Prepositions‏‎ in English Grammar

Prepositions are a closed word class‏‎. This means there are only a few of them and no new ones are ever added to the group.

This article introduces the main groups of prepositions in English.

A preposition joins nouns, pronouns‏‎ and phrases‏‎ with other words in a sentence‏‎. Generally speaking, a preposition tells us:

where something is


when something happened

Different Types of Prepositions

The word or phrase that the preposition introduces is called the object of the preposition. A preposition usually places its object in space or in time. This is why we talk about prepositions of place and prepositions of time.

prepositions of place

Prepositions of place tell us where something is or happens:

on the sofa

under the bed

See the main article, Prepositions of Place‏‎.

prepositions of time

Prepositions of time tell us when something happens:

at Christmas

in July

See the main article, Prepositions of Time‏‎.

verb + preposition

Some words are often followed by a specific preposition:

listen to

keen on

See the main article, Verb plus Preposition‏‎.

phrasal verbs

Some verbs‏‎ take a preposition to make a new verb. These are called phrasal verbs:

put up with

hand out

See the main article, Phrasal Verbs‏‎.

Posted in Parts of Speech.