What's IN a Preposition?
Prepositions can be divided into:
The name "preposition" (pre + position) means "place before". Prepositions usually come *before* another word, usually a noun or noun phrase:
If a preposition does not come before another word, it is still closely associated with another word:
Notice that many prepositions can also be adverbs:
A few prepositions can also be conjunctions:
How many prepositions are there in English? It is not possible to give a definite answer, partly because complex prepositions are "open class", which means that new ones could be invented at any time. But for a list of almost all the one-word and complex prepositions in common use, see English Prepositions Listed which includes 370 example sentences.
Many words are associated with a particular preposition. When you learn a new word, try to learn the preposition associated with it. A good dictionary usually gives you examples.
Here are some common verbs that are associated with a particular preposition:
Here are a few common expressions with particular prepositions:
© 2001 Josef Essberger