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PREPOSITIONS Prepositions are connecting words. Unlike nouns, verbs and modifiers, which may change form according to their meaning and use in a sentence, prepositions never change form. We use many prepositions with great frequency, but the entire list is relatively short. Here are the most common ones. about above across after against along among around as at before behind below beneath

beside besides between beyond but (except) by concerning despite down during except for from in

inside into like near of off on onto out outside over past regarding round

since through throughout to toward under underneath unlike until up upon with within without

A preposition shows a relationship between two words in a sentence; it is a connecting word.

Direction = to







at on

beside over



around in under

Time =






but with




Other =

against to

Location = between by

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Certain words are used with certain prepositions. Prepositions are usually not interchangeable. For example: according TO agree TO (a plan) agree WITH (a person) ahead OF

part FROM (a person) part WITH (a thing)

engage IN exclude FROM expect FROM (thing)

rely ON responsible FOR, OF

capable OF comply WITH consist OF conform TO

deal WITH depend ON deprive OF different FROM

opposite OF (qualities) opposite TO (position)

similar TO

based ON because OF

identical WITH, TO imply THAT Frequently Used Prepositions

TIME AT • • ON • • IN • • BY • •

is used when the time is known: Ivan’s class is at 3:30 p.m. The sun rises at dawn. is used when the day or date is known: Mary went to the mall on Friday. The party will be on July the 4th. is used when the time is within a 24-hour period: I finished my paper in just one day. All my classes are in the afternoon. is used when an action will be completed by a certain time or date: Tony will finish his work by 5:00 p.m. Martha will be done with school by May.

LOCATION AT is used to show a site or target: • Mark is at home. • Look at Marissa’s artwork. ON is used when the object is on a surface or electronic medium: • The cat is resting on the chair. • You can find good articles on the Internet. IN is used for enclosed spaces, geographic locations, and print mediums: • My shoes are in the closet. • I live in El Paso, TX. • Jamie’s article was printed in the newspaper. BY is used to show nearness to a landmark: • Wal-Mart is by Cielo Vista Mall.

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