Prepositions are the small functional words and their purpose is to join noun to other parts of speech, like; two nouns, noun to verb, noun to pronoun and noun to adjective.
- The sparrow is sitting on
on is pronoun joining two nouns (sparrow and branch).
- He is teaching in
in joins noun (class) to pronoun (he).
- Suddenly he ran out of the
out of joins noun (room) to verb (ran).
Preposition determines situation in a sentence
Other function of preposition is to determine the situation in the sentence as explained in the following; (italicized and underline words are prepositions)
- The robin is on the tree.
- The robin is near the tree.
- The robin is under the tree.
You see by changing preposition whole situation of the sentence got changed.
at, in, by, for, on, under, to, up, of, off etc
Types of preposition
There are some major types of prepositions as follows;
- Preposition indicating time
- Preposition indicating place
- Preposition indicating direction
- Preposition indicating possession
- Preposition indicating purpose
Preposition indicating time
Preposition of time, as the phrase indicates, is related to time. They are in, on and at.
At is used with certain time, like;
- at 2 o'clock
- at 9:30
- at 8 o'clock
On is used with days, like;
- on Sunday
- on Wednesday
- on Friday
In is used with years
- in 2013
- in 1977
- in 2000
Preposition indicating place
Whenever any preposition indicates place it is called preposition of place, like; in, on, at. In is used for big places and at for confined places.
- He is staying in Lahore at Gulberg.
- Tanner is in college
- They are walking on the road.
- They arrived at the station.
- My house is on link road.
Preposition indicating direction
When preposition is indicating any direction, like; to, towards, into etc, it is called preposition of direction.
- He went to the walking track.
- They were coming towards me.
- He jumped into water.
Preposition indicating possession
The prepositions like of and with etc also show possession, like ;
- A friend of mine.
- A man with dark complexion.
Preposition indicating purpose
Some prepositions, like; for and of etc indicate purpose. See examples.
- That's nice room for accommodation.
- Many people die of heart attack.
There are many prepositions which are used as a phrase as explained in the following examples; (italicized and underline words are phrasal prepositions)
- He was standing in front of the gate.
- I may not come on duty on account of illness.
- He really did well in spite of his bad health.
- She is coming along with her friend.
There is difference between phrasal prepositions and compound prepositions. The phrase prepositions are the combination of words whereas compound preposition has either suffix or prefix attached to it, like;
- You must stay inside the room.
- They were whispering outside my door.
- He was behind you.
- Crisis erupted within days.