Prepositions of Movement
There are 9 prepositions that pertain to movement:
‘To’ is used when there is a specific destination in mind. The destination can be a number of things:
- I’m going to the doctor’s.
- Can you direct me to the nearest post office?
- Are you going to the party?
- I have never been to a concert.
- She came up to me.
- I go to my father for advice.
- The bathroom is to your left.
- Keep to the left.
‘Towards’ is used in the following instances:
When one has movement in a particular direction in mind, rather than simply a destination:
- He was walking menacingly towards me.
Or to refer to a position, in relation to a direction from the point of view of the speaker:
- He was sitting with his back towards me.
‘Through’ refers to the following types of movement:
Within a space, which can be thought of as surrounding, enclosing or around the object:
- The train went through the tunnel.
Movement across something, i.e. from one side of it to the other:
- He cut through the gauze.
‘Into’ refers to the following types of movement:
Movement from the outside to the inside of something that can be imagined as surrounding, enclosing or around the object:
- He got into the car.
Movement causing something to hit something else:
- He swerved into the tree.
‘Across’ is used to describe:
Movement from one end of something to the other:
- He walked across the road.
- He strode across the bridge.
Something’s position when it stretches over the surface it is on:
- There was a barricade across the road.
To describe something’s position when it is at the opposite end from one’s position:
- We went to the restaurant across the road.
‘Over’ is used in the following instances:
To describe something’s position when it is above something else:
- The bottle is in the cabinet over the sink in the kitchen.
To describe something’s position when it covers a surface:
- A white cloth had been spread over the corpse.
‘Along’ is used to describe:
- Movement in a line:
- We walked along the river.
The collective position of a group of things that are in a line:
-He lived in one of the houses along the river.
‘In’ is used in the following instances:
Something’s position in relation to the area or space or place surrounding it:
- We are going to have our picnic in the park.
- I left my car in the garage.
To express towards the inside of something:
- Put the pickle in the cabinet.
‘On’ is used in the following instances:
To describe something’s position in relation to a surface:
- There was an array of food on the table.
To describe movement in the direction of a surface:
- The rain falling on the roof kept me from sleeping.