Definition. A Preposition is a word placed before a Noun or a Pronoun to show its relation to show other words in the sentence.
- Sachin spoke to me.
- I will stand by you.
- Australia played with us.
- All the girls laughed at him.
In these sentences, the words to, by, with and at are placed before Pronouns. Each of them shows in what relation the person (or thing) named by the Pronouns stands in regard to something else. Such words are also called prepositions.
The Noun or Pronoun which is used with a Preposition is called its object. It is said to be governed by the preposition.
Types of Prepositions
Prepositions are of five kinds:
- Simple prepositions; as, for, in, At, by, of, on, off, to, up, with, though, out, till, etc.
- Compound prepositions; as, About, against, across, beside, before, until, into, within, etc.
- Double prepositions; as From among, out of, from under, from beneath, etc.
- Participle Prepositions; as, Accepting, notwithstanding, during, considering, regarding, etc.
- Phrase prepositions; as, according to, Along with, because of, by dint of, away from, by virtue of, in addition to, in the course of, for the sake of, in lieu of, owing to, with a view to, in place of, in spite of, with regards to, on account of,etc.
Some important Prepositions Distinguished
- On, Over and Above
‘On’ denotes contact with the surface on which something is lying; as,
- The book is lying on the table.
‘Above’ denotes a higher position but does not imply contact or covering; as,
- This building rises above all the houses in the city.
‘Over’ means a higher position as well as contact or directly above; as,
- Water flows over plants and bushes.
- At noon, the sun is over us.
- At and In:
a) At and In are used in speaking of things at rest; as,
- The children are sitting at their desks.
- He is lying in his bed.
b) In speaking of places, ‘at’ is used for a smaller place; and in for a bigger place; as,
- I live at rohtak in Haryana.
- My brother lives at hissar.
- My uncle lives in Calcutta.
But when we speak of what are known to be big places, we generally use in; as,
In Paris; In London; In New York; In Delhi.
c).In speaking of time, we use ‘at’ for a point of time and ‘In’ for a period of time; as,
- At five, at dawn, at sunset, at midnight.
- In the morning, in may, in 1986
- We say, the train will arrive at seven O’clock in the morning.
- On and Upon:
‘On’ shows rest; ‘upon’ shows movement; as,He sat on a bench.The wolf sprang upon the goat.
- By and with:
When Something has been done by a person with the help of an instrument, a tool or weapon, we use ‘by’ for the agent – the doer of the action and ‘with’ for the instruction; as,The lion was killed by the hunter with a sword.
- The king was stabbed by his enemy with a knife.
- The letter will be written by me with a pen.
- You cannot kill two birds with one stone.
- Between and Among:
‘Between’ refers to two persons and things; while ‘among’ refers to more than two; as,He Divided his property between his two sons.
- Bhiwani is between Rohtak and hissar.
- Sweet were distributed among the children of our class.
- The five robbers divided money among themselves.
- Till and To:
‘Till’ is used for the time, and ‘To’ is used for place; as,Farmers work in their fields till evening.He walked to the end of the road.
- From and Since:
‘From’ and ‘Since’ denote a point of time. ‘From’ may be used with any tense while ‘since’ is used with the Perfect or Perfect Continuous Tenses only; as,I have been living in this house since 1960.
- I have not seen him since he left school.
- Farmers work hard from morning till evening.
- Prem chand began to write novels from the age of ten.
- From tomorrow, the school will open at 7 A.M.
- Beside and Besides:
‘Beside’ means by the side of ; ‘Beside’ means in addition to ; as, The child walked beside his mother.Besides being fined, he was beaten by the teacher.
Exercise of Prepositions.
The correct usage of the Prepositions is an art which requires careful observation and constant practice. There are no rules to guide us in this respect.
1.We went to home.
Correct: we went home.
2.He shirks from work.
Correct: He shirks work.
3.She resembles with her mother.
Correct: She resembles her mother.
4.I have ordered for stones
Correct: I have ordered stones
5.Please answer to my questions.
Correct: Please answer my questions.
6.Clark lives in brazil.
Correct: Clark lives at brazil.
7.I prefer milk from tea.
Correct: I prefer milk to tea.
8.Distribute the sweets among the two children.
Correct: Distribute the sweets between the two children.
9.Place send this parcel at my new address.
Correct: Place send this parcel to my new address.
10.He comes to school by foot.
Correct: He comes to school on foot.
11.He will return after a month.
Correct: He will return in a month.
12.What is the time in your watch?
Correct: What is the time by your watch?
13.She was walking into the garden.
Correct: She was walking in the garden.
14.You should listen what your parents say.
Correct: You should listen to what your parents say.
15.God will protect you of harm.
Correct: God will protect you from harm.
16.Ajay killed the snake by a stick.
Correct: Ajay killed the snake with a stick.
17.The rat ran in the hole.
Correct: The rat ran into the hole.
18.I reached at the station in time.
Correct: I reached the station in time.
19.I have a pen to write.
Correct:I have a pen to write with.
20.Pankaj is knocking the door.
Correct: Pankaj is knocking at the door.
21.Word by word translation is sometimes wrong.
Correct: Word for word translation is sometimes wrong.
22. I shall pass from your shop.
Correct: I shall pass by your shop.
23. The examination begins from Friday next.
Correct: The examination begins on Friday next.
24. I have no desire of wealth.
Correct: I have no desire for wealth.