Parts of speech: Prepositions


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 the branch.
    on is pronoun joining two nouns (sparrow and branch).
  • He is teaching in that class.
    in joins noun (class) to pronoun (he).
  • Suddenly he ran out of the room.
    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.


Prepositions are;

at, in, by, for, on, under, to, up, of, off etc

Types of preposition

There are some major types of prepositions as follows;

  1. Preposition indicating time
  2. Preposition indicating place
  3. Preposition indicating direction
  4. Preposition indicating possession
  5. 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; inonat. 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.

Phrasal prepositions

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.

Compound prepositions

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.

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