Grammar 3

 

Prepositions

Prepositions are your friends. I hope you have already memorized them.

Quick Review:

Prepositions are words which typically describe the relationship between two nouns.

In each of these cases, the preposition describes the relationship between the book and the table.

However, not all prepositions work this way. In fact, there are so many "weird" or exceptional prepositions that frankly, you just need to memorize them.

Here is a fairly complete list of prepositions. Note: Prepositions marked with an asterisk* can also serve as subordinating conjunctions. Look carefully at how each is being used in a sentence to determine whether it is being being used as a preposition or as a subordinating conjunction.

Prepositions

about
above
according to
across
after*
against
along
along with
among
apart from
around
as*
as for
at
because of
before*
behind
below
beneath

beside
between
beyond
but (except)
by
by means of
concerning
despite
down
during
except
except for
excepting
for
from
in
in addition to
in back of
in case of

in front of
in place of
inside
in spite of
instead of
into
like
near
next
of
off
on
onto
on top of
out
out of
outside
over
past

regarding
round
since*
through
throughout
till
to
toward
under
underneath
unlike
until*
up
upon
up to
with
within
without

Why should I care about prepositions?

We mostly talk about prepositions in the context of capitalizing titles and simplifying sentences.

Capitalizing Titles

Like articles, prepositions do not get capitalized in titles. (Exception: If the first word of the title is a preposition, then we do capitalize it).

Wrong Right

The First Day Of School

The First Day of School

A Sandwich For Sam

A Sandwich for Sam

My Struggle With Depression

My Struggle with Depression

after the Dance

After the Dance

Simplifying Sentences

Prepositions introduce prepositional phrases, and prepositional phrases can always be canceled or ignored.

Imagine, for example, that I've asked you to simplify the following sentence (that is, I've asked you to reduce the sentence to its simplest form).

Mentally (or physically, on a piece of paper) you would cross out the prepositional phrase. (A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition and the noun that follows the preposition).

And thus you'd arrive at the answer. The answer is: "I ran."

We'll be doing many such exercises in the future, and that is one of the main reasons why it's important for you to be able to recognize prepositions instantly.

Instructions for the Quiz

Identify the preposition.

Quiz