before (= by + fore)
  • beneath (= by + neath),
  • between (=by + twain),
  • beyond (= by + yonder),
  • but (= by + out, except)

Participial prepositions

Some present or past participles such as considering, concerning, regarding, pending, notwithstanding, etc. are used as prepositions. These words are known as Participle Prepositions.

  • Notwithstanding her boss’s criticism, the employee submitted her report.
  • Regarding this matter, I cannot provide any additional information.
  • The stream flows past the meadow.
  • Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the plane will take off on time.
  • Concerning her artwork, critics have mixed opinions.

Phrase prepositions or Prepositional phrases

When a phrase begins and ends with a Preposition (of, at. by. with, from, over etc.) it is called a Prepositional Phrase.

Some common Phrase Prepositions are – On the eve of, In consequence of, In the place of, In company with, At enmity with, In keeping with, In prospect of, Because of, By force of, In pursuit of, With an eye to, By the side of, By means of, etc.

Disguised prepositions

When the prepositions ‘on‘ and ‘of‘ are changed, into ‘a‘ and ‘o‘ respectively they are called Disguised prepositions; as

This fair is held once a year” – “A” is used here as a shortened form of “on,” indicating that the fair is held on a yearly basis.

“It’s ten o’clock now” – “O” is used here as a shortened form of “of,” indicating that the time is ten hours of the clock.

Conjunctions that join the clauses are subdivided into two main classes –


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  • Co-ordinating
  • Subordinating

Co-ordinating Conjunctions

Co-ordinating Conjunctions are used to connect sentences, phrases or clauses of equal rank. Coordinating conjunctions are of four types –

  • Cumulative – and, both….and, also, too, as well as, not only….but also, no less than
  • Alternative – or, either….or, neither….nor, otherwise, else
  • Adversative – but, still, yet, however, nevertheless, only, whereas,
  • Illative – so, for, therefore, then

Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating Conjunctions are used to connect clauses which are not of equal rank. One clause depends on the other for completing its meaning. Subordinating conjunctions denote time, place, reason, effect, purpose, manner, condition, comparison, apposition and contrast.

  • Apposition – that, why, how
  • Reason – as, because
  • Purpose – that, so that, in order that
  • Effect – that
  • Condition – if, provided
  • Contrast – though, although
  • Comparison – as, as much as, no less than
  • Manner – as, so far as
  • Time – before, after, when
  • Place – where, wherever

Difference between Preposition and Conjunction #Examples

Preposition Examples

  1. Look at the picture on the wall.
  2. The book is on the table.
  3. The picture is hanging on the wall.
  4. The phone is on the desk.
  5. She stood behind me.
  6. The post office is behind our house.
  7. The car is parked behind the building.
  8. There is a School by my house.
  9. She was sitting by Niharika.
  10. There is a Bank by my house.
  11. The plane is flying over the ocean.
  12. The bridge is over the river.
  13. The roof is over our heads.

Conjunctions Examples

  1. She is an excellent cook and also a skilled painter.
  2. John, as well as his sister, can play the guitar.
  3. Not only did he finish the project but also submitted it ahead of time.
  4. No less than his brother, he has exceptional skills.
  5. “Do or die”.
  6. You can either go to the beach or go hiking this weekend.
  7. She is neither tall nor short, just average height.
  8. You can either wear a dress or pants to the party.
  9. She was tired, but she continued working.
  10. I wanted to go out, however, it started raining heavily.
  11. The project was difficult, but we managed to complete it on time.
  12. He studied hard, yet he failed the exam.

Also, Read

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Use of Conjunctions

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Prepositions Used in a Sentence

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