Lesson 15: Prepositions
In this section, we will be discussing prepositions and how they’re used in a sentence.
- To define prepositions
- To enumerate the different ways in which different prepositions are used
- To identify the different kinds of prepositions
Quick Navigation through the Lesson 15:
Prepositions can be difficult for English learners because there is no set formula for when to use them. However, they do have certain indicators which we will be taking up in this lesson. We’ll also be looking at how to use the different prepositions in a sentence.
Prepositions are indicators of time, place and direction.
Types & Examples
Common prepositions are on/in/at, of/to/for and with/over/by. Below, we will discuss the different prepositions and when they are to be used so that we can properly use prepositions in a sentence.
On can be used in a number of ways—when indicating something is on the surface of something else, when pertaining to a date or when indicating the state of something.
Below are a few examples:
It was on the table. (indicates it being on the surface of something)
I’ll see you on the fourteenth. (indicates a date)
Mango is on sale. (indicates a state of being)
In is used to indicate an unspecific time, a location or a shape/color/size.
Listed below are a couple of examples to help us learn about prepositions more easily:
I’ll see you in a year. (unspecific time)
Let’s meet in the square. (location)
I really want this in red. (shape/color/size)
At can be used for a specific time, place or for indicating e-mail addresses.
Below are a few examples to illustrate how to use this preposition in a sentence:
I have class at 2:40 pm.
Why don’t you meet me at my place?
You can send me the forms at firstname.lastname@example.org
Of can be used to denote belonging, reference or number.
Listed below are a few examples to better illustrate these points:
She is the cousin of Julia.
My grandmother moved away in the summer of 2009.
She drank five glasses of juice.
To is used to indicate a relationship, a time period, a limit or the direction or object toward which something is moving.
Below are a few examples:
I’m sure you’re important to him. (relationship)
I have work from nine to six. (time period)
Her hair was down to her knees. (limit)
Why don’t we go to that restaurant for breakfast tomorrow? (direction or object of direction)
For is used to mean the use of something, because of or a time or duration.
Here are a few examples:
This place is used for book launches. (use of something)
I am deeply sorry for your loss. (because of)
We were together for five years. (time period)
With is used to indicate being together or involved, having, using, feeling or being in agreement or understanding.
Below are a few examples as to how these are used in sentences:
Jeanette is at the mall with Elisabeth. (togetherness/involvement)
I met a guy with dark hair. (having)
I painted this with the high-fiber brush you gave me. (using)
He said with gusto. (feeling)
I agree with her. (agreement)
Over is used to denote movement, excess or a period of time.
Listed below are some examples to help illustrate these uses:
Can you come over tomorrow? (movement)
We went over the quote. (excess)
I haven’t seen her in over a year. (period of time)
By is used to indicate proximity, method or the do-er of an action (in passive voice).
Below are a couple of examples to help illustrate these modes of use:
James was standing by the trash can. (proximity)
You can get there by taking the L-train. (method)
The cookie was eaten by Angelica. (do-er of the action in passive voice)
In this lesson, we learned all about prepositions—we learned that these kinds of words indicate or point to something. We were able to tackle the different prepositions and how they’re used in sentences. We also learned what specific things they point to in most patterns. This will help us get better at constructing sentences in English.
Our next lesson is on conjunctions or connecting words. We’ll look at how these words are used and how they can be very helpful when communicating in English or stringing together different trains of thought. Move onto the next lesson and you will definitely be one step closer to your goal of becoming excellent in basic English grammar.