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All Prepositions with Meanings and Examples

 All Prepositions


Prepositions are words used to connect nouns, pronouns, or phrases with other words within a sentence. It connects people, things, time, and locations of the sentence.

Prepositions in English are highly idiomatic. Although there are some rules for usage, much preposition usage is dictated by fixed expressions. In these cases, it is best to memorize the phrase instead of the individual preposition.


Prepositions in English

 

There are about 150 prepositions in English. Yet this is a very small number when you think of the thousands of other words (nouns, verbs etc). Prepositions are important words. We use individual prepositions more frequently than other individual words.

 

1. Aboard: In or to a foreign country or countries.

  • I climbed aboard the yacht.
  • Mary went abroad.

2. About: On the subject of; concerning.

  • I was thinking about you.
 

3. Above:

A: In extended space over and not touching.
  • A display of fireworks above the town.
B: At a higher level or layer than.
  • Bruises above both eyes.
 

4. Across:

A: From one side to the other of (a place, area, etc.).

  • I ran across the street.
B: Expressing position or orientation in relation to (an area or passage).

  • They lived across the street from one another.
 

5. After: In the time following (an event or another period of time).

  • Shortly after their marriage they moved to Colorado.
  • I slept after I arrived at my house.
 

6. Against: In opposition to.

  • The fight against crime.
  • This company is up against bankruptcy.
 

7. Along:

A: Moving in a constant direction on (a road, path, or any more or less horizontal surface).

    • Soon we were driving along a narrow road.

B: Extending in a more or less horizontal line on.

    • Cars were parked along the grass border.
 

8. Amid: Surrounded by; in the middle of.

  • Our dream home, set amid magnificent rolling countryside.
  • Talks broke down amid accusations of a hostile takeover bid."
 
 

9. Among

A: Surrounded by; in the company of.

  • Wild strawberries hidden among the roots of the trees.

B: Being a member or members of (a larger set).

  • Snakes are among the animals most feared by humans.  

C: Occurring in or practiced by (some members of a community).

  • A drop in tooth decay among children.

D: Indicating a division, choice, or differentiation involving three or more participants.

  • The king called the three princesses to divide his kingdom among them.
 

10. Around: On every side of.

  • The palazzo is built around a courtyard.
  • They went the long way around by the main road.
 

11. As: Used to refer to the function or character that someone or something has.

  • It came as a shock.
  • As it's raining again, we'll not play tennis.
 

12. At: Expressing location or arrival in a particular place or position.

  • They live at Conway House.
  • She was at home.
 

13. Before: During the period of time preceding (a particular event or time).

  • She had to rest before dinner.
  

14. Behind: At or to the far side of (something), typically so as to be hidden by it.

  • The recording machinery was kept behind screens.
  • The shaker is behind the glass.
 
 

15. Below

A: At a lower level or layer than.

  • Just below the pocket was a stain.

B: Extending underneath.

  • The tunnel below the crags. 

 

16. Beneath

A: Extending or directly underneath, typically with close contact.
  • In the labyrinths beneath central Moscow.
B: At a lower level or layer than.
  • Beneath this floor there's a cellar.
 

17. Beside: At the side of; next to.

  • He sat beside me in the front seat.
  • On the table beside the bed.
  

18. Between

A: At, into, or across the space separating (two objects or regions).

  • The border between "Mexico "and the United States.

B: In the period separating (two points in time).

  • They snack between meals.
 

19. Beyond: At or to the further side of.

  • He pointed to a spot beyond the trees.
  • Barcelona football club's success is beyond question.
  

20. But: Except; apart from; other than.

  • In Texas, we were never anything but poor.
  • We are very hungry, but the fridge is empty.
 

21. By: Identifying the agent performing an action.

  • I always goes to work by train.
  • I heard by chance that she has married again.
  

22. Concerning: On the subject of or in connection with; about.

  • Dreadful stories concerning a horrible beast.
  • I got a letter concerning my tax payments.
  

23. Considering: Taking (something) into consideration; in view of.

  • Considering the circumstances, Simon was remarkably cheerful.
  • Considering the weather, we got here really quickly.
  

24. Despite: Without being affected by; in spite of.

  • He remains a great leader despite age and infirmity.
  • I love my wife despite her faults.
  

25. Down: From a higher to a lower point of (something).

  • Up and down the stairs.
  • They're living down south.
 

26. During: Throughout the course or duration of (a period of time).

  • The restaurant is open during the day.
  • The stabbing took place during an argument at a party.

27. Except: Not including; other than.

  • They work every day except Sunday.
  • I was naked except for my socks.
 

28. Following: Coming after or as a result of.

  • Police are hunting for two men following a spate of robberies in the area.
  • Following a long illness, he died in October.
 

29. For:

A: To be given to or used by someone or something.

  • I bought a dress for their new baby.

B: Used to show an amount of time or distance.

  • I lived with my parents for a year.

C: Having a particular purpose.

  • What are those large scissors for?

D: Because of something.

  • Scotland is famous for its beautiful countryside.

E: In exchange for something, especially an amount of money.

  • How much did you pay for your computer?

F: On the occasion of.

  • What did you buy him for his birthday?

G: At a particular time.

  • I've booked a table at the restaurant for nine o'clock.

H: Towards or in the direction of.

  • Just follow the signs for the airport.

I: Meaning or representing something.

  • What's the German word for "cucumber"?

J: In order to help someone.

  • I'll carry those bags for you.

K: Representing a country or organization.

  • He plays football for Arsenal.

L: Supporting or agreeing with someone or something.

  • Did you vote for or against the proposal?

M: Used when comparing something to a particular fact.

  • She's very tall for her age.
 

30. From:

A: Indicating the point in space at which a journey, motion, or action starts.

  • She began to walk away from him.

B: Indicating the point in time at which a particular process, event, or activity starts.

  • The show will run from 10 to 2.

C: Indicating the source or provenance of someone or something.

  • I'm from Hartford.

D: Indicating the starting point of a specified range on a scale.

  • Men who ranged in age from seventeen to eighty-four.

E: Indicating the point at which an observer is placed.

  • You can see the island from here.

F: Indicating the raw material out of which something is manufactured.

  • A varnish made from copal.

G: Indicating separation or removal.

  • The party was ousted from power after sixteen years.

H: Indicating prevention.

  • The story of how he was saved from death.

I: Indicating a cause.

  • A child suffering from asthma.

J: Indicating a source of knowledge or the basis for one's judgment.

  • Information obtained from papers, books, and presentations.

K: Indicating a distinction.

  • The courts view him in a different light from that of a manual worker.
 

31. In: Expressing the situation of something that is or appears to be enclosed or surrounded by something else.

  • Dressed in their Sunday best.
 

32. Inside: Situated with the boundaries or confines of.

  • A radio was playing inside the apartment.
 
 

33. Into

A: Expressing movement or action with the result that someone or something becomes enclosed or surrounded by something else.

  • Cover the bowl and put it into the fridge.

B: Expressing movement or action with the result that someone or something makes physical contact with something else.

  • He crashed into a parked car.

C: Indicating a route by which someone or something may arrive at a particular destination.

  • The narrow road that led down into the village.

D: Indicating the direction toward which someone or something is turned when confronting something else.

  • With the wind blowing into your face.

E: Indicating an object of attention or interest.

  • A clearer insight into what is involved.

F: Expressing a change of state.

  • A peaceful protest which turned into a violent confrontation.

G: Expressing the result of an action.

  • They forced the club into a humiliating and expensive special general meeting.

H: Expressing division.

  • Three into twelve equals four.

I: (of a person) taking a lively and active interest in (something). informal.

  • He's into surfing.
 

34. Like: Having the same characteristics or qualities as; similar to.

  • They were like brothers.

35. Minus: With the subtraction of.

    • What's ninety-three minus seven?
 

36. Near: At or to a short distance away from (a place).

  • The parking lot near the sawmill.
 

37. Next: Next to.

  • He plodded along next him.
 

38. Of: Expressing the relationship between a part and a whole.

  • The sleeve of his coat.
 

39. Off: Moving away and often down from.

  • He rolled off the bed.
 

40. On: Physically in contact with and supported by (a surface).

  • On the table was a water jug. 
 

41. Onto:

A: Moving to a location on the surface of.

  • They went up onto the ridge.

B: Moving aboard (a public conveyance) with the intention of traveling in it.

  • We got onto the train.
 

42. Opposite

A: In a position on the other side of a specific area from; facing.

  • They sat opposite one another.

B: (of a leading actor) in a complementary role to (another).

  • The star was a young man playing opposite an older woman.
 

43. Out: Through to the outside.

  • He ran out the door.
 

44. Outside: Situated or moving beyond the boundaries or confines of.

  • There was a boy outside the door.
 

45. Over: Extending directly upward from.

  • I saw flames over Berlin.
 

46. Past: To or on the further side of.

  • He rode on past the crossroads.
 

47. Per: For each (used with units to express a rate).

  • A gas station that charges $1.29 per gallon.
 

48. Plus: With the addition of.

  • Two plus four is six.
 

49. Regarding: With respect to; concerning.

  • Your recent letter regarding the above proposal. 
 

50. Around

A: On every side of.

  • The palazzo is built around a courtyard.

B: In or to many places throughout (a community or locality).

  • Cycling around the village.

C: So as to pass (a place or object) in a curved or approximately circular route.

  • He walked around the airfield.

D: So as to encircle or embrace (someone or something).

  • He put his arm around her.
 
 

51. Save: Other than; except for. formal literary

  • No one needed to know save herself.
 

52. Since: In the intervening period between (the time mentioned) and the time under consideration, typically the present.

  • She hasn't spoken to him since last year.

53. Than

A: Introducing the second element in a comparison.

  • He was much smaller than his son.

B: Apart from; except.

  • He claims not to own anything other than his home.
 

54. Through: Moving in one side and out of the other side of (an opening, channel, or location).

  • She walked through the doorway into the living room.
 

55. Till: Until.

  • The supermarket is open till midnight.
  • I carried on working till it got dark.

56. To

A: Expressing motion in the direction of (a particular location).

  • Walking down to the mall.

B: Approaching or reaching (a particular condition).

  • Christopher's expression changed from amazement to joy.

C: Identifying the person or thing affected.

  • You were terribly unkind to her.

D: Identifying a particular relationship between one person and another.

  • He is married to Jan's cousin.

E: Indicating that two things are attached.

  • He had left his bike chained to a fence.

F: Concerning or likely to concern (something, especially something abstract).

  • A threat to world peace.

G: Used to introduce the second element in a comparison.

  • It's nothing to what it once was.

H: Used without a verb following when the missing verb is clearly understood.

  • He asked her to come but she said she didn't want to.
 

57. Toward

A: In the direction of.

  • I walked toward the front door.

B: As regards; in relation to.

  • He was warm and tender toward her.

C: Contributing to the cost of (something).

  • The council provided a grant toward the cost of new buses.
 

58. Under

A; Extending or directly below.

  • The streams that ran under the melting glaciers.

B: At a lower level than.

  • The room under his study.

C: Lower than (a specified amount, rate, norm, or age).

  • They averaged just under 2.8 percent.

D: Controlled, managed, or governed by.

  • The country is now under martial law.

E: Undergoing (a process).

  • Under construction.
 

59. Underneath

A: Situated directly below (something else).

  • Our bedroom is right underneath theirs.

B: So as to be concealed by (something else).

  • Money changed hands underneath the table. 
 

60. Unlike: Different from; not similar to.

  • A large house not unlike Mr. Shaw's.
 

61. Until: Up to (the point in time or the event mentioned).

  • The kidnappers have given us until October 11th to deliver the documents.
 

62. up: From a lower to a higher point on (something); upward along.

  • She climbed up a flight of steps.
 

63. Upon: More formal term for on, especially in abstract senses.

  • It was based upon two principles.
 

64. Versus: Against (especially in sports and legal use).

  • Penn versus Princeton.
 

65. Via: Traveling through (a place) en route to a destination.

  • They came to Europe via Turkey.
 

66. With

A: Accompanied by (another person or thing).

  • A nice steak with a bottle of red wine.

B: Possessing (something) as a feature or accompaniment.

  • A flower-sprigged blouse with a white collar.

C: Indicating the instrument used to perform an action.

  • Cut it with a knife.

D: In opposition to.

  • We started fighting with each other.

E: Indicating the manner or attitude of the person doing something.

  • With great reluctance.

F: Indicating responsibility.

  • Leave it with me.

G: In relation to.

  • My father with be angry with me.

H: Employed by.

  • She's with IBM now.

I: In the same direction as.

  • Marine mammals generally swim with the current.

J: In the same direction as.indicating separation or removal from something.

  • To part with one's dearest possessions.
 

67. Within: Inside (something).

  • The spread of fire within the building.
 

68. Without

A: In the absence of.

  • He went to Sweden without her.

B: Outside.

  • The barbarians without the gates.
 
 
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