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Figures of Speech

What Are Prepositions: Time, Place And Movement

‘Catherine ran the street the road’. Yes, that is a sentence of course, but rather a meaningless one. In order to make it sound clear, you need to identify the missing elements. It’s the prepositions that are missing from the sentence. You might have come across them frequently for sure. With them, the sentence becomes, ‘Catherine ran down the street across the road’. Though they are only words of two or, to the maximum, six letters, they are integral to framing meaningful sentences. A preposition basically comes handy in relating the noun or the pronoun to another word in the same sentence. It might seem confusing to you, but with ample practice and confidence, you won’t be mistaken. Well, prepositions are rather ‘the unsung heroes’ which provide us the critical information required about the object and also about its subject. A sentence wouldn’t be complete without the use of prepositions and it would indeed lack clarity and quality. You could even term prepositions as the secret to link ideas or words in a sentence. Use of prepositions without an object would be meaningless in a sentence. Prepositions are used to frame phrases that function either as modifiers of verbs or of nouns and they complement adjectives and/or adverbs.

What Is A Preposition

Usually, you might be confused and not sure where a preposition can be used. The situations under which a preposition may occur are:

  • It can be used in verbal compounds (turn out, give up) and hence, contribute to make the expressions more meaningful.
  • It can be used as a connector to combine two sentences.
  • In order to introduce small clauses in a sentence

Prepositions Of Time

As the name signifies, they are used as a measure of time. In other words, prepositions of time show when something happened.

Some Examples:

  • I haven’t seen your friend since yesterday.
  • Usually, I watch TV in the evenings.
  • During winter, it is difficult to drive because of snow.
  • I’m leaving to Chennai in a week.
  • I’ll be on leave from January 15 to February 22.
  • I was born in January, in the year 1980.
  • In the morning, the gardener trims the bushes.
  • Our classes are scheduled to begin in the first week of March.
  • My friends are coming home at five’ o clock.
  • I will call you at 3 PM
  • She gets up early in the morning.
  • The show will begin in another ten minutes.
  • The President will address the public on Independence Day.
  • We have to submit the assignment on Monday.
  • I was at my native during the summer holidays.

Preposition Of Place

These prepositions are used to signify the position of the noun in a sentence.

Some Examples:

  • He threw the ball over the roof.
  • The house is between 3rd Street and 4th Street.
  • The tape recorder is on the table.
  • He is sitting beside her.
  • The horse stable is behind the farm.
  • That is Jack, the one who is standing in front of the car.
  • They walked down the street together.
  • Henry walked under the bridge, the way that led to the park.
  • You will find Elizabeth at the store.
  • Put a stamp on the envelope.
  • Mary went to the dentist.
  • Mrs. Weatherfield who lives next door is from Brazil.
  • Your name is at the top of the waiting list.
  • After the function the chairs were all left outside the house.
  • It is necessary to put a full stop after every sentence.
  • This land is below sea level.
  • You will find the letter somewhere among these papers.
  • Let’s walk through the park.

Preposition Of Movement

Such prepositions signify a particular direction. Here, you will also find some words of position and movement overlap such as, from, to, through, under, up, down, over, etc.

Examples:

  • They ran out of the building after they heard the fire alarm.
  • He strode towards the Town Hall.
  • You will find him in his office now.
  • I saw him go into the Director’s room now.
  • Because of the cold breeze, I went into my room and sat by the fireplace.
  • They had been in the building for almost an hour.
  • She went into the library.
  • Jack ran away as quick as possible when he heard footsteps coming towards him.
  • Clara jumped onto the bench.

Preposition For Agent

These prepositions are used to indicate a thing which is the cause of another in the sentence.

Examples:

  • That book that you are holding was written by Shakespeare.
  • The work was completed on time by Chris.
  • The tank is filled with water.
  • Prior to the celebrations, the class room was decorated by the students.
  • She comes home by bus.
  • The keyboard was played by him.

Other Important Prepositions

  • It is a container for butter.
  • We met them after dinner.
  • I left shortly after lunch.
  • It was raining continuously for a day.
  • The eagle soared high above the clouds.
  • I prefer keeping my hand on the table.

Going through this article, you can refresh the basic concepts of the usage of prepositions and identify them clearly in a sentence. Be careful to avoid the usage of unnecessary prepositions and do not end sentences using prepositions. With the types of prepositions mentioned, you can have a much better understanding of this part of speech. For furthering your knowledge and in order to cement your understanding of this concept, you can attempt various available exercises and boost your level of confidence regarding prepositions and their role in English grammar.

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