Prepositions are the words which are used to connect the different nouns, pronouns and phrases in a sentence. It functions to introduce or precede the word or phrase to be connected, called the object of the preposition.

The preposition usually indicates the relation between the words it is connecting. It tells whether the words are connected in actual space or a place, or related through time or are they part of a thought or process.

Prepositional phrases are the preposition and its object and any adjectives or adverbs that were applied to the object. The prepositional phrase as a whole can also be used as a noun, adverb or adjective.

- He found the book on the table.

  • Here the preposition is ‘on’ as it shows the relation in place between the book and the table.
  • The prepositional phrase is ‘on the table’ which is acting as an Adverb telling where the book was found.

- She went to sleep early.

  • In this sentence the preposition is ‘to’ which is introducing where or in what state had the noun gone into.

- Her house was beside a steep hill.

  • The preposition here is beside which is telling the place where the house was.
  • The prepositional phrase is ‘beside a steep hill’ which is acting as an adverb.

Kinds of Prepositions -

Simple Prepositions

These prepositions are constructed by only one word like -

On, at, about, with, after, for, etc.

- He found the book about dogs on the table, in the bedroom.

Double Prepositions

These prepositions are formed by combining two words or two Simple Prepositions-

Into, within, upon, onto, etc.

- The dog jumped onto the bed and left marks upon the sheets.

Compound Prepositions

These prepositions are two word prepositions.

According to, because of, next to, due toetc.

- He was upset because of his son's behaviour.

Participle Prepositions-

Participles are actually verbs that end with ‘-en’ or ‘-ing’. As these verbs were commonly and very popularly used as prepositions by the people, these verbs have been given a special status as prepositions.

Considering, during, given, including etc.

-Considering what he had to work with, he did a pretty good job.

Phrase Prepositions

These prepositions are a combination of the preposition + a modifier (optional) + the object. They are used to modify the nouns, verbs or sentences and also complete clauses.

At home, in time, with me, from my father, under the blanket, etc.

- The clothes left on the bed have been ironed and kept back.

These classifications are based on the construction of the prepositions themselves. Apart from this, prepositions are also categorized based on their use in a sentence as -

List of Prepositions

Prepositions can only be learnt by memory; unfortunately there is no method or particular way to recognize and learn them. To help you with memorizing the different prepositions, here is a list of common prepositions.

Simple Prepositions








Double Prepositions




From Behind

From Beneath

Out Of


Compound Prepositions








Participle Prepositions








Phrase Prepositions

At high speed

By all means

For a change

In accordance with

On a journey

Out of curiosity

To the best of