How to Use Prepositions in English Grammar

In present times, English is the most spoken language in the world. It is because of the widespread of British Empire who make English an elitist language, spoken by those who are educated in literature, philosophy and poetry.

English is the common language that connects the world and gave people a platform to share their thoughts all over the world. So it has become a necessity to learn English language and speak it with full confidence and passion.

But there are so many people across the world who got confused with basic grammar rules and face problem while speaking. So let’s talk about the very interesting part of speech that is Prepositions.

Do you face hardships when you use prepositions in your daily life? If this happens to you then you must be lacking in knowing the correct use of prepositions.

Firstly, we have to understand that what are prepositions and why they came into the existence?


A preposition is a word which is placed before a noun and a pronoun to show the relation in which one person or thing stands to another person or thing.

It is usually placed before the word it controls, the most common being the word showing time, space, position, direction and relationship.

Study the following sentences carefully to bring out the significance of each one of the prepositions-

1. At, In, On

’At’ is used with the names of small towns and villages while ‘in’ is used with the names of big cities and countries. For example, Rahul lives at Ganga Nagar in Rajasthan, or the Queen lives in London in Great Britain.

‘At’ is used for a point of time while ‘in’ is used for a period of time. For example, Suzy came home at 5 o’clock in the evening, or Mohini arrived at sunset.

‘On’ is used with particular dates and days. For example, he won the match on Monday.

2. In, Into

‘In’ denotes state of rest within, while ‘into’ denotes inward motion. Some of the examples are — she is in the room (denotes rest), they went into the room (denotes motion), the squirrel jump into the basket.

3. On, Upon

‘On’ is used for a thing at rest, while ‘upon’ generally denotes the motion. Some of the examples are  they are sitting on the chair (denotes rest), the cat sprang upon the table (denotes motion).

4. In, Within, Before

‘In’ denotes the end of period of time; within denotes before the expiry of period of time; ‘before’ denotes the point of time. Some of the examples are — Suhana will return in a week, Mahesh will deposit the charges within a week, Supriya will do it before the last week.

5. After, Behind

‘After’ generally refers to time, while ‘behind’ refers to place. Some of the examples are — the train arrived at station after 9 p.m., he stood behind the tree.

6. By, With

‘By’ is used after verbs in the passive voice to express the agent or doer. ‘ With’ denotes the instrument with which action is done. Some of the examples are — the tiger was killed by the hunter with a gun, the trees were cut by him with an axe, the butter was spread by Selena with a knife.

7. By, Till

‘By’ means not later than while ‘till’ is a less formal way to say until. Some of the examples are — they will reach there by 7 a.m.,  she will start working by tomorrow, you can fill this form till Monday, the flights will be available by Sunday midnight, you can use my pencil till you got yours.

8. Since, For

‘Since’ is used for point of time, while ‘for’ is used for period of time. Both since and for are preceded by a verb in the Perfect Tense. Some of the examples are — I haven’t seen her since last month, she has been attending the classes for two weeks, Samay had met an accident since last week.

9. Between, Among

‘Between’ is used with two persons or things and ‘among’ is used with more than two persons or things. Some of the examples are — divide the candies between the two girls, a dispute arose between two unions in the elections, the four elephants were fighting among themselves for long.

10. Above, Across

‘Above’ is generally used to denote a higher position and ‘across’ is used when to define a situation from one side to the opposite. Some of the examples are — a sword was hanging above his head, or you should not live above your means, the light fell across the road, I jumped across the pit to go there.

11. Against, Along

‘Against’ is used to oppose of some kind and ‘along’ is used to define the same direction. Some of the examples are — A scooter ran against the bus, the ladder was placed against the wall, he wants shoes along with suit, Lily and Mona walks along the riverside.

These were the common prepositions used in daily life. Some of them are quite comparable but their use is significant. So use the correct prepositions in your sentences and make your speech effective and meaningful.

Written by - Simranpreet Kaur Rattu

Edited by - Anusha Vajha

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