This is a closed word class.
Prepositions are grammatical words that show relationships between two things. These relationships often relate to time or space.
The most important clue for recognising prepositions is that they usually have direct objects. This makes them rather like transitive verbs.
The combination of a preposition and its object is called a prepositional phrase.
Some prepositional phrases:
|Preposition||Determiner + Noun|
Some common prepositions:
about, above, across, after, against, along, amidst, among, around, as, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, by, despite, down, during, except, for, from, in, inside, into, like, near, of, off, on, onto, opposite, out, outside, over, past, round, since, through, till, to, throughout, towards, under, underneath, unlike, until, up, upon, via, with, within, without
Prepositions also sometimes work in pairs:
Many familiar groups of words function like prepositions. We call these complex prepositions:
according to, ahead of, apart from, as to, because of, by means of, by way of, close to, in return for, in aid of, in case of, in charge of, in favour of, in front of, in need of, in place of, in respect of, in spite of, in view of, instead of, irrespective of, in addition to, in accordance with, in common with, in contact with, in line with, next to, on account of, on behalf of, on grounds of, owing to, prior to.
Some prepositional expressions in American English are not the same as in New Zealand English.
Exploring Language is reproduced by permission of the publishers Learning Media Limited on behalf of Ministry of Education, P O Box 3293, Wellington, New Zealand, © Crown, 1996.
Published on: 25 Feb 2009