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Another part of the English language is the Prepositions. These are nothing but some common words. Preposition function to link a word to another part of the sentence that tells us the relationship between them. A preposition is one of the nine parts of speech in the English language. Usually, a preposition comes before another word which is a noun phrase. With prepositions, we get to know about the relationship of a noun phrase along with the rest of the sentence.

Here is a list of some commonly used prepositions:

  • At
  • by
  • With
  • Within 
  • Without
  • Via
  • Versus
  • Upon 
  • Up
  • Unlike
  • Until
  • Underneath
  • Under
  • To
  • Towards
  • Toward
  • Through
  • Since 
  • Than
  • Save
  • Round
  • Regarding
  • Past
  • Per
  • Plus
  • Outside
  • Opposite
  • Over
  • Onto
  • On
  • Off
  • Of
  • Near
  • Minus
  • Like 
  • Into
  • Inside
  • In
  • From
  • For
  • Following
  • Excluding
  • Excepting
  • Except

Let us now look at some examples:

  1. The pen is on the desk. (This sentence depicts relationships in space.)
  2. We will talk in the evening. (This sentence depicts relationships in time.)
  3. He has sent an image by email. (This sentence depicts relationships of the method.)

Prepositions express various other relationships too, in fact, several metaphorical ideas like in love, beyond imagination, etc can be expressed. If by any chance, a preposition does not come before another word, it will still be linked to another word.

For example,

  1. Who did you speak to?
  2. To whom did you speak?
  3. I talked to Mary.

Prepositions have no particular form unlike other parts of speech. Most of the prepositions are singular words, But some of them also have two-three word phrases, like:

  1. One word prepositions (on, into, before)
  2. Complex prepositions (according to, in spite of, but for)

When we speak of a preposition coming before a noun phrase, we also include a noun phrase, a noun, a pronoun, and a gerund.  

Preposition just has one simple rule for itself, and it does not even have any exceptions. The rule says that ‘A Preposition is followed by a noun and not a verb.’

By talking about a ‘noun’, we include,

  • Noun (cat, hate, money)
  • Proper noun (Jane, Thailand)
  • Pronoun (us, him, you, them)
  • Noun  group (my first salary)
  • Gerund (playing, walking)

A preposition can never be followed by a verb. In case if we want to follow a preposition by a verb, we will have to use the ‘-ing- form which we call a gerund or a verb in the noun form.

Let us look at some examples,

  1. The book is on the table
  2. My friend stays in New York
  3. We all were looking for you
  4. We are not used to working