A preposition is a word or group of words used before a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase to show direction, time, place, location, spatial relationships, or to introduce an object.
Some very common prepositions are: in, of, on, for, with, at, by, etc.
‘In’ is used with the names of countries and large towns; ‘at’ is used when speaking of small towns and villages.
‘In’ and ‘at’ are used in speaking of things at rest; ‘to’ and ‘into’ are used in speaking of things in motion.
‘On’ is often used in speaking of things at rest, and ‘upon’ for the things in motion.
‘Till’ is used for time and ‘to’ is used for place.
‘With’ often denotes the instrument and ‘by’ the agent.
‘Since’ is used before a noun or phrase denoting some point of time and is preceded by a verb in the perfect tense.
‘From’ is also used before a noun or phrase denoting some point of time but is used with non-perfect tense.
‘For’ is used for a period of time.
Use of ‘in’ before a period of time means at the end of the period, but the use of ‘within’ before a period of time means before the end of the period.
‘Scarcely’ should be followed by ‘when’ and not by ‘than’.
The phrase ‘seldom or ever’ is wrong ‘Seldom or never’ is right.
‘Beside’ means at the side of while ‘besides’ means in addition to.
‘Above’ and ‘Below’ merely denote a position, while ‘over’ and ‘under’ also carry a sense of covering or movement.
Here ‘over’ is used to denote upward position and movement also.
‘During’ is used when reference is made to the time within which something happens. ‘For’ is used when we are talking about how long something lasts.
Compare is followed by ‘to’ when it shows that two things are alike. It is followed by ‘with’ when we look at the ways in which two things are like and unlike each other.
Examine the following sentences: