What are Prepositions? Definition, Types, Examples & Exercise

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Prepositions are definitely one of the most important components of basic grammar. That being said if your aim is to perfect your English, then you must know the correct usage of prepositions. They can be confusing at first but once you get the gist of them, you will never get even a single one of them wrong.

So, let’s get to it and understand what prepositions are and how to use in your daily life. 

Quiz Your Inner Grammar Nazi With this Grammar Test

What are Prepositions and Examples?

Prepositions are those words which are placed before a noun or a noun equivalent (pronoun, adverb, etc) to show a relationship between that noun/pronoun and some other word in the sentence. This relationship that it hints at could be about time, place, direction etc.

These words are called prepositions because they are always placed/positioned before(pre) a noun/noun equivalent.  


  1. I’ll meet you in the park next to the theatre. 
  2. I have not seen him since yesterday. 

In the above-given statements, the used prepositions are “next to” and “since“. As you can see, they emphasise the relationship between the noun/noun equivalent and the other words.

In the first statement, “next to” denotes position and in the second statement, “since” denotes time. 

Types of Prepositions with Examples

Let’s explore the main types of Prepositions in English grammar:

Prepositions of Time

The prepositions of time are those which indicate time. A few of the most commonly used examples for this type are before, after, during, in, on, etc.


  1. India gained independence on 15th August 1947. 
  2. Try to come home before it starts raining. 
  3. During World War I, many civilians lost their lives

Quick Read: Use of At On In Preposition with Examples & Exercises

Prepositions of Place

As the name suggests, the Prepositions of place are those which indicate a place/position. The most commonly used examples of these are on, at, in, under, behind, outside, etc. 


  1. Meet me at the cafeteria next to the station. 
  2. Place the book on the table. 
  3. Jack is in a meeting now. 
  4. As a punishment, the student was asked to stand outside the classroom.

Also Read: Use of Prepositions With Examples and Exercises

Prepositions of Movement

The preposition of movement indicates some movement. The most common examples denoting movement are to, across, through, over, past, down, etc.


  1. I am moving to Tokyo next year. 
  2. After the crash, the car fell across the next street. 
  3. You need to go through the garden to enter the auditorium. 

Also Read: Commonly Used Prepositions of Directions

Prepositions of Manner

The prepositions of manner are those which indicate the way or the means through which something is done. The most commonly used examples of these are by, with, like, etc. 


  1. I like to travel by car. 
  2. Always draw with a pencil. 
  3. After Riya and Disha fought, they started acting like strangers. 

Also Read: 25 Fixed Prepositions List Starting with Alphabet A

Prepositions of Agent

Prepositions of an agent are those which indicate the agent who has committed any action. Some most common examples of these are with and by. 


  1. Harry Potter was written by J.K. Rowling
  2. Jacob used to go to school every day with his brother. 

Quick Read: Time Prepositions with Exhilarating Examples and Exercise

Prepositions of Measure

Prepositions of measure are those which indicate some quantity. The most commonly used examples of these are of and by. 


  1. A big section of the Indian population is still dependent on agriculture for survival. 
  2. The bookshops in Daryaganj sell books by the kilo. 

Quick Read: Preposition and Prepositional Phrases

Prepositions of Source

The prepositions of the source are those which indicate the source of something. The most commonly used examples of these are by and from. 


  1. I received this book as a Christmas present from my brother. 
  2. This painting was made by a famous British painter. 

Quick Read: Articles and Preposition

Prepositions of Possession

The prepositions of possession are those which indicate ownership. The most common examples of prep. of possession are with, to and of. 


  1. This blue umbrella belongs to Miss Rekha. 
  2. Who is that person with the black suitcase?
  3. David is the owner of this house. 

Also Read: Preposition Over: Usage, Example, and Exercise

A Few Rules to Avoid Errors

So, from what we have seen there are some prepositions which change their type depending on the way they are used like “in” which is both a prep. of time and place. Here are two more categories you must know:

  1. Single Word Prepositions – As the name suggests, these are just one word long like on, in, under, above, etc. 
  2. Complex Prepositions – Complex prepositions are those which are not one but two or more word phrases like on account of, along with, apart from, in spite of, etc. 

What is a Simple Preposition?

Words that are used to describe space, time & location & determine the relation between nouns & pronouns.

Examples of simple prepositions are on, over, at, under, by, for, in, off,  over, and under.

  • She lost her ring in the pool.
  • We are running in the park today.
  • I live near her office.

What is a Compound proposition?

When two prepositions are combined to form a single word are called compound prepositions.

Example – above, across, inside, within, beyond.

  • He likes to play inside.
  • Her apartment is just above mine.
  • He lives across the street.

Read more on Compound Prepositions Here!

Phrasal and Group Prepositions

When grouped in phrases including adverbs, verbs by combining two or three words.

Example – in addition to, in order to, away from, in reference to, as long as.

  • In order to be eligible for the entrance exam, students must score 55% in class 12.
  • He lives 10 km away from the airport.
  • They waste a lot of time selecting the game instead of playing.

Participle Prepositions

Present participle used without nouns or pronouns are known as participle Prepositions.

Examples – Pending, considering, regarding, including.

  • I have to complete yesterday’s pending work first.
  • She hasn’t lost any weight considering her diet & work out routine
  • All team members are scheduled for the meeting including the interns.

What is the Object of a Preposition?

The noun or noun equivalent before which the preposition is placed is called the object of the preposition (OP). 


  1. The mask is on the table. (In this example, the noun table is the OP.)
  2. She is dependent on him for everything. (In this example the pronoun him is the OP.)

Here is the Complete List of Modals with Examples!

Few Rules to Follow

Here are some important rules regarding the use of prepositions:

Rule 1: When a relative pronoun is used in a statement, the prepositions can be placed at the end of that sentence. 

  1. Here is the book that you were looking for
  2. This is the person whom I wanted to introduce you to
preposition rule 1
Rule 1

Rule 2: In the case of an interrogative sentence, it could be placed at the beginning. 

  1. In which country do your parents live?
  2. To whom were you talking on the phone?
preposition rule 2
Rule 2

Rule 3: There are some words which can be used as both prepositions (P) and adverbs (A) like across, before, along, behind, besides, etc. 

  1. Before

P: Try to come home before it starts raining. 
A: He has never done skydiving before

  1. Across

P: She threw the ball across the room. 
A: This river has no bridge, we have no option but to swim across

preposition rule 3
Rule 3

Rule 4: On v/s upon is used to talk about things at rest whereas, upon is used to talk about things in motion.

  1. Alina sat to rest on a roadside bench. 
  2. The dog sprang upon the running cat. 
grammar rule 4
Rule 4

Rule 5: A preposition will always have an object. 

  1. I’ll meet you after a month. 
  2. Here is the pen that you were looking for
grammar rule 5
Rule 5

Also Read: Uncover 8 Types of Prepositions


  1. Adya went to Tokyo (at/in) the age of 3. 
  2. You will receive the payment (within/during) 20 days of joining. 
  3. In the absence of professional experience, you will be (in/at) a disadvantage here. 
  4. I have not seen her (for/since) the last six months. 
  5. You must travel by the train to reach (on/in) time. 
  6. I have been going to this cafeteria (for/since) a long time. 
  7. He is struggling (with/from) a heartbreak.
  8. We drove (along/through) the coastline Flores..


  1. At
  2. Within
  3. At
  4. For
  5. On
  6. For
  7. From
  8. Along

Also Practice: Prepositions for Class 4 with Fun Exercises

Practice Questions

  1. My mother will be here ____  (within/for) a week.
  2. Take this home remedy & you will get rid___ (of/with) fever.
  3. It gives me immense pleasure in welcoming you______ (Aboard/ to)
  4. He wanted to go out ___  (for/to ) ice cream after lunch.
  5. The result ____ (of/for)  kavya will come around 2 week of march.
  6. There are total 15 students _____ (in/for) maths class.
  7. She comes to office _____ (by/in) her car.
  8. Students have to go ______ (through/within) the whole process before applying.
  9. There is a cockroach _______ (under/over) my bed.
  10. The pen is ____ (on/of) the table


  1. Within 
  2. Of
  3. Aboard
  4. For
  5. Of
  6. In
  7. By
  8. Through
  9. Under
  10. On

Also Practice: Prepositions Class 8 Exercises


What is the difference between simple and compound prepositions?

Simple prepositions determine the relationship between nouns & pronouns, while compound prepositions are formed by combining two.

When is a preposition used at the beginning of a sentence?

In interrogative sentences, prepositions are used at the beginning of a sentence.

What is the difference between prepositions of time & place?

The preposition that indicates time and place. Example of time, I will be home before Christmas. Example of place- Meet me in the cafe before you leave for home.

What are some examples of simple prepositions?

Single words like on, in, under, and above are its examples.

I got this dress from my sister for this Christmas, What kind of preposition is used in this sentence? 

The proposition of the source is present in this statement. It indicates that she received that dress from the source i.e. her sister.

Thus, we hope that this blog provides you with a comprehensive guide on English prepositions. Gearing up for English proficiency exams like IELTS or TOEFL? Sign up for a demo session with our Leverage Live experts and we will help you plan the right exam strategy and equip you with the best study materials, resources and mentorship you need to achieve your target score!

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