• According to Oxford dictionary, a preposition is a word that is used before a noun or pronouns to show place, position, time or method. In other words, it is a word used to link nouns, pronouns, or phrases to other words within a sentence. Prepositions are placed directly in front of nouns. Such as;

1.      There is a cat under the table.

2.      The dog jumped off the mat.

3.      He went through the hall.

4.      She is sitting beside me.

5.      She is fond of tea.


1)     Simple Preposition:

  • Simple prepositions consist of single word. They are words like at, for, in, off, on, over. These common prepositions can be used to describe a location, time or place, such as;

1.      He sat on the chair.

2.      There is some milk in the jug.

3.      She was hiding under the table.

4.      The cat jumped off the table.

5.      She lost her ring on the beach.

2)      Compound Preposition:

  • Compound prepositions are two or more words working together as one word and functioning as a preposition, as such;

1.      He could n`t attend the seminar because of his brother`s marriage.

2.      According to the newspapers, there will be change in policies next year.

3.      The teacher along with his students has come.

4.      My college is away from your school.

5.      It is because of your favour that I could do that.

6.      He passed the examinations by means of his hard work.

7.      I said it by way of joke.

8.      Owing to his bad health, he could not take part in games.

3)      Other examples of compound prepositions:

By dint of,

By virtue of,

For the sake of,

 In accordance with,

In addition to,

 In case of,

In front of,

In order to,

In place of,

In spite of,

Due to


  • The following are some of the most common relations indicated by prepositions:

(1)   Time:

After his death,

At an early date,

Arrived before time,

 Behind time,

By three o`clock,

During the whole day,

For many years,

From first April,

 In the afternoon,

Since yesterday,

 On Monday,

Toward evening,

Until his arrival

  • The chart describing preposition of time as given in textbook of 9th class as under:


(2)   Place:

Went about the world,

 Ran across the road,

Leaned against the wall,

Behind me,

Fell among thieves,

at death`s door,

Sat beside me,

Sit on deck,

In the sky,

Went through the town,

 Climbed up the ladder,

Within the house

(3)   Cause, reason, purpose:

  • Labored for the good of humanity, fought with courage, won with ease

(4)   Possession:

There was no money on me.

The mosque of Omar,

A man of means,

 The boy red hair

(5)   Inference, Motive, Source or Origin:

1.      From what I know of him, I hesitate to trust him.

2.      The knights were brave from gallantry of spirit.

3.      He did it from gratitude.

4.      His skills come from practice.


  • We use ‘by + noun’ when we talk about means of transport for general way. We don`t use article (the, a, an) as such;

1.      We travel by train. (Not by the /a train)

2.      I got to my office by bus. (not ‘by the bus’)

  • We say ‘by bicycle’, by car / taxi / bus / train, by boat/ship/plain, by air’
  • Note: we don`t use ‘by’ when the reference is to a specific bicycle, car, train, bus etc. we use ‘on’ to mean a specific bicycle, bus, train, ship or plane, and in to mean specific car, taxi, van, lorry, or ambulance.

1.      I went there on my bike.

2.      We traveled in Anjum`s car.

3.      They came in taxi.

4.      We`ll go on 8:30 bus.

5.      She traveled in a lorry.

6.      He goes to office on foot.

7.      Why are you going to college on foot?




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