Articles and Preposition: Meanings, Types & Exercises

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Articles and Preposition: Language, as a complex system of communication, relies heavily on its building blocks. Among these, articles and prepositions play a pivotal role in shaping the structure and meaning of sentences. By mastering their usage, learners can enhance their ability to express ideas with precision. They can even convey complex relationships within sentences. Therefore, in this blog article, we will explore the significance of articles and preposition in the English language, their distinct functions, and examples to elucidate their usage and differences.

What are Articles?

Articles are words such as a, an, and the which are used to qualify nouns that it is specific or non-specific. There are two types of articles Definite and Indefinite Articles. 

Definite Articles

Definite articles are often termed unique articles indicating that the following article is specific. It also defines the sense of familiarity with the noun used. For eg . I bought a book. The book was very interesting. So here the article defines both the specificity and the familiarity with the book.

Indefinite Articles

“A” and “an” are indefinite articles used when referring to non-specific or newly introduced nouns. “A” is used before nouns starting with a consonant sound, while “an” is used before nouns starting with a vowel sound. For example, “a cat” with the consonant sound K, and “an apple” is used with the vowel sound a.

What are Prepositions?

Prepositions are words that show the relationship of the noun or pronoun with other nouns or pronouns or with other words in the sentence. For example, She sat at the table. In this sentence, the preposition at shows the relationship of the pronoun she with the noun table.

List of Prepositions

8 Types of Prepositions and Examples 

There are 8 Types of Prepositions you would find on a usual basis in different readings. 

Prepositions of Place

Examples: in, on, at, under, over, between, beside, among

Usage: Indicates the location or position of an object or person to another.

Example: The cat is on the table. The book is between the two shelves.

Prepositions of Time

Examples: at, in, on, before, after, during, since, until

Usage: Indicates when an action takes place or the duration of an event.

Example: I will meet you at the restaurant at 7 PM. We will have the meeting during the afternoon.

Prepositions of Direction or Movement

Examples: to, from, into, onto, through, across, along, towards

Usage: Describes the direction or movement of an action.

Example: She walked into the room. The river flows through the valley.

Prepositions of Agent or Instrument

Examples: by, with

Usage: Indicates the means or agent by which an action is performed.

Example: The letter was written by Mary. He fixed the car with a wrench.

Prepositions of Purpose or Reason

Examples: for, because of, due to, to

Usage: Expresses the reason or purpose behind an action.

Example: She went to the store for groceries. He was late due to heavy traffic.

Prepositions of Possession

Examples: of, ‘s

Usage: Shows ownership or possession.

Example: The colour of the car is red. John is a friend of Mary’s.

Prepositions of Condition or Comparison

Examples: like, unlike, as, than

Usage: Compares two things or describes a condition.

Example: She is taller than her brother. The weather is not like it was yesterday.

Compound Prepositions

Examples: in front of, despite, by means of, out of

Usage: Combinations of words that function as single prepositions.

Example: The cat is in front of the door. He succeeded in spite of the challenges.

Read this exciting blog on Nouns

Difference Between Articles and Prepositions

Read the following table to understand the difference between articles and prepositions.

AspectArticlesPrepositions
DefinitionArticles are words that define a noun as specific or unspecific.Prepositions are words that show the relationship between a noun (or pronoun) and other words in a sentence.
TypesDefinite (the) and indefinite (a, an)Spatial (in, on, under), Temporal (at, before, after), Directional (to, from, through), Agent/Instrument (by, with), Purpose/Reason (for, because of), Possession (of, ‘s), Condition/Comparison (like, than), Compound (in front of, in spite of)
FunctionSpecifies whether a noun is specific or general.Indicates the relationship, position, direction, time, or purpose of a noun in a sentence.
ExamplesDefinite Article: “I saw the cat.”  Indefinite Article: “I have a cat.”Spatial Preposition: “She is in the room.” Temporal Preposition: “We will meet at the park.”  – Directional Preposition: “He walked to the store.”
Placement in a SentenceGenerally comes before a noun.Typically comes before a noun and links it to other elements in the sentence.
Impact on MeaningAdds specificity to the noun it modifies.Establishes relationships and provides context for the noun it precedes.

Explore this blog: Abstract Nouns: Definition, Examples and Usage

Articles and Preposition Exercises Download PDF

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FAQs

What are articles and prepositions?

Articles are used before nouns to highlight whether they are singular or plural. For eg a, an, and the. Prepositions are used to show the relationship between the nouns/pronouns with other nouns/pronouns or other words in the sentence. For eg at, on, in, under etc.

What are the examples of articles and preposition?

The cat is on the roof.
The keys are in the drawer.
The children are playing between the trees.

What are the examples of articles?

I have a cat at home.
She wants to buy an apple from the market.
We visited the museum last week.

This was all about the Articles and Prepositions. To advance your grammar knowledge and read more informative blogs, check out the Learn English page of Leverage Edu.

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