English Basics

What is Preposition?

What is Preposition?

A preposition is a word which expresses relationship of a noun or a pronoun to other words of the sentence.

A preposition is used before a noun or pronoun to show the relationship of the same noun or pronoun to other words of the sentence.e.g. ‘in, of, to, at, by, for, with, under, above, into, onto, upon, about, behind, beside, before, after, towards, inside, outside, below, around’ are commonly used examples of prepositions.


Words of the sentence (i.e. subject, verb) Preposition Noun or Pronoun
He was sitting on a table.
She is going to college.
There is a cat under the bed.
They are dancing in the room.
He was drawing a picture on a wall.
His family lives in America.
She was knocking at the door.
She is throwing stones into a river.
The students were discussing about the exam.
The meeting was held on 25th December.
They will come here in July.
The party will start at 8 P.M
He goes to factory by bus.
The lock cannot be opened with the key.         
This book has been written by John Keats.
The guests were invited by her.

In the above examples, all the prepositions express relationship of a noun or a pronoun ot the other words of the sentence.

Different preposition are used for time, place, direction, agent, device and so on.

Some of the examples are follows:

  • Preposition for time e.g. in, on, at, etc.
  • Preposition for place e.g. in, on, at, etc
  • Preposition for direction e.g. to, towards, into, through etc.
  • Preposition for agent e.g. by
  • Preposition for device, instrument or machines. e.g. on, by, with, etc.

⇒ What is a Prepositional Phrase?

A preposition phrase, in a sentence, is a group of words consisting of a preposition and a noun.

It is a group of a preposition, a noun and other linked word within a sentence. The noun in a prepositional phrase is called object of the preposition.

e.g. on a table, on a paper, in a room, at the door, into a river.

In the following examples, the underlined words are prepositional phrases.

  • He was sitting on a table.
  • She is writing on a paper.
  • Kids were dancing in a room.
  • He is throwing ball into the river.
  • Someone is knocking at the door.

What is Dependent Preposition?

Some prepositions are always used after a specific verb in a sentence to complement the sense of the verb. Such a preposition is called a dependent preposition.

Example:  She was waiting for her mother.

The preposition ‘for’ is a dependent preposition for the verb ‘wait’.

Read the following examples to understand.

  • She is suffering from high fever.
  • The patient died of cancer. 
  • He provided me with some information about the topic.
  • agree with you.
  • agree to your proposal.
  • He had to prepare for the exam.

Note: The group of verb and preposition, within a sentence, is called prepositional verb. e.g. suffering from, provide with, agree with.

Read: Types of Preposition “Preposition for Time, Place, Direction, Agent, and Instrument”

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