Prepositions

Preposition Quiz With Answers

Prepositions — a part of speech in English that, together with the case endings of nouns, pronouns, and numerals, expresses the relationship between words in a sentence. Prepositions do not have an independent lexical meaning, so they do not act as members of a sentence. With regard to nouns, numerals, pronouns, they are secondary part of the sentence. Prepositions are used to express the relationship of a noun or pronoun (or other parts of a sentence) to the rest of the sentence.

Prepositions usually come before a noun, pronoun, numeral or gerund and after a verb. If the sentence has a direct object, the preposition is used after it:

  • Our teacher is in the classroom
  • There is a tree in front of our house

Prepositions IN, ON, AT

The prepositions in, on, at are plural. They can be used in various phrases to indicate location, time.

In, on, at (location)

Where?
inThe mouse is in the box

Granny is in her room

The children are in the yard

Where?
onThe mouse is on the box

The cat is on the sofa

Your book is on my table

at(near, by)The mouse is at the box

My desk is at (by) the window

Не lives near the university

Meaning

In              OnAt
in the kitchensit on the floorsit at the desk
work in the gardena number on the doorwait at the station
swim in the poola book on the tableat the crossroads
in a town/а city/ a countryon a floorat a place on a journey
in a street (GB)on a street (US)at a house/ an address
on a road or riverat an event

In & at in phrases related to buildings

In and at can be used when a location inside a room is meant:

  • There are 50 people in the theatre
  • We were waiting for you in the caf

The preposition at is used when talking about events that are happening, but the important thing is not the place where they happen, but the events themselves:

  • We were at the theatre

Some established phrases

Inin prison/hospital

in a book/newspaper

in the photo/picture

in the country

in the middle

in the back/front of smth

in a queue/line/row

Onon the platform

on the farm

on the page/map

on the screen

on the island/beach/coast

on the right/left

Atat the station/airport

at home/work/school

at the seaside

at the top/bottom

at the end

When talking about transport, the following prepositions are used in English:

Byair, bicycle/bike, boat, bus, car, coach, ferry, helicopter, plane, rail, sea, ship, taxi, train, tube
Inthe/my/your car, a helicopter, a taxi
Onmy bicycle/bike, the boat, the bus, the ferry, the plane, the ship, the train

In, on, at (time)

InOnAt
in 4- year/ month/ seasonon 4- day/dateat + clock time/meal time
in 1996on Saturdayat three o’clock
in

September

on 1th

November

at that time
in winteron that dayat lunch
in the 21st centuryon 4 + a single dayat the moment
in + a week or moreon Christmas Eveat + two or three days
in the holidayon + day + part of a dayat

Christmas

in the summer termon Sunday morningat Easter
in + part of a day(US on the weekend)at the weekend
in the morning
in the evening
Somebody rang in the nightMy granny cannot sleep at night

In time OR on time

In time means “quite early, in advance, at the last moment”:

  • We got to the station in time to buy tickets.
  • Не was about to leave home when in time he remembered the documents.

On time — «according to schedule»:

  • Му friend is never on time
    The train arrived on time

OTHER PREPOSITIONS OF PLACE AND DIRECTION

The following prepositions of place are also used in English:

  • The bird is in/inside the cage
  • Nick is diving in/into the water
  • Не is getting out of the car
  • We’re standing outside the shop
  • The song is on the top of the chart
  • Ann is putting her doll on/onto the trolley
  • Не fell off the chair
  • The table is by/beside the bed
  • We stopped near the shop
  • She went to school
  • The letter is from Lviv
  • Our friends were walking towards the sun
  • Children were running away from the forest
  • There is a bridge over the river
  • The ball is under the table
  • The plane is above the clouds

Prepositions expressing the grammatical dependence of words in a sentence

PrepositionExample
ofAt the end of the lesson the teacher told the marks
toI returned the dog to its owner
with byWhy are you writing the dictation with a pencil? This book was written by Jack London
aboutTell me about this man

During OR while?

During — it is a preposition meaning “during”. It is used before nouns:

  • We read and write during the lesson.
  • I always visit my grandparents during spring holidays.

While — is a conjunction that is usually used at the beginning of a subordinate clause:

  • I often read while I am eating.

Between OR among?

The prepositions between and among are translated as “among“. The difference between them is that between has the meaning “between two”, among – “between several”:

  • Poltava is between Kyiv and Kharkiv
  • The house is among the trees

Where? 

among

The mouse is among the flowers

There is a village among the hills

There is an adult among the children

betweenThe mouse is between two pieces of cheese  

There is a small dog between two boys

There is a TV set between the windows

The table with the main prepositions

PrepositionHow It’s UsedExample
Showing Time
Atexact times meal times parts of the day ageat 3pm
at dinner
at sundown
at age 21
Bya limit in time in the sense of at the latestby sundown
by the due date
Inseasons months years durations after a certain period of timein the summer
in November
in 1992
in the same year
in an hour
Ondays of the week parts of the day where the day is named dateson Wednesday
on Friday night
on December 4th
Agoa certain time in the past2 years ago
Aftera point in time that follows another point in timeafter the game;
after the surgery
Beforea point in time that precedes another point in timebefore leaving;
before breakfast;
before 2004
Duringsomething that happened/will happen in a specific period of timeduring the night;
during war
Forover a certain period in the pastfor 2 years
Pasttelling the timeten past six (6:10)
Sincefrom a certain period of timesince 1980;
since the accident
Throughoutsomething that happened/will happen continuously in a specific period of timethroughout the year; throughout the ordeal
Totelling time from an earlier time to a later timeten to six (5:50) 1pm to 3pm
Untilup to a certain point in time how long something is going to lastuntil the end; until sunrise
Up (to)from an earlier point to a later pointup (to) now
Showing Place
Atan object’s settled position or position after it has moved meeting place or location point of direction a targetat the airport;
at the ceremony at home;
at the desk turning at the intersection throwing the snowball at Lucy
Byclose to alongside ofby the school
by the window
Inin an enclosed space in a geographic location in a print mediumin the garage;
in an envelope in San Diego; in Texas in a book;
in a magazine
Onfor a certain side for a river/lake for a floor in a house for public transport for television, radioon the left
London lies on the Thames
on the floor
on a bus
on the air;
on TV
Aboutaround or outside of at but not exactly on related toabout town
about five feet tall
about my father’s business
Abovesuspended higher than something else superior toabove the door
above me in rank
Afterpursuit a point further from an earlier pointchasing after the robbers
the corner after the big house
Againstleaning on opposite to or facingagainst the door
against the wall
Alongtracing the length of, without emphasis on the endsalong the hallway;
along the river
Amongin the company of (three or more) in a crowd the end of a long listamong friends
among the masses
among other things
Aroundlocation of something explaining a period of timedrive around the block
around 3 o’clock
Beforein the front in terms of spacebefore the emperor;
before God
Behindon the back side of a point in spacebehind the car;
behind her smile
Belowsomething lower than or underneath something elsebelow the stairs;
below expectations
Fromin the sense of where froma flower from the garden
Intoenter a room/buildinggo into the kitchen/house
Ontomovement to the top of somethingjump onto the table
Overcovered by something else “more than” “getting to the other side” overcoming an obstacleput a jacket over your shirt over 16 years of age walk over the bridge climb over the wall
Throughsomething with limits on top, bottom and the sidesdrive through the tunnel
Towardsmovement in the direction of something (but not directly to it)go 5 steps towards the house
Other Important Prepositions
Aboutfor topics, meaning what aboutwe were talking about you
AtFor ageshe learned Russian at 45
Bywho made it rise or fall of something travelling (other than walking or horseriding)a book by Mark Twain
prices have risen by 10 percent
by car, by bus
Fromwho gave ita present from Jane
Inentering a car/taxiget in the car
Ofwho/what did it belong to what does it showa page of the book the picture of a place
Offleaving a public transport vehicleget off the train
Onwalking or riding on horseback entering a public transport vehicleon foot,
on horseback get
on the bus
Out ofleaving a car/taxiget out of the taxi

Prepositions of PLACE 👉 IN / ON / AT / BY 👈 Common English Grammar Mistakes

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