Prepositions Are Relationship Words

To define a preposition, think of it as a relationship word. Basically, the word “preposition”  means a word that is placed before another word. In this case, a preposition sits before a pronoun or noun to show the pronoun’s or noun’s association with another word.

Prepositional Phrases

A word following a preposition is its object. Therefore, a prepositional phrase is comprised of a preposition, the object of a preposition, and a modifier, if it is included. Prepositional phrases often serve as adverbs or adjectives, as in the following:

  • The letter is from Sara. (In this case, the prepositional phrase “from Sara” describes the letter, and therefore functions as an adjective.)
  • John is waiting at the bus station. (The phrase, “at the bus station” is describing “waiting,” and therefore serves as an adverb.)

A List of Prepositions

Common prepositions include the following:

  • Above, about, across, along, among, against, at, around
  • Before, below, behind, beside, beneath, beyond, by, between
  • Down, during
  • Except
  • From, for
  • Inside, in, into
  • Like
  • Near
  • Off, on, of
  • Since
  • To, though, toward
  • Until, under, upon
  • Within, with

Some people end sentences with prepositions. While there is no hard-fast rule about ending a sentence this way, it should generally be avoided. If it sounds too stilted to end a sentence with a preposition, go ahead and add the word. Generally, though, it is not good to make it a practice. If possible, reword the phrase.


Image Credit

Creator: Mikhail Pavstyuk

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