Prepositions (What’s A Preposition?)

A preposition is a word governing (and usually preceding) a noun or pronoun which expresses the relationship between that noun or pronoun and another word or element in the clause, as in “the woman on the platform” or “he arrived after dinner” or “what did you do that for?.” The word “preposition” comes from the Latin for “before position.”

Prepositions form a closed (or definitive) word class, but there are also certain phrases that serve as prepositions, such as in front of. A single preposition may have a variety of meanings, including spatial, temporal and abstract. Many words that are prepositions can also serve as adverbs. Examples of common English prepositions (including phrases) are:

  • after
  • among
  • before
  • behind
  • between
  • by
  • despite
  • during
  • from
  • in
  • in front of
  • in spite of
  • of
  • on
  • opposite
  • over
  • through
  • to
  • under
  • with

A preposition is usually used with a noun phrase as its complement. A preposition together with its complement is called a prepositional phrase. Some examples are:

  • In America
  • Under the table
  • After eight pleasant weeks
  • Between land and sea



This Post Has One Comment

  1. Bill

    Prepositions page now up.

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