Prepositions for Time, Place, and Introducing Objects
This section deals with prepositions and their standard uses.
Contributors:Chris Berry, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli
Last Edited: 2011-03-23 03:07:43
One point in time
On is used with days:
- I will see you on Monday.
- The week begins on Sunday.
At is used with noon, night, midnight, and with the time of day:
- My plane leaves at noon.
- The movie starts at 6 p.m.
In is used with other parts of the day, with months, with years, with seasons:
- He likes to read in the afternoon.
- The days are long in August.
- The book was published in 1999.
- The flowers will bloom in spring.
To express extended time, English uses the following prepositions: since, for, by, from—to, from-until, during,(with)in
- She has been gone since yesterday. (She left yesterday and has not returned.)
- I'm going to Paris for two weeks. (I will spend two weeks there.)
- The movie showed from August to October. (Beginning in August and ending in October.)
- The decorations were up from spring until fall. (Beginning in spring and ending in fall.)
- I watch TV during the evening. (For some period of time in the evening.)
- We must finish the project within a year. (No longer than a year.)
To express notions of place, English uses the following prepositions: to talk about the point itself: in, to express something contained: inside, to talk about the surface: on, to talk about a general vicinity, at.
- There is a wasp in the room.
- Put the present inside the box.
- I left your keys on the table.
- She was waiting at the corner.
Higher than a point
To express notions of an object being higher than a point, English uses the following prepositions: over, above.
- He threw the ball over the roof.
- Hang that picture above the couch.
Lower than a point
To express notions of an object being lower than a point, English uses the following prepositions: under, underneath, beneath, below.
- The rabbit burrowed under the ground.
- The child hid underneath the blanket.
- We relaxed in the shade beneath the branches.
- The valley is below sea-level.
Close to a point
To express notions of an object being close to a point, English uses the following prepositions: near, by, next to, between, among, opposite.
- She lives near the school.
- There is an ice cream shop by the store.
- An oak tree grows next to my house
- The house is between Elm Street and Maple Street.
- I found my pen lying among the books.
- The bathroom is opposite that room.
To introduce objects of verbs
English uses the following prepositions to introduce objects of the following verbs.
At: glance, laugh, look, rejoice, smile, stare
- She glanced at her reflection.
(exception with mirror: She glanced in the mirror.)
- You didn't laugh at his joke.
- I'm looking at the computer monitor.
- We rejoiced at his safe rescue.
- That pretty girl smiled at you.
- Stop staring at me.
Of: approve, consist, smell
- I don't approve of his speech.
- My contribution to the article consists of many pages.
- He came home smelling of alcohol.
Of (or about): dream, think
- I dream of finishing college in four years.
- Can you think of a number between one and ten?
- I am thinking about this problem.
For: call, hope, look, wait, watch, wish
- Did someone call for a taxi?
- He hopes for a raise in salary next year.
- I'm looking for my keys.
- We'll wait for her here.
- You go buy the tickets and I'll watch for the train.
- If you wish for an "A" in this class, you must work hard.