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5 types of Preposition examples and how to use them

5 types of Preposition examples and how to use them

Prepositions are words that glue a sentence together.

They help connect nouns, pronouns, or phrases to other words within a sentence so that we don’t end up with nonsensical sentences such as ‘I knocked the door’. Or some other sayings that threaten to twist our brains into knots.

In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the 5 main types of prepositions you need to know.

What Exactly Do Prepositions Do?

Simply put, prepositions have one job and one job only - and that’s to show readers how different types of words in a sentence are connected. Without prepositions, we’ll be left with nouns and verbs and no way of knowing how they relate to one another.

Eg. The cat went the house 

As you can see, without preposition, there’s no way of telling how the cat and house are connected. Did it go into the house to rest? Behind the house to catch a mouse? It’s anyone’s guess.

Eg. The cat went into the house

Here, by including the preposition ‘into’, we can now clearly tell the relationship between the cat and the house. The preposition ‘into’ informs us of the cat’s location in relation to the house.

For more examples, check out our complete guide on prepositions.

#1 Simple Prepositions

Generally speaking, simple prepositions come after a verb and before the object to link nouns and pronouns within a sentence.

[Subject] + [verb] + [preposition] + [object]

Eg. The deer jumped over the fence
Eg. Jacob sat on the floor
Eg. Melissa hid under the bed
Eg. They sat by the tree
Eg. He put the ring in the drawer

#2 Double Prepositions

Double prepositions are a pair of simple prepositions working together to show a specific connection between things.

Eg. She jumped out of the car
Eg. He left without his wallet
Eg. They sat across from each other
Eg. The call came from within the house
Eg. The tadpole turned into a frog

#3 Compound Prepositions

Compound prepositions, also known as complex prepositions, are prepositions made up of two or prepositional words. They are useful for showing more complex relationships between nouns. The quickest way to identify compound prepositions is to look at the last word. In compound prepositions, the last word is always one of the simple prepositions, making them easily recognisable.

Eg. Sarah attended the wedding on behalf of her husband
Eg. His truck was parked in front of the house
Eg. They were in the middle of a heated argument
Eg. The project will be done by this weekend, according to John
Eg. Peter got the lead role in the musical in spite of his inexperience

#4 Participle Prepositions

Participle prepositions are verbs that end with ‘-ing’, ‘-en’, or ‘-ed’, and function as prepositions in sentences. Some common examples include during, considering, and regarding. While they may not look like your ordinary prepositions, Participle Prepositions serve the same function just like any other.

Eg. He is obsessed with anything concerning planes
Eg. Considering her age, she did an amazing job
Eg. The guard said no flash allowed during the performance
Eg. Everyone was at her engagement party, including Sarah
Eg. He was frustrated with her attitude

#5 Prepositional Phrases

Prepositional phrases are groups of words that include a preposition, its object (usually a noun or pronoun), and any other words that help describe or modify the object. While they may be a few words long, they serve the same purpose as every other preposition. Do note that simple prepositions, double prepositions, compound prepositions, and participle prepositions can all appear in prepositional phrases.

Eg. They trekked through the jungle
Eg. Leon grabbed his frisbee from within his sports bag
Eg. They met to talk about their wedding plans
Eg. She overcame the challenge with a little help
Eg. The cat left muddy pawprints on the clean floor

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