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Prepositions of Time, Place, and Introducing Objects

Summary:

This resource provides guidelines for using prepositions in your writing.

Contributors:Tony Cimasko
Last Edited: 2013-03-22 07:12:35

Prepositions

Prepositions are words or short phrases that identify the spatial (in space), directional (the direction in which something is moving), or temporal (in time) relationship of one or more people or things to other people or things. Prepositions communicate abstract relationships as well as concrete ones. While all languages have prepositions, English has a particularly large number of them, with important differences of nuance between similar prepositions. This handout will give an overview of prepositions, along with a practice activity.

Prepositions for Time, Place, and Introducing Objects

On is used with days:

At is used with noon, night, midnight, and with the time of day:

In is used with other parts of the day, with months, with years, with seasons:

To express extended time, English uses the following prepositions: since, for, by, from-to, from-until, during, (with)in.

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.

To express notions of an object being higher than a point, English uses the following prepositions: over, above.

To express notions of an object being lower than a point, English uses the following prepositions: under, underneath, beneath, below.

To express notions of an object being close to a point, English uses the following prepositions: near, by, next to, between, among, opposite.

English uses the following prepositions to introduce objects of the following verbs.

At: glance, laugh, look, rejoice, smile, stare

Of: approve, consist, smell

Of (or about): dream, think

For: call, hope, look, wait, watch, wish

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