A preposition is a word that is placed before a noun or noun equivalent to show its relation to some other word in the sentence.
Following is a detailed discussion of the Use of Prepositions with Examples.
Use of Prepositions with Examples
Use of Preposition About
- On the subject of: The lecture was about the benefits of exercise.
- At a time near to: We’ll be ready to leave at about 7 PM.
- In/round: There’s a lot to see and do about the city.
- Carried with: I always make sure to have some cash on/about me in case of emergencies.
- Relating to: He’s always talking about his job, but I don’t know much about it.
Use of Preposition Above
- Higher than something: The clouds were floating above the mountain peak.
- More than: The temperature rose above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Higher in rank, position, etc.: He was promoted to a position above his colleagues.
- Beyond the reach of: The company’s success is above reproach.
- Beyond the limits of: His arrogance is above all reason.
Use of Preposition After
- Later than: She’s going on vacation after the school year ends.
- In view of/in spite of: After what you’ve done, I don’t know if I can trust you again. After all the obstacles, she finally reached her goal.
- In pursuit or quest of: The dog chased after the squirrel.
- About/concerning: I inquired after his health.
- In imitation of: This sculpture is modelled after a famous artist’s work.
- Indicating much repetition: He hit the same note on the piano key after key. She ran mile after mile in her training.
Next to in order: Your presentation is scheduled after mine in the conference lineup.
Use of Preposition At
- Expressing the position of a person/thing: The concert is at the park. The party is at my friend’s house.
- Expressing a point in time: The movie starts at 7 pm. The meeting is at 2 pm.
- Expressing engagement in an activity: He is at the gym. She is at the doctor’s office.
- Expressing a price/rate/speed: The shoes are selling at $50. The car is driving at 60 miles per hour.
- Expressing age: She got her first job at 25. The building was demolished at 50 years old.
- Expressing direction (towards): The bird flew at the window. He pointed the gun at the target.
- In response to: She nodded her head at his suggestion.
- Used with a superlative: The restaurant is at its busiest on Friday nights. The view from the mountain peak is at its most stunning in the early morning.
Use of Preposition Before
- Earlier than somebody/something: I always wake up before sunrise. We have to finish this project before the deadline.
- In front of/ahead: The car in front of me suddenly stopped. The runner was ahead of his competitors. The road before us was long and winding.
- In the presence of: The suspect was brought before the judge. I feel nervous speaking before a large audience.
- Rather than/in preference to: I would go for a walk rather than watch TV. She chose to study business administration instead of medicine.
Use of Preposition Behind
- In the rear of: The car behind us is honking continuously.
- Hidden or implied by: The true intention behind his actions is still a mystery.
- Inferior to/weaker than: Our team is currently behind in the score.
- Indicating lateness in time: The construction work is behind schedule.
- In favor of/supportive of: The company is fully behind the decision to implement eco-friendly policies.
Use of Preposition By
- Near/Beside: She sat by my side during the entire movie. There is a supermarket by the gas station that offers fresh produce.
- During: The baby cries during the night and plays during the day. She prefers to exercise during the morning and meditate during the evening.
- Not later than before: You must finish your homework by tonight, or you will not be allowed to go out. We have to submit the report by the end of this week, or else we might lose the contract.
- Through the agency or means of: I learned to play the guitar by taking online classes. He found the address by searching on Google Maps. The artist created a masterpiece by using a mix of watercolours and acrylic paints.
- According to: By law, you must wear a seatbelt while driving a car. According to the weather forecast, it will snow heavily tonight.
- Using something as a standard: The cake was priced by the slice. He charges by the minute for his legal advice. The tailor measures the cloth by the yard.
- To the extent: The athlete missed the gold medal by a fraction of a second. The car passed by a hair’s breadth from the pedestrian.
- With regard to: By birth, she is Chinese but grew up in the United States. He is an engineer by profession and a traveler by heart. She is known by her stage name, not her birth name.
- Because of/As a result of/Through: I lost my wallet by mistake. He became a successful entrepreneur through hard work and dedication. By working together, we can achieve our common goal.
- Indicating part of the body touched: She was struck by a ball on her face. He was hugged by his best friend. The doctor examined the patient by touching his abdomen.
Use of Preposition For
- In the interest or to the benefit of: She sacrificed everything for her family. He donated a large sum of money for charity.
- Indicating purpose or function: She bought a new dress for the party. He built a shed for storing tools. I am learning Spanish for my upcoming trip.
- Indicating destination, aim, or reason: They left for Paris last night. I am studying for my exams. The company is hiring for a new position.
- Instead of: I will have soup for lunch instead of a sandwich. She chose the blue dress for the red one.
- As the price, reward, or penalty of something: He paid $50 for the concert ticket. He was fined $100 for speeding.
- Indicating preparations: She is getting ready for her wedding day. They are preparing for the big game.
- As a representative of somebody/something: He spoke for the company at the conference. She acted as a spokesperson for the group.
- In defence or support of (somebody/something): He stood up for his friend when he was being bullied. They are fighting for their rights.
- In order to obtain something (After a verb): She went to the store for bread and milk. He is searching for a job.
- With regard to (somebody/something)/concerning (somebody/something): We need to make a decision for the future of the company. She has concerns for her daughter’s safety.
- Because of: He was late for the meeting due to traffic. They cancelled the event for the bad weather. She got a headache for staying up too late.
- Indicating a length of time: They have been married for 10 years.
- Indicating liking/affection: She has a passion for photography.
- Indicating fitness: He is not fit for the marathon.
- Indicating distance: The nearest gas station is 10 miles for here.
- In spite of: For all his wealth, he was not happy.
Use of Preposition From
- Indicating the place or direction from which somebody/something starts: She walks from her house to the park every day. The train departs from platform number 2.
- Indicating the time at which something starts: The office will be closed from tomorrow. The sale will start from 1st May.
- Indicating who sent, gave something: He received a gift from his girlfriend. I got a message from my boss.
- Indicating the source from which something is taken: She extracted the juice from the oranges.
- Indicating the material from which something is made: This dress is made from cotton. The cake is made from chocolate.
- Showing the model: The sculpture is made from clay from the river bank. This portrait is painted from a photograph.
- Indicating separation, removal, etc: She took away the toy from her little brother.
- Showing cause/reason/motive: He is suffering from a fever. He resigned from his job due to stress.
- Showing a distinction between two things: His personality is different from his brother’s. The taste of the pizza is distinct from the pasta.
- Indicating a standpoint: From a customer’s point of view, the service is poor.
Use of Preposition In
- Indicating place/position: The cat is hiding in the box. The restaurant is in the heart of the city.
- Indicating movement into something: He jumped in the pool. She put her hand in her pocket.
- Indicating a period of time: The concert will start in five minutes. We will be on vacation in August.
- Indicating a certain time: The plane will arrive in two hours. The party will start in an hour.
- Within a certain time: The cake will be ready in thirty minutes.
- Indicating inclusion: There are twelve months in a year. There are twenty-four hours in a day.
- Wearing: She is dressed in a red dress. He is clothed in black.
- Indicating circumstances/surroundings: We went for a walk in the rain. He works in an office.
- Indicating the state/condition of somebody or something: The car is in good condition. She is in a good mood today.
- Indicating form/arrangement: The book is written in the first person. The chairs are arranged in a circle.
- Indicating the medium, means, material, etc.: She communicated in sign language. The painting was done in oil on canvas.
- Regarding something: She excels in sports but struggles in academics. He has a lot of experience in the field.
- Indicating somebody’s occupation, activity, etc.: She is in the medical field. He is in the entertainment industry.
Use of Preposition Of
- Indicating origin/authorship: The book on Indian history was written by a scholar of great repute.
- Concerning/depicting: The movie is a powerful portrayal of the struggles of immigrants.
- About (somebody/something): I’ve never heard of that band before. She told us of her plans to travel the world.
- Indicating the material used to make something: The statue was made of marble. The necklace is made of pearls.
- Indicating what is measured, counted, or contained: She drank a glass of water.
- Showing the relationship between part and the whole of something: He is a member of the basketball team.
- Indicating a cause: The accident was the result of reckless driving.
- Indicating a quality: She is a woman of great compassion. He is a man of impeccable character.
- Indicating deprivation: She was stripped of her title.
- Showing possession: The keys to the car are in the hands of the owner.
- Showing point of reference: The town is located east of the river.
- In relation to concerning something: Do you know the name of the author of this book?
- Showing distance in time/space: The airport is 20 miles north of the city. They met for the first time in the summer of 2010.
Use of Preposition On
- Covering, touching: The cat is on the roof. There’s a stain on your shirt. Please leave your keys on the table.
- Supported by or attached to (somebody/something): The child was standing on one leg. There was a dent on the car door. The bracelet was on her wrist. The painting was on the wall.
- In/into (a large vehicle): We got on the train to go to the city. Let’s get on the plane for our vacation. She jumped on the bus to get to school.
- Indicating time: On his birthday, we threw him a party. On the weekend, we like to relax. On Christmas morning, we open presents.
- Immediately after: On finishing his work, he left the office. On the announcement of the winner, there was applause.
- About/concerning: I’m giving a presentation on climate change. The article is on the benefits of exercise.
- Indicating membership of a group/an organization: She’s on the board of directors for the company.
- Indicating direction towards: Turn left on the next street. The restaurant is on the corner of Main and Elm.
- Near/close to: My house is on the outskirts of the city. The park is on the other side of town.
- Indicating a basis/ground/reason for something: His argument is based on facts.
- Supported financially by (somebody/something): They live on a fixed income. He survives on his part-time job.
- By means of (something); using: I communicated with her on social media. He played a song on his guitar.
- Indicating food: The bear lives on fish. He survives on a diet of fruits and vegetables.
- Indicating condition: He agreed to the job offer on the condition of a higher salary.
- At the expense of: The prank was on him. The dinner is on me tonight.
Use of Preposition To
- In the direction of/towards: She walked to the park. The cat ran to its owner. The bird flew to the tree.
- Indicating location in a specified direction: The beach is to the east of the hotel. The mountains are to the north of the city. The river flows to the west of the town.
- Reaching the state of something: The speech brought her to tears. He worked hard to rise to the top of the company. The athlete trained for years to achieve her goal.
- Indicating limit/as far as: The road stretches to the horizon. The store is open from 9 am to 9 pm. The hike lasted from sunrise to sunset.
- Belonging to/for: She gave the key to the lock to her husband. The book belongs to the library. He is a personal assistant to the CEO.
- Indicating a comparison or ratio: She prefers tea to coffee.
- In honour of: They raised a monument to the memory of the fallen soldiers.
- Concerning: The article talks about the benefits of meditation to mental health.
- Causing: To his disappointment, the concert was cancelled.
- Satisfying: The food was delicious, but not to his liking.
- Expressing purpose or result in an adverb clause: She went to the store to buy some milk.
- With an adjectival function: She was the first to arrive at the party. He is the last to leave the office.
Use of Preposition Towards
- In the direction of: The bird flew towards the horizon.
- In relation to (somebody/something): John has always been hostile towards his boss. The company has a positive attitude towards diversity.
- As a contribution to/for: I donated money towards the orphanage’s education fund. The team collected donations towards the charity event.
- Near (a point of time): The concert will start towards the evening. She finished her work towards midnight.
Use of Preposition With
- Expressing instrument/means used: She typed the report with a computer. He painted the wall with a brush. They repaired the car with a wrench.
- In the company or presence of (somebody/something): She went to the party with her boyfriend. He watched the movie with his family. They went on a trip with their dog.
- In the care, charge, or possession of: The key is with the receptionist. The documents were left with the lawyer. The responsibility lies with the manager.
- Having or carrying something: The waiter came with a tray of drinks. She went to the store with a shopping list. He arrived at the meeting with a folder of documents.
- Indicating the material or item used: She made the cake with flour and eggs. The sculpture was made with marble. The dress is made with silk.
- Indicating agreement or support: I am with you on this decision. She stands with her team on this issue. They voted with the majority.
- Indicating opposition against: He had a disagreement with his boss. She had an argument with her friend. They had a fight with their neighbours.
- Because of: He sighed with relief. She smiled with happiness. They shouted with excitement.
- Indicating the manner, circumstances, or condition: He spoke with a British accent. She completed the task with ease. They travelled with caution.
- In regard to/concerning: She is disappointed with the service. He is proud of his accomplishment. They are satisfied with the product.
- Indicating separation from something/somebody: She parted with her favourite dress. He sold his old car and parted with it. They are not ready to part with their childhood home.
- In spite of/despite: With all the noise outside, he managed to concentrate on his work. She continued with the project despite the difficulties. They persisted with their plan in spite of the obstacles.
- Indicating the point of reference: The students are comfortable with their teacher. He is friendly with his coworkers. She is strict with her children.
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