Lesson Eleven

Prepositions

Prepositions show location, proximity, and relationships:

standing on a pencil

He is standing

on

a pencil.

at the beach

She is

at

the beach.

flowers in glass

The flower is

in

the glass.

Prepositions are necessary to learn about. The most important to learn now are in, at, and on. Most prepositions have very specific applications as shown below:

 

You can get

into

the house

through

this door.

 

door

 

The cat is drinking

from

a bowl.

 

cat

 

There is food

on

the table.

 

couple eating

Another very common preposition is “to.”

There are hundreds of different prepositions and prepositional phrases. To learn them all will take years of practice. The best way to learn them well is by reading books, magazines, and newspapers. Listening to the radio helps as well. You can also learn about prepositions in class from a teacher, but it’s important to realize that it requires a lot of practice and memorization. Some common prepositions are listed below in alphabetical order. I’ll add more as I think of them.

about:  They read about the car accident in the newspaper.

above:  Planes fly above the ground

across:   We walked across the street to get a slice of pizza.

across from:  Across the street from the park is a hospital.

after:   Tom and Sue had some ice cream after dinner.

against:  She was so tired that she had to lean against the wall.

along:  I noticed a lot of garbage along the side of the highway.

at:  He needs to be at work in the afternoon.

before:  Tom and Sue bought popcorn before the movie.

behind:  What’s behind the door?

below:  It was 41 degrees below zero yesterday. (- 41 degrees!)

beneath: Get beneath the covers and keep warm tonight.

beside: I put the shovel beside the fence.

between: B comes between A and C.

by:  You should try to be here by 10:00.

down: Let’s walk down the street and get some gyros.

for:  They work for a big company.

from:  Ali moved to Minnesota from Somalia.

in:  Now he lives in Minnesota.

in back of:  John parked his car in back of the store.

in front of:  The sign in front of the store told him to park in back.

into:  When we walked into the classroom, we met the teacher.

inside:  Is there any food inside the refrigerator?

near:  Jorge lives near the place where he works, so he walks to work.

of:  There are plenty of apples for everybody to have one.

off:  She got off the bus at the corner.

on: Look on the table and you’ll see the books.

onto:  They walked onto the airplane and sat down.

out:  A cat fell out the window, but he survived the fall.

outside:  The teachers are talking together outside the classroom.

through: Running through a waterfall is refreshing.

to:  Did you go to the store yet?

with:  Who did you go to movies with?

  or….With whom did you go to the movies?

Try this exercise and see how well you do

Click here for more examples of prepositions .