A preposition is a word used to show the way in which other words are connected. It is used to express basic relationships between words. You can express relationships of time and place by the use of a preposition.
For Example…. I can see you on friday/in october/ at 7 pm/ for an hours, etc.
I’ll meet you at university/ in Delhi/ outside the library/ on the Delhi college campus, etc..
Besides the relationships of time and place you can use the prepositions to express many other different kinds of relationships. for example:
Means — she came by train/on foot/ in a motor-car, etc.,
manner – she spoke with a smile/ in a sweet tone.
reaction – i was shocked at his sudden death/ by his cruel joke.
Reason – I did for my country/ out of duty/ because of my countrymen.
A preposition is , then, a link in the chain of a sentence. It ties a noun or pronoun to the rest of the sentence. For Example : a. write your address in the note book. B. there is a rat under the bed. c. this piece of chalk is for you . D. this letter is from him.
Preposition can be used in a sentence to show space, or time, or direction, or agency, or association, etc.,
For Example ; a. a few books have been on the desk( showing space) he arrived before lunch ( showing time) i walk to town/towards the farm.( showing direction) It was done by the night watchman with a knife.( showing agency) He left without hope. (showing association)
The use of different prepositions in a sentence gives us different shades of meaning. For Example ; Suman danced for Govind. ( for the sake of govind) suman danced with Govind.( they dance together) suman danced after govind. (after govind had finished dancing) suman danced behind govind. ( govind in the front)
A particular preposition can often be used to express different shades of meaning. For Example : He will meet you after 2’0 clock.(later than) Put the direct object after the verb. (Next in order to, following), It is a painting after Picasso.( in the style of) the police ran after the thief. ( In pursuit of, in search of) She enquired after your health. ( regarding) A son takes after his father.( resembles) After all my care it was broken.(In spite of) shut the door after you when you leave the room.( behind) I shall never speak to him after what he has said about me. ( in view of, as a result of)
some times the same word requires different prepositions to express various situations. Take , for example, the word “die ‘ and ”divide”; examples : He died of cancer. He died from the loss of blood. He died through neglect. He died in train accident.
He died by his own hand. He died for his country.
Divide this mango in half. Divide this mango into four parts. Divide forty by eight. Divide these apples between the two children. Let me divide the property among my four sons.
also note the following examples: Alive in every nerve; Alive to every noble impulse; alive with fervor, hope, resolve, alive through all his being. Alliance with neighboring people: against the common enemy; for offence and defense; alliance of, between, or among nations. Agree in opinion with the speaker, to the terms proposed; persons agree on or upon a statement of principles, rules, etc., we must agree among ourselves.
A particular prepositions can often be used to express more than one kind of relationship. For example ; time – by next month; – on the appointed hour; place – by the window; – on the tree top; Means – by working overtime; – on a bicycle .
Types of prepositions
TIME — at, by, between, before, after, during, in, on, to, from, for , since, throughout, till , until. Examples…. He came at 7’o clock. He will start after lunch it has rained for a week .. He will come by 9’o clock. He will go out during pujas. He came on Monday. She will return before dinner. IT has been raining since Monday. He was here throughout summer.
PLACE/ POSITION – at, above, across, against, before, behind, in, on, over, under . Example.. He is at home. He has no roof above his head. There is a cap on his head. The thief stood before the judge. He is sitting under a tree. He is in his room. There is an umbrella over his head. He will come before 9’0 clock.
DIRECTION : above, into, on, to, towards, up, down. Examples : He is above me in rank. he fell into a river. he is kind towards the poor. He climbed up a tree. He is going to school. He fired on the enemy.
RELATIVE POSITION: between, among, amongst examples: There is friendship between him and mine. There is unity among the body. There is a village among the hills. There is no difference amongst us.
DESTINATION : to, from, Examples: He is going to market. He is coming from school. Boys are at play.
STATE/CONDITIONS: at, in, on, under CHANGE OF STATE: at, in, on, under. Examples: He is at work That house is under repair. He is in good health. He died in misery. Translate into English. Love turned into hatred.
AIM/GOAL/PURPOSE/TARGET: FOR Examples: He bought a pen for Mohan. He died for his society. He has started for Bombay. He lives for others.
ORIGIN/SOURCE: from , of examples: This road runs from Patna to Gaya. He comes of a rich family. I borrowed a book from the library. It is a poem of Dinkar
SEPARATION FROM ,OF, OFF. Examples: leaves are falling from the tree. he is off duty he is away from the home the dog jumped off the chair He was robbed of his money.
Relation/Possession: OF Examples: this is the house of my friend. he is a servant of my uncle.
Material / Ingredient : of, from Examples: this chair is made of wood we make butter from milk.
Part/ portion : of Example: this is the window of this house. this is the horn of my car give me a piece of chalk
Means/ instrument: by, in, with, without Examples: He came here by car. he was struck by lightning it is written in ink
Manner : like, with examples: he is like his father I look upon this work with pride he treated me with kindness.
MEANS/INSTRUMENTN; by, in, with, without Examples: He speaks in English. we see with our eyes. this play was written by Mohan. The house was destroyed by fire. It is written in pencil. She writes in Hindi. we can’t see without eyes.
MANNER; like, with Example: he heard me with sympathy.
CAUSE ; from, of, for , with Examples: he died from loss of blood. He died of cholera. He will suffer for his bad habits . He is sick with tears.
ACCOMPANIMENT; with , without Examples; I played with them. He came without his wife.
MEASUREMENT/STANDARD; at, by, for, to examples: Rice sells at Rs.4 a kilo It is ten by my watch. He is good at painting she is good at co0king Mangoes sell two to a rupee. He is clever at games.
SUPPORT/OPPOSITION; for, against examples: I stand for my friend. He is against me.
SUBJECT/MATTER ; on, about examples: I am reading a book on English grammar. I told him about my school.
PREPOSITIONS DISTINGUISHED : DEVELOP YOUR ACQUAINTANCE WITH THEM.
AT, IN, INTO, ON he lives at Rajgir. he leaves his bed at 5 a.m. the bus stood at the end of the serpentine road. The servant stood at the far end of the room. He is staying at his uncle’s place. He drove the car at full speed. Milk is selling at 60 rs a liter. He moved at snail’s pace. The coolies rushed at the foreign tourists. He simply aimed at the bird. He did not shoot at her. He lives in India. He will come in two days. There is a frog in this well. A cat has just fallen into this well. She will reach at 9’o clock. They came at noon/night/midnight. she is at home. he is at school. He lives in Hyderabad. we live in India. she is looking at him. He aimed his gun at the thief. He left school at 10. They are at work. They are working now. Boys are at play = boys are playing now. He is in the army. She is in politics. I got this book at Rs.25. we are delighted at your success. I will start on Monday. I will start on the 2nd February. I will start at 5’o clock. There is a book on the table. There is no hair on his head. My son is at school. She is at home.
BY, WITH, BEFORE. Let me write with a pen. The horse was beaten with a whip by the rider. He was struck by the beauty of Kashmir. He will reach before next January.
ON, UPON,OVER. The dog sprang upon a cat. He is standing on the road. The plane flew over my head.
IN, WITHIN, BY I shall be back (at the close of) within a month. He will come back from UK within a month. I shall submit my thesis within ten days. He will come back by 8’o clock.
AT, ABOUT TILL, BY He left work at 4’o clock. I was kept waiting till 9’o clock. I shall return home by 10’o clock. He will reach Agra by 9’o clock in the morning.
IN, AFTER, SINCE, FOR . I shall come back in (just at the expiry of) an hour. He has been working since 8’o clock. I have not met him for the months.
BETWEEN, AMONG : Divide these Apples. Please see me between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. You have to choose between this and that. He is between two horns of dilemma. It is between us. I am between him and me. I am between two perils. The money was divided between my two sons.
BESIDE, BESIDES, FROM: He stood beside the RT bus. I began business from the age of twenty. There is a river beside my residence. Your argument is besides the point. Besides English, he knows many other languages. He sat besides me. Your answer is beside the point. Beside a pen, he has a watch.
ABOUT, ABOVE, ACROSS,AFTER, AGAINST ; He is careless about duties. what are you angry about? she is walking about the room. They are about to start. she is about to die. The plane is flying above the clouds. she has no roof above her head. she is above suspicion. He lives just across the road. There is a bridge across the river. we went out after lunch/10’o clock. This is a poem after words worth. she will go home the day after tomorrow. I am against this proposal. Put a ladder against the tree. There were fifty murders this year against a hundred last year. This is an injection against cholera.
BEFORE, BEHIND; He will get back before 9 a.m./lunch. A comes before B. He stood before the judge. He is walking behind his mother. He is behind other in his class.
BY,IN,ON,WITH: he sat by me. here is a temple by this river. He will get back by 9 a.m. He should be here by the evening. We travel by car/bus/boat/taxi/cycle. we travel by land/sea/air. we send something by post/ hand. He came in a new car. she came in a yellow taxi. He came on his own cycle/bike. Hamlet was written by Shakespeare. The Taj Mahal was built by Shahjahan. He was beaten by his teacher. He was beaten with a cane. We see with our eyes. Roads are lighted by electricity. That house was destroyed by fire. He was killed by lightning. We pay wages by cheque. I swear by God.
DIFFERENT USES OF SOME PREPOSITIONS ON – pictures on the wall. A carpet on the floor. Float on the water. Write on the paper. stick a stamp on the envelope. Hang something on a nail. Carry a jacket on one’s arm. Be/go on board a ship. Have lunch on the train. A lecture on Milton. Lecture/speak/write on changing social scenario. Be keen/determined/bent/set on something/ on doing something. He’s on the committee. are you on the jury? Turn one’s back on somebody. Draw a knife on somebody. Hit somebody on the head. March on the enemy’s capital. smile/frown on somebody. On the penalty of death. On an average. A story based on fact. On this/that/no account. retire on a pension. Arrested on the charge of theft. Act on somebody’s advice. Have something on good authority. Charge interest on many. Put a tax on petrol. Place a strain on the economy. A house on the main road. a town on the coast. on both sides of the river. on my right/left. on business. on fire. on sale. on lone. suffer insult on insult/disaster. on Monday. on the 1st of April. on the evening of July the first. On new year’s day/Eve.
AT at the bus depot. at his office. Laugh/ grow at some body/something. Rush at the enemy. Look at something/somebody. Throw something at somebody. shoot/aim a gun at something. It looks better at a distance. Hold it at arm’s length. At all times. at regular intervals. At periodic intervals. What’s he at now?( what is he doing?) He’s hard at it. (working hard) They are at play.( They are playing.) I am at work. At peace. At leisure. At war. He finished the work at a sitting. at full speed. At a snail’s pace. At immense cost. Sell something at a loss. At least. At the worst. At his/their/ its best. What the master says often goes in one ear and out at the other. At the second attempt. At first. At 7’o clock. At sunset. At any moment. That drowning man had to clutch at the Oar. we had to guess at the meaning.
BY Come and sit by me. My house is by the river. He goes by the telegraph office daily. She makes a living by teaching. The temple was designed by me. The streets are lighted by electricity. Travel by land/sea/air. Go by bus/car/boat. Send something by post/hand. I took him by the hand. He seized me by the hair. He grabbed the thief by the scruff of his neck. By the terms of the agreement you’ve to pay Rs.5000. It is 9’o clock by my watch. You mustn’t judge by him by appearance. The bullet missed him by the fraction of an inch. She is too clever by half.(much too smart). He always swears by God. She swears by you all the time. Twenty divided by five is equal to four. This room is twenty feet by fifteen feet. The enemy soldiers attacked by night. can you complete this work by tomorrow? They ought to be here by this time.
OF He died of grief. He is sick/afraid/ashamed/proud/glad/tired of something or somebody. They were within a hundred yards of the airport. Dr.Sudha cured me of this disease/bad habit. You robbed me of my money/belongings. Pray help me, I’m short of money. the pied piper rid the town of all the rats. The trees are bare of leaves. He is a man of humble origin. You’re of royal descent. Have you read the works of Shakespeare? A man of humble origin. Made of steel and concrete. Built of brick. the cause of the accident. The result of the debate. The master of the house. The wall of the garden. A topic of conversation. Master of arts. Blind of one eye. Think well of somebody. A sheet of paper Roll of cloths. Four acres of land. A lot/ a great deal of that stuff. No more of that. what do you do of a Sunday /on Sundays? He at time comes in/of/an evening, in the evenings.
FOR will he act for me in this matter? Are you for or against this proposal? Here’s a message for you. save it for me. Are all these for you? She was educated for the law. He was trained for lectureship. Let’s go for a walk/ride/swim. They work for their living. I read for pleasure. It is a mill for grinding wheat. He has a weakness for gaudy dress. He has a taste for classical music. I have a strong liking for that young girl. Let’s prepare for the ensuing examination. The boys are getting ready for school. Let’s lay in supplies of coal for winter. You are fit/unfit for this job. It is good /bad for your health. You are the very man for job. This boy is tall for his age. It is quite warm for December. It is not good for a beginner. Three cheers for the captain! For all his wealth. he is disconnected. I’m anxious for my father’s safety. The score of our team is 250 for three wickets. The rival team was all out for 320. I paid Rs.50 for the book. That is enough for the present. I’m going to Delhi for few days. for one enemy he has ten friends. He has a good ear for music. For the sake of peace. For my sake. For this reason. For fear of discovery of one’s sins. Let’s hope for the best. Let’s pray to him for help. It’s a cry for help.
OFF he fell off a ladder/ a tree/ a horse. The ball rolled off the table. Keep off the grass. His house is off the main road. He at time comes in/of/an evening, in the evenings.
OVER snow is falling over the north of Kashmir. He is famous all over the country. We heard voices over the hedge. He spoke to me over his shoulder. we had a pleasant chat over a cup of coffee. They all laughed over the affair. He went to sleep over his work. Akbar reigned over a great empire. He has no command over his passion. He has jurisdiction over two provinces. Let us spread a cloth over the table. The balcony just out over the street. The sky is over/ above our heads. He stayed in New York for over a year. This river is over sixty miles long. He spoke for well over two hours.
IN In America In the west of Asia. In Delhi. Islands in the Indian Ocean. The Highest mountain in the World. In Every quarter of the colony. Not a cloud in the sky. In the background/fore ground. In temple/church/mosque/prison. A holiday in the country/ in the mountains. Lying in bed. Sitting in the armchair(But on a chair without arms) A stick in one’s hand. A light in the distance. A ride in a motor car. In this direction. In all directions. Throw the rubbish in the fire. In the past. In these/ those days. In his youth. In my old age. In my absence. In his hour triumph. In an hour. In a moment. In a few days.
FROM Travel from Delhi to Madrid. Move from place to place. Jump(down) from the well. From childhood. From day to day. From the first of April. From beginning to end. stay away from nonsense. Five miles from the coast. Be/go away from home. A book from my friend. A letter from my father. A gift from my sister. Painted from life. Painted from nature.
WITH cut something with a knife. walk with a crutch. write with a pen. see something with your own eyes. Take something with both hands. with the help of your neighbor. fill this bag with sugar. the hills are covered with snow. Let me stuff this bag with sand. A jug with no handle. A cost with three pockets. A girl with blue eyes. A beggar with no clothes on. With your permission. Go for a walk with a friend. Live with your parents. Mix one thing with another. fight with courage. with joy. win with ease. with pleasure. Receive somebody with open arms. He rises with the sun. I have no money with me. Leave the child. I am with you in what you say. with all his faults I still liked him.
APPROPIATE WORDS FOLLOWING VARIOUS PREPOSITIONS
verbs followed by ABOUT
agree, argue, ask,
boast, brag, brood,
care, chat, complain, consult,
forget, fret, fuss,
talk, tell, thing,
warm, wonder, worry.
Nouns followed by ABOUT advice, agreement, anxiety, book, chat, concern, consultation, debate, decision, fuss, Idea, Information, Joke, Judgement, lecture, Letter, Misgivings, News, Opinion, Phobia, Prediction, Quarrel, Question, row
Adjectives followed by ABOUT adamant, angry annoyed anxious apprehensive bothered certain complacent concerned crazy embarrassed enthusiastic fussy guilty happy ignorant indignant miserable mistaken nervous optimistic passionate pleased positive skeptical sensitive sentimental serious sorry uncertain unclear unconcerned undecided uneasy unhappy unsure upset vague wary worried
verbs followed by AGAINST agitate align ally advise counsel compete conspire fight guard immunize inoculate play plot side insure insulate militate vaccinate protect warn
NOUNS followed by AGAINST aggression ally battle blow bulwark boycott fight conspiracy campaign defense fight crime match war insurance legislation safeguard victory shield war
AS Transitive verbs followed by ‘AS’ acknowledge address adopt brand cast categorize certify characterize choose cite class classify conceive condemn consider construe count denounce depict descript designate diagnose disguise elect employ establish hail interpret label mark name nominate perceive project regards stamp use
INTRANSITIVE VERBS FOLLOWED BY ‘AS’
act begin come double function pass pose serve works
AT verbs followed by AT gape gaze bark scream beam frown aim clutch grab dab gnaw exclaim` frown jeer laugh glance glare shout snap grin scowl grasp guess shoot hack nibble marvel rail rave scoff look stare swear yell smile sneer snatch strike throw pick poke shudder wander wave wink tear
ed by “AT” aghast alarmed amazed amused angry annoyed appalled astonished bewildered disappointed Embarrassed furious impatient indignant irritated pleased surprised unhappy
BY verbs followed by “BY” abide go live stand stick swear
BETWEEN NOUNS followed by ‘between’ agreement alliance antagonism balance battle band breach collision connection contrast Difference Discrepancy Consultation contact Co-ordination correspondence Encounter feud fight friendship interplay Disparity Distinction Gap Link Merger Misunderstanding Partnership Rapport Relationship Split Truce Understanding gulf inequality parity similarity
VERBS followed by ‘BETWEEN’ advertise aim apply appeal ask beg bargain fight fish call clamor hanker grope hunt look hope hunger long search send wait lust pine pray press wish yearn
FOR NOUNS followed by ‘for’ Admiration affection affinity appreciation contempt disdain dislike disregard disrespect Distaste Enthusiasm Hatred Love Lust Mania Nostalgia Partiality Passion Prediction Weakness
FROM Verbs followed by ‘FROM’ Beg borrow buy cut detach change convert conceal guard hide ban stop deflect come elicit get disconnect remove fall graduate Insulate keep protect deter discourage disqualify glean inherit obtain separate switch transform shelter shield withhold dissuade keep prevent receive translate turn stop
IN VERBS followed by “IN” assist believe collaborate dabble deal engage fail gain glory implicate indulge interfere decrease delight development exercise experiment faith fall equality inequality intervene invest involve join luxuriate meddle fluctuation improvement increase interest part pride say similarity variation meditate revel share specialize wallow skill slump stake upsurge voice
INTO verbs followed by ”INTO” bully coax coerce blossom change convert degenerate deceive delude frighten develop divide evolve grow galvanize pressurize push make transform translate turn seduce shame trick
OF Intransitive verbs followed by ‘OF’ approve beware boast complain conceive consist despair disapprove dispose dream hear know learn partake savor smack smell think weary Transitive verbs followed by “OF” Absolve Accuse Acquit advise assure avail cheat cleanse convict convince cure Denude Deprive Divest Inform Make Notify purge warn beloved contemptuous Expressive Adjectives followed by OF afraid appreciate apprehensive ashamed aware bare ignorant impatient incapable independent indicative insensible bereft capable certain characteristic conscious intolerant jealous nervous oblivious possessed proud contemptuous critical devoid empty enamored envious scared skeptical scornful short unafraid unaware expressive fond forgetful free full guilty uncertain unconscious unsure unworthy wary worthy
ON Transitive verbs followed by “ON” base blame confer force impose inflict lavish model spend Intransitive verbs followed by “ON” bet build capitalize check choke concentrate count depend embark encroach focus frown gamble impinge impose improve infringe insist intrude lean plan prevail rely settle Nouns followed by “ON” assault attack attempt ban advice agreement book commit boycott burden claim Effect debate decision Ideas Judgement embargo Emphasis focus limit lecture legislation outlook limitation onslaught restriction remark report verdict
Adjectives followed by “ON” adamant bent dependent easy fair hard hooked incumbent intent keen
Verbs followed by “ON” advise agree comment decide dwell Elaborate expand lecture meditate muse ponder pronounce reflect remark report speculate vote
TO verbs followed by “TO” Beckon demonstrate announce complain confide change convert give offer explain mutter report fall promote point show say talk write return turn signal wave Adjectives followed by “TO” courteous cruel devoted disloyal adjacent allergic central fair faithful friendly indifferent immune impervious indebted kind loyal nice partial sensitive similar subordinate sympathetic unfair unfaithful unkind
WITH verbs followed by “WITH” ally association chat coexist confer dance debate discuss merge share speak trade collide argue bargain clash compete Interact Disagree feud Fight Haggle Work Row Struggle Vie Wrangle
PREPOSITIONS IN DAILY USE
abide by : you must abide by your promise
abound in, with : The tank abounds in fish
Absent from : she is absent from the school today
Abstain from : we should abstain from the drinking
Absorbed in : pranav is absorbed in his work
Access to : I have no access to the minister
Act upon: he did no act upon his teacher’s advice
Accede to : The principal did not accede to my request
Account for: How do you account for your failure?
Accused : He was accused of theft
Accomplished in : she is accomplished in painting
Accustomed to : the farmer is accustomed to hard labour
Accompanied by : when i went there i was accompanied by my brother
Acquit of : The judge acquitted him of all the charges
Admit into: he was admitted into the 10th class
Admit to: He was admitted to the college
Addicted to: His father is addicted to gambling.
Advantage of: She took advantage of my leniency.
Advantage over: India gained an advantage over Pakistan in Lahore sector
Affection for : I have great affection for her parents
Affection to : She is affectionate to her parents
Agree with : I do no agree with you in this matter
Agree to: Mahima did not agree to my proposal.
Aim at: The hunter aimed at the tiger.
Alarmed at: we were alarmed at the news.
Alive to: I’m alive to my duties
Alive with: The street is alive with people.
Ambition of: He is ambitious of honor.
Amazed at: I was amazed at his behaviour.
Amused with: Ray amused us with many jokes.
Angry with: It appears that he is angry with me.
Angry at: I’m angry at his rude behavior.
Annoyed at : She felt annoyed at my remarks.
Anxious for : He is anxious for the health of his son.
Apologies to (a person) : He apologized to me for his misconduct.
Aptitude for : Ruchita has special aptitude for music
Appeal to, for : He appealed to the government for help
Appoint to : Mr.Sudhakar has been appointed to the post of the head master.
Apply to: he applied to the principal for free concession.
Apply for : did you apply for this post?
Arrive at: the train arrived at the station.
Arrive in: the British prime minister arrived in India.
Ahmed of: you should be Ahmed of your conduct.
Assent to (agree) : He readily assented to my proposal .
Assure of: I assured him of my play.
Astonished at: I was astonished at his failure.
Associated with: you should not associate with bad boys.
Attend to : please attend to the work.
Attend upon: many servants attend upon her.
Attachment to: I have s sentimental attachment to Simla.
Attention to: pay attention to what I say
Avail of: she did not avail herself of the opportunity.
Adverse to: he is adverse to hard work.