Types of Preposition – Define Preposition, Preposition Rules and examples

Out of the 8 parts of speech, the Preposition is the most significant one because it’s an indicator.

Before we deep dive into the different types of prepositions, let’s understand the basic meaning and rules of the preposition.

In literal words, Preposition or pre-position means the position before or place before.

Prepositions are words that denote a link between other words in a sentence. They provide a relationship between nouns/pronouns and other words in any sentence.

Rules of Preposition:

A preposition must have an object

This is a compulsory condition. All prepositions have objects. In the absence of an object, a preposition becomes an adverb.

Let’s take an example:

  1. The dog is sitting on the bench.
    (On is the preposition and the bench is the object)
  2. He crouched under the table.
    (under is the preposition and the table is the object)

Pre-position as in the place before

As we have discussed before, the word indicates that preposition comes before( usually the object). This is not always the case.

For example:

  1. Rachel had a chat with Ross.
    (The preposition “with” comes before the object “Ross”.)
  2. The books are in the box.
    (The preposition “in” comes before the object “box”.)

A pronoun that comes after a preposition should be in an object form

The noun or pronoun that follows a preposition should be in object form or also called a ‘prepositional object’.

Furthermore, if it is a pronoun, it should be in the objective form (him, her, me). The corresponding subjective form is He, She, I.

For example:

  1. This gift is from us.
    (The pronoun ‘us’ follows the preposition ‘from’ and it is in objective form.)
  2. The matter is between him and her.
    (The pronouns ‘him’ and ‘her’ are in objective form.)

Preposition forms

Prepositions have no form in particular. Most of them consist of a single word, but there are some complex prepositions as well. Complex prepositions are two- or three-word prepositions.

On, for, in are one-word prepositions.

For example:

  1. The school will remain closed on account of Diwali.
  2. According to the reports, the victims were brought here.

    The first one is a three-word preposition. The second one is a two-word preposition.

Confusion between the preposition to and the infinitive to

‘To’ is used both as a preposition and infinitive. The infinitive ‘to’ is used as ‘to + the verb form’

For example:

1.  We must learn to be better.
2.  I have a class to attend.

In this case, we can easily locate the infinitive. ‘To+verb form’ is our infinitive.

Let’s take an example of the preposition ‘to’

For example:

  1. Let’s go to school.
  2. The work was done by Jimmy.

Let’s not get confused between them.

The object of the preposition has to be a noun. It can never be followed by a verb.

This Rule clears the confusion based on the ‘to’ preposition. The noun comes after the preposition.

For example:

  1. I look forward to swimming.
    ‘Swimming’ is the gerund of swim.
  2. I like to swim.
    ‘To swim’ is the infinitive.

Now that we are clear with the Rules of Prepositions, let’s move to the next topic, Types of Prepositions.

The types of prepositions depend on different factors.

Types of Prepositions:

Types of Prepositions

● Simple Prepositions: These are common prepositions that we use. They usually consist of single words like on, in, by, over.

For example:

1.  The bus ran over the dog.
2.  The book is under the table.

● Double prepositions: These are formed by often combining two simple prepositions together.

For example:

  1. Maya climbed onto the bus.
  2. Once upon a time, there lived a young prince.

● Compound prepositions: They usually consist of two or more than more words. Examples of such prepositions are instead of, in addition to, on account of, etc.

For example:

  1. Aside from playing sports, she also is also good at music.
  2. On behalf of his company, he went to the conference.

● Participle prepositions: The prepositions end in suffices such as -ed and -ing.

For example:

  1. The man kept stalking him home.
  2. Chandler works one job during the day and another at night.

● Phrasal prepositions: Phrasal prepositions consist of a group of words that include the preposition, the object, and additional words that modify the object.

For example:

  1. You have arrived just in time.
  2. The boy in the middle looks cute.

Prepositions are also classified into several types on the basis of their functions.

Types of prepositions on the basis of their functions:

1.  Preposition of Time: The preposition of time is a preposition that specifies a particular time period or frame of time.

For example:

  1. I will see you at night.
  2. You are just on time for the auditions.

2.  Preposition of place and direction: The types of prepositions don’t necessarily mean different prepositions. The same prepositions can be used for different functions.

For example:

  1. I was waiting for her at the railway station.
  2. Don’t you live on the 17th floor?

The same prepositions ‘at’ and ‘on’ are used to denote a place, not time.

Specific prepositions can also be used for indicating directions.

For example:

1.  The car crashed into the divider.
2.  She is coming towards you.

3.  Preposition of agent or things: The preposition is an agent that is responsible for causing another thing.

For example:

  1. The event was organized by her.
  2. The bucket is filled with water.
 Some important examples of prepositions

Now that we are well-acquainted with the rules and types of prepositions, we will take a look at some exceptional cases with examples.

  1. The debt has been paid off.
    Sentences like this where it ends with a preposition.
  2. Where did you come from?
    The same case scenario as above.

Some Prepositions form combinations with certain words. These words could be verbs, nouns, or even adjectives.

Words are accustomed to, differ from, capable of, disappointed in, on account of, etc

  1. I am familiar with the routine process.
  2. I just wanted to say that I am sorry about everything.

If you have any questions and queries about prepositions you can contact us

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