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There are more than 100 prepositions in English. Yet this is a very small number when you think of the thousands of other words (nouns, verbs etc). Prepositions are important words. We use individual prepositions more frequently than other individual words. In fact, the prepositions of, to and in are among the ten most frequent words in English.

The name "preposition" (pre + position) means "place before". Prepositions usually come before another word, usually a noun or noun phrase:

  • noun
  • pronoun
  • noun phrase
  • gerund (verb in -ing form)

If a preposition does not come before another word, it is still closely linked to another word:

  • Who did you talk to?
  • To whom did you talk?
  • I talked to Jane.

Below are some pages with lists of prepositions and example sentences.

Many prepositions can also be adverbs:
  • They are in the kitchen. (preposition)
  • Please come in. (adverb)

A few prepositions can also be conjunctions:

  • Everyone came but Tara. (preposition)
  • I asked her but she didn't answer. (conjunction)

See also: Prepositions grammar

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