Preposition meaning and Examples

Preposition is a word that is placed before a noun and a pronoun to show its relation to some other word in the sentence. Informative article.


A preposition is a word that is placed before a noun and a pronoun to show its relation to some other word in the sentence. For example: on, under, to, in, after, etc.


• The cat is under the table.
• The water is in the glass.

Forms of Preposition:

There are five different forms of prepositions.

i. Simple
ii. Double
iii. Compound
iv. Participle
v. Phrase Preposition

i) Simple Preposition:

This preposition includes the words: in, at, on, for, with, of, from, up, under, to, after, etc.

Example in sentences:

  • I am going to London in February.
  • The book is on the table.
  • The cat is under the table.
  • The chair is in the room.
  • I am going to the University.
  • The party will end after two hours.
  • I will go to visit her with my parents.
  • The stage has been decorated for the guests.

ii) Double Preposition:

Preposition that is used when simple preposition does not serve the purpose. For example, into, onto, within, outside, etc.

Example in sentences:

  • The children are present outside the room.
  • He went into the room.
  • I will complete this work within two hours.
  • She will arrive here within half an hour.
  • He climbed onto the wall to escape from the thief.

iii) Compound Preposition:

The preposition that includes the words, inside, outside, beneath, are called compound prepositions.

Example in sentences:

  • The chair is present inside the room.
  • We were sitting beneath the tree.
  • Please ask Joe to come inside the room.
  • There is a playground outside our house.
  • I was sitting inside the car.

iv) Participle Preposition:

Present and past participles are used as preposition such as pending, during, except, concerning, regarding, etc.

Example in sentences:

  • I am doing the work pending from the last week.
  • The chief guest arrived during the last minutes of the function.
  • This matter is concerning to my brother.
  • He made gesture regarding his consent to go there.
  • All attended the meeting except Shina.

v) Phrase Preposition:

Sometimes two or more words followed by a preposition, make a phrase. The preposition thus used is called phrase preposition. For example, inspite of, by means of, in front of, in opposition to, with reference to etc.

Example in sentences:

  • His shop is in front of my house.
  • The delivery of goods was sent to him with reference to his email.
  • He went there inspite of his illness.
  • His conversation was in opposition to his appearance.

Types of Preposition:

There are three types of prepositions.

i) Preposition of time
ii) Preposition of place
iii) Preposition of Manner.

i) Preposition of time:

The preposition which shows the time of performing some action. For example, in, on, at, ago, before, since, for, by, to, etc.

Example in sentences:

  • I left the house an hour ago.
  • I shall reach the University at 10:30.
  • I have been laying in this house since 1990.
  • I have taken nothing since morning.
  • I did not speak to my brother for two days.
  • He will visit me for a week.
  • The college was closed from 6th to 24th of this month.
  • He started writing from the age of fifteen.
  • He has been on duty since November.

He disturbed me during the course of action.

ii) Preposition of place:

Words like on, over, above, in, under, against, beside, across, at are prepositions that are used to show the place and are called prepositions of place.

Example in sentences:

The paper is lying beside the table.
(Means near the table but very close to it).
He walked across the park.
(means stretching from one side to another).
I passed through the park. (which means not in any specification).
The book is on the table. (means inside the drawer).
The pencil is under the table. (means on the floor but within the area covered by the table).

iii) Preposition of Manner:

The prepositions involved in this category show the method or mode to perform action or activity.

Example in sentences:

  • We arrive in a country.
  • We travel by bus.
  • We get into a public or private vehicle.
  • We get out of the public or private vehicles.
  • We arrive in a country or town.
  • We travel on horseback.
  • He travels on foot.
  • He is in the room.
  • He jumped into the river.
  • The branch of the tree was broken off.
  • The cat ran towards the rat.
  • He was killed by the robber.

Special Use of some prepositions:


At is generally used before the names of places and small towns whereas ‘in’ is generally used before the names of cities and countries.

Use of ‘At’ and ‘in’ in sentences:

i. Julia lives in London for four years.
ii. John lives at 14-street.

‘At’ is also used before a definite point of time and before indefinite time.

i) He came at 5 O’clock.
ii) I was born in 1904.

In, Into, to

‘In’ is used in speaking of things at rest; into and to are used in speaking of things in motion.

i) We saw him in the garden.
ii) He walked into the garden.
iii) The boy ran to school.

On, upon

On is used in speaking of things at rest and upon of things in motion.

i) The cat is sitting on the wall.
ii) The cat sprang upon the table.

In, within

‘In’ means at the end of; within means before the end of.

i) I shall return in an hour.
ii) I shall be return within half an hour.

By, with

By is used before the agent and before the instrument.
i) The snake was killed by him with a stick.

Between, among

Between is used with two persons or thing while among with more than two.

i) He divided his property between his two sons.
ii) The thieves divided the treasure among themselves.

Beside, Besides

Beside means by the side of, while besides means in addition to.

i) The dog sat beside his master.
ii) Besides money, he gave food to the beggar.

Since, for

‘Since’ is used before a noun or a phrase denoting a point of time, whereas for is used before a noun or phrase denoting a period. Both since and for are preceded by a verb in the perfect tense.

i) I have been ill since Monday.
ii) I have been ill for four days.

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