English Grammar Test Series: Prepositions Part 2

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English Grammar

English Grammar: Prepositions

Prepositions of Place

Prepositions of place refer to those prepositions that can be used to show where something is located.

There are three prepositions of place:

At

‘At’ is used for a point:

At the end of the lane.

At the door/entrance/exit.

At the corner.

At the desk.

Note: There are many standard expressions that are exceptions to this rule:

At home.

At work.

At school/college/university.

At the side.

In

‘In’ is used for enclosed spaces:

In Mumbai/India.

In the room.

In the store.

In my pocket/bag.

In the building/tower.

Note: There are some standard expressions that are an exception to this rule:

In the book/magazine/newspaper.

In the sky.

On

‘On’ is used for surfaces:

On the table.

On the rug.

On the floor.

On the cover.

On the page.

Note: There are many standard expressions that are exceptions to this rule:

On the bus/train/plane/ship.

On the radio/television.

On the left/right.

On the way.

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Prepositions of Time

There are three prepositions of time:

At

‘At’ is used for precise times:

At ten o’clock.

At 10.30am.

At the moment/present/same time.

At sunrise/sunset/noon/dinnertime/bedtime/dusk/dawn.

Note: At night is a standard expression that is an exception in this case.

In

‘In’ is used for months, years, decades, centuries, and long periods of time:

In January.

In 1991.

In the 70s.

In this century.

In the Dark Ages.

Note: In the morning(s)/afternoon(s)/evening(s) are standard expressions that are exceptions in this case.

On

‘On’ is used for days and dates:

On Wednesday.

On Friday.

On the 10th of January

On Christmas.

Note: ‘on’ is also used when you specify the day followed by the part of the day. For example on Wednesday mornings.

 

Prepositions of Movement

There are 9 prepositions that pertain to movement:

To

‘To’ is used when there is a specific destination in mind. The destination can be a number of things:

A place:

– I’m going to the doctor’s.

– Can you direct me to the nearest post office?

An event:

– Are you going to the party?

– I have never been to a concert.

A person:

– She came up to me.

– I go to my father for advice.

A position:

– The bathroom is to your left.

– Keep to the left.

Towards

‘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

‘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

‘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

‘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

‘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

‘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

‘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

‘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.