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Learning prepositions English lesson

What will I learn from the English lesson prepositions?

During this English lesson you will learn what prepositions are and how to use them in sentences. The  lesson explains the difference between a preposition and a conjunction. Later in the lesson it shows what  relationships a preposition can have.

What are prepositions?

A preposition as a rule links part of the sentence ("this is called the modified part") to a noun or noun phrase, which is called the object of the preposition.

It is a bag for rubbish

The preposition "for" shows the relationship between "bag" and "rubbish".)

The plane flew above the clouds.
(The preposition "above" shows the relationship between "clouds" and "flew".)

Examples of the modofied part, prepostion and the object

Modified part                      preposition                           object
a joke                                 about                                     the weather
snowed                               after                                      Christmas
arrived                                 at                                        their house


How many prepositions are there in the english language?

There are about 60 prepositions in English, and these are the most common, in order of frequency.

of, in, to, with, as, at, for, on, by, from.

One of the peculiarities of English is called preposition stranding:

Which house did you arrive at?

I wonder what they're laughing about.

In these examples the preposition's object has been moved forward to the front of the clause This is quite common and you should be able to recognise that at and about are prepositions, in spite of the position of their object.

Preposition or is it a conjunction?

Prepositions link part of a sentence to a noun or noun-phrase (the preposition's object).

A letter came for you.

He wrote to all their friends.

Some words can be used either as prepositions or as conjunctions which link part of a sentence to a finite clause.

She arrived before supper. (preposition)

She arrived before he gave us the message. (conjunction)

What relationships can a preposition show?

They can be used when describing: -

A place

at, on, in, inside, within, by, near, behind, beyond, among, between, above, below, beneath, over, under to, towards, from, into, out (of), off, onto, across, along, down, past, round, through

Talking about time

at, on, in, during, for, after, before, by, since, till, throughout, until


because of, despite, for


as, like, unlike, than

Addition to something

with, without

Means of

by, with

Which preposition should be used?

Some prepositions have different meanings according to their context:

a teller of jokes           of = produces

a book of recipes        of = contains

a book of Dad's          of = belongs to

Some words demand particular prepositions, which are fairly arbitrary:

depend on                         cope with        tired of


long for                             reason for        angry at


live on                               marriage to       averse to


battle against or with        trouble with      bored with

Easy pace Learning online dictionary and how to use dictionaries

Click on the following link for the Online English dictionary - English lesson