Preposition

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A Preposition is a word placed before a noun or a pronoun to show the relationship between the person or the thing denoted by it and something else as:

Example:

  1. We saw a dog on the road.

  2. I am fond of chocolates.

  3. The boy jumped off the table.

In the first example, the preposition word ‘on’ joins a noun to another noun.

In the second example, the preposition word ‘of’ joins a noun to an adjective.

In the third example, the preposition word ‘off’ joins a noun to a verb.

A preposition is used with its object, which is either a noun or a pronoun. In a sentence, a preposition can have more than one object.

Example: The children ran across the hill and the plain.

Note: The word, ‘preposition’ is placed before its object; but sometimes it is placed after its object.

Example:

  1. Please give me the phone that I asked for.

  2. What are you looking at?

  3. That is the student (whom) I was speaking of.

In the first example, a preposition word is placed at the end when the object is the relative pronoun that.

In the second example, when its object is interrogative, then the preposition word is placed at the end of the sentence.

In the third example, the preposition word is placed at the end of the sentence because its object is a relative pronoun.

Note: Sometimes, when a preposition word needs to be emphasized, then the object is placed at the beginning of the sentence.

Example: Sachin Tendulkar is known all the world over.

That he insists on.

To learn the correct usage of prepositions in a sentence, you must do ample reading, listening, speaking and writing. However, there are certain rules, which are worth knowing.


Kinds of Preposition

i) Simple Preposition: The preposition words that are used along with its object is called simple preposition. Ex: at, by, for, in, of, off, on, out, through, till, to, up, with, etc.

Example:

  1. I saw a man at the corner of the street.

  2. My parents live in the countryside.

  3. The train moved through the dark tunnel.

ii) Compound Preposition: These are usually formed by prefixing a preposition (a or be) to a noun, adjective or adverb. Ex: above, across, along, around, before, beyond, inside, within, without, etc.

Example:

  1. The children were hiding behind the tree.

  2. The dog went around the bush.

  3. I reached the mall before my friend.

iii) Phrasal/ Group Preposition: Joining two or more words forms this preposition. Ex: according to, in addition to, away from, by means of, in order to, instead of, with regard to, etc.

Example:

  1. I live 5kms away from my mother’s house.

  2. According to the latest news, the elections will be postponed.

  3. I watched the news instead of a movie.

iv) Participle Preposition: When present participles are used without any noun or pronoun attached to them, these are called participle prepositions. Ex: barring, concerning, passing, considering, during, pending, regarding, touching, etc.

Example:

  1. Notwithstanding his ill health, he took the final examination.

  2. Considering the quality, the price is not high.

  3. Concerning his involvement in the incidence, locals differ.

Classes of Preposition

To make a distinction, simple prepositions can be divided into three classes:

  1. Prepositions of Time and Date: These include at, on, in by, to, till, until, during, for, since, from, within, before, after, afterwards, then, etc.

Example: 

  1. We have been living in this apartment for ten years.

  2. Our relatives arrived in the morning.

  3. Bring the file to the office by nine o’clock.

  1. Prepositions of Place: These include at, in, on, to, behind, etc.

Example:

  1. My parents live in Kolkata.

  2. We are going to Shimla for a vacation.

  3. The teacher is standing behind the desk.

  1. Prepositions of Travel and Movement: These include from, to, by, on, into, at, out, out of, off, etc.

Example:

  1. We are travelling by bus.

  2. Give me the book from the shelf.

  3. We are going from Bangalore to Delhi.

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Solved Solutions

Q1. Apply for, since, at, in, on, by where required in the following sentences.

  1. She drinks a lot of tea _______________ the evenings.

  2. It is usually much warmer ___________________ two o’ clock in the afternoon than __________ the morning.

  3. The new session starts ___________ June.

  4. They have lived in this city __________ 2015.

  5. I have been waiting for you ____________ 6 o’clock.

  6. We will finish our exams ____________ two days’ time.

  7. They have lived in Bangalore ___________ six months.

  8. Hari went home ______________ sunset.

  9. We have been waiting ___________ over an hour.

Solution:

  1. She drinks a lot of tea in the evening.

  2. It is usually much warmer by two o’clock in the afternoon than in the morning.

  3. The new session starts in June.

  4. They have lived in this city since 2015.

  5. I have been waiting for you since 6 o’clock.

  6. We will finish our exams in two days’ time.

  7. They have lived in Bangalore for six months.

  8. Hari went home at sunset.

  9. We have been waiting for over an hour.

Q2. Correct the following sentences.

  1. She met me in last evening.

  2. Rita is not home.

  3. We drove to home early this morning.

  4. The man faced the danger by courage.

  5. I reached at the mall a little late.

  6. The shopkeeper deals with rice.

  7. The river flows through the bridge.

  8. The police will investigate into the matter.

  9. We met with each other in Diwali evening.

Solution

  1. She met me last evening. ( delete ‘in’ before last)

  2. Rita is not at home. (place ‘at’ before home)

  3. We drove home early this morning (delete ‘to’ before home)

  4. The man faced the danger with courage.    (replace ‘by’ with ‘with’)

  5. I reached the mall a little late. (delete ‘at’ after reached)

  6. The shopkeeper deals in rice. (deals in)

  7. The river flows under the bridge. (under the bridge)

  8. The police will investigate the matter (delete ‘into’)

  9. We met with each other on Diwali evening. (replace ‘in’ with ‘on’)

Q3. Use the appropriate prepositions in the following sentences.

  1. Does the headmaster live _______ the school campus? (on / in / at/ between)

  2. The ground is wet. It must have rained ___________ the night. (during / at / for / through)

  3. There is no cure _____________ cancer. ( of / with / for / about)

  4. Students should concentrate _____________ studies (to / at / on / with)

  5. The hotel is adjacent _________ the police station. ( into /  to / at / by )

Solution

  1. Does the headmaster live on the school campus?

  2. The ground is wet. It must have rained during the night.

  3. There is no cure for cancer.

  4. Students should concentrate on studies.

  5. The hotel is adjacent to the police station.