Common Prepositions in English
- Common Prepositions of Time: at, in, on
- Common Prepositions of Place
Prepositions are short words that link nouns and pronouns to other words. They can express position or place, movement, time as well as many other things.
Prepositions can also be used together with verbs to create phrasal verbs.
I have a meeting on Monday morning, so I need to be at the office by 9am.
On is a preposition used for weekdays, at is a preposition of place, and by is a preposition of time used in the meaning at the latest.
Rule 1: We usually place prepositions before a noun or pronoun.
I've bought some flowers for my mother.
For is a preposition that expresses purpose and is placed before the pronoun my.
Rule 2: Some prepositions may have several meanings that change depending on the context. For example, here is a quick overview of the meanings of the preposition by:
|before / up until a certain point in time||I've finished my homework by 3pm.|
|in the sense of "at the latest"||She will be back by noon.|
|located very close to||My car is parked by the northern exit of the mall.|
|in front of the creator, author, etc.||The Shining is my favorite book by Stephen King.|
|travel in a vehicle||I'm going to Berlin by train.|
|increase / decrease||Sales went down by 10%.|
Common Prepositions of Time: at, in, on
Rule 3: We can use the preposition of time at to express precise time.
She likes running at sunset.
At shows the exact time she chooses for running.
Rule 4: We can use the preposition of time in for months, years, centuries, and long periods.
He likes to hike in summer.
In is used in connection to a long period - summer season.
Rule 5: We can use the preposition of time on for days and dates.
We will see each other on New Year's Eve.
On is used with a particular date - New Year's Eve.
Some other common prepositions of time include words after, before, during, since, until/til, for, as of/from, etc.
Common Prepositions of Place
Rule 6: We use prepositions of place describe the position of a person or thing in relation to another person or thing.
Here is an overview of the most common prepositions of place and movement:
|above||higher than something else||Temperature increases above 10 degrees.|
|below||under something||Temperature blows below 10 degrees.|
|across||to get to the other side||to drive across the bridge|
|against||in opposition to||She's standing against the wall.|
|next to / beside||located very close to||He stands next to his friend.|
|in front of||located directly before||She stands in front of the audience.|
|in||inside of something||I've read every article in this magazine.|
|on||surface / side / public transportation / media channels||I've heard this on the radio.|
Some other prepositions of place and movement include words like near, towards, between, beside, behind, onto/into, through, etc.
Choose the CORRECT preposition. I have English lessons only ___ Tuesdays.