Most Common Prepositions, And Their Use

Prepositions are normally placed before noun or pronouns. They can also be followed by verbs, provided the verb is in the gerund form.

Today we’ll do a little bit with prepositions to make you clear which preposition must be in place in a particular sentence.

From, since and for:

From is used with ‘to’, ’till’, ‘until’.

He worked from six to ten.

Repeat this exercise from time to time.

Since is used for time

He has been working here since September 2012.

It is seven years since I last saw her.

For is used of a period of time.

He travelled for six weeks.

He has worked in the company for four years.

During and for:

During is used with known period of time.

He ate nothing during his ailment.

I learned English during summer holidays.

For is used before known periods:

I rented a car for a week.

He asked for money.

‘To’ can be used of time and place

He played from eight to ten.

He’s going to Manchester.

When are you coming back to Karachi?

They flew to Islamabad.

‘Till’, ‘until’ is used of time only:

We’ll work till dark.

He worked from five till nine.

Till/until are interchangeable.

‘On’ and ‘onto’ are used for position and movement

He was lying on berth.

He went on board a plane.

He lifted a child onto the table.

Not to be confused with ‘besides’ and ‘beside’.

We sat beside the seashore.

We slept beside the wall.

Besides reflects ‘in addition to’:

Besides studying I do a part time job.

I do all the work and besides that I help her.

‘Between’ and ‘among’:

Distribute the toys between the two brothers.

‘Among’ relates a thing or person to more than two things.

Distribute the money among the poor.

He’s among his friends.

‘Between’ relates a thing or person to two other things.

‘But’ and ‘except’ have same meanings and both are interchangeable.

Nobody knew the way except Fahad.

Nobody knew the way but Fahad.

You can play anywhere except here.

You can play anywhere but here.

‘At’ and ‘in’:

At home, at school, at the office, at university, at a certain point, at the bus-stop.

‘In’ means inside only whereas ‘at’ means inside and outside:

He’s in the house.

He’s at the house.

In the village, in the sea, in the city, in a room, in the forest, in the apartment etc.

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