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                     PREPOSITIONS           A Preposition is a word that shows in what relation a noun or noun equivalent stands to s...

English Grammar for GMAT, GRE, CAT and Bank Tests -- Prepositions and Correct Use of Prepositions


A Preposition is a word that shows in what relation a noun or noun equivalent stands to some other word.

The following is a list of common prepositions:  at, about, by, for, in, off, of, on, at, through, till, to, up, with, under, over, down, during, above, across, along, among, around, before, behind, below, beside, besides, between, inside, outside, within, into, without, against.

Compound or Phrase Prepositions: Groups of words are often used to do the work of prepositions. They are sometimes called phrase prepositions. Such as:
For the sake of, in front of, by means of, as to, because of, by way of, on behalf of, in course of, in spite of, in order to, in regard to, with a view to, with reference to.

Correct Use of Prepositions:
1)   The noun or pronoun which is used with a preposition is called its object. It is in the Accusative case and is said to be governed by the preposition.
Example: Lalitha is fond of ice cream.
2)   A Preposition is usually placed before its object but a preposition is placed at the end of a sentence in the following ways.
(i)When the object is the relative pronoun that, the preposition is always placed at the end.
Example: Here is the book that you asked for?
(ii)         When the object is an interrogative pronoun or relative pronoun understand.
Example: What are you searching for?
(iii)        When the preposition is used with the infinitive placed at the end of the sentence.
Example: Do you have a chair to sit on?
(iv)        If a preposition governs a relative pronoun.
Example: This is the girl you enquired to.
3)   Sometimes the object is placed first for the sake of emphasis.
Example: Rahul is known all the country over.
4)   The Preposition for, from, in, on is often omitted before a noun of place or time.
Example: Lallu did it last week.
5)   A preposition can also be used at the beginning of an interrogative sentence.
Example: In which state does she live?
6)   Several words are used sometimes an adverb and sometimes as prepositions. A word is a preposition when it governs a noun or pronoun. It is an adverb when it does not.
Adverb                             preposition
          Has she come in?     Is he in his room?
          Let us move on               The pen lies on the table.
7)   Some intransitive verbs become transitive by placing prepositions after them.
Example: look at, laugh at.
8)   The preposition ‘from’ should be used with the following: abstain, prevent, recover, absent.
Example: Raghu has not yet recovered from his illness.
9)   The preposition ‘by’ should be used with the following: accompany, amuse, replace.
Example: Srinu was amused by my story.
10)        We use the preposition ‘with’ after the deal, please, satisfy.
Example: She doesn’t know how to deal with others.
11)        ‘for’ should be used with propose, care, apologize.
Example: I always care for him.
12)        ‘To’ should be used with an addict, prefect.
Example: Ravali was addicted to watching T.V.
13)        ‘On’ should be used with  base, rely , congratulate, attend.
Example: I congratulated him on his success.
14)        The verbs, which are placed immediately after prepositions are usually in the gerund form.
Example: I have prevented him from falling.
15)        The word ‘begin’ should not be followed by the preposition ‘from’,’ but’, ‘on’
Example: the exams begin on May 1st.
16)        The word ‘mind’ should not be used with the verb ‘concentrate’ and its appropriate preposition is ‘on’.
Example: you must concentrate on your studies.
17)        Atis used
(i)  With a definite point of time
Example: at 7 P.M.
(ii) With house, villages, small town, at exact points.
Example: at the end,
At Bhanugudi in Kakinada.
(iii)        When it indicates a direction
Example: He threw a stone at the dog.
(iv)        When it indicates position.
Example: at the table.
(v)   The manner in which a thing is done.
(vi)        State or condition:
Example: the two countries are at peace.
(vii)      Origin, source, from.
Example: I got my information at his hands.
(viii)     Price, amount, number.
Example: Ravi buys them at 50 rupees a dozen.
18)        By is used
(i)  Direction, position
Example: we came by the main road.
(ii) Time
Example: I must be home by 7.
(iii)        According to measurement, number, quantity.
Example: Raju eats bananas by the dozen.
(iv)        Agency, instrumentality, means
Example: This novel is by Chalam.
Machines are driven by the stream.
(v) Through the help or by the authority.
Example: I swear by almighty God that I will speak the truth.
(vi)        Nearness in place

19)        For
It expresses
(i)  Benefit, advantage, favor, suitability or the reverse.
Example: Yoga is good for health.
(ii) End, purpose, aim, intention.
Example: Sowmya came for holidays.
(iii)        Wish, desire, expectation:
Example: I am hunger for knowledge.
(iv)        Cause, reason.
Example: Siva punished for stealing.
(v) Duration of time, distance, sum, price.
Example: She bought it for two hundred.
(vi)        Direction, destination.
Example: She is leaving for America.
(vii)      Exchange, penalty, reward.
Example: Ramesh is praised for good behavior.
20)        From
It Expresses.
(i)  Motion or rest apart from anything.
Example: I saved the man from falling.
(ii) Rest, apart, exclusion, prohibition.
Example: I will prevent him from doing that
(iii)        Point of departure, origin, source.
Example :  Manju is from Paris.
(iv)        Difference, distinction.
(v) Reason, cause, motive.
Ex: Pranathi is suffering from fever.
21)        In
       (a) In expresses rest within an enclosed space or a specified area.
(i)      Space
(ii)     Time
(iii)    State, manner
(iv)    Point of reference
Example: He is not in the house.
      (b) In is used with parts of the day, months, years, seasons,
Example: In the night
In 1990,  in summer, etc.
      (c) When it indicates a place for cities and big cities.
Example: My sister lives in Chennai.
      (d) In is used in speaking of things at rest.
Example: He is in bed.
     (e) In is used with the future tense.
E×: In a week, in four hours.
22)        Into
It expresses motion to the inside.
(i)  Space: One stream flows into another.
(ii) Time: Ravi slept late into the day.
(iii)        State: Water may change into ice.
23)        Between, among.
Between: In the middle of two.
Example: Keep this secret between us.
Among: In this middle of more than two.
Example: Distribute these sweets among the children
24)        Beside, Besides
Beside: By the side, outside of
Example: Sit beside me.
All this discussion is beside the point.
Besides: In addition to
Example: "I wanted to help her out. Besides, I needed the money." 
25)        From, Since:
From: a certain point of time, it can be used with any tense.
Since: a certain point of time used with the perfect tense only.
Example: Samhitha has worked since Friday.
Vinathi begins preparation from Monday.
26)        Till, to
Tillis used of time.
Example: they waited till 8’0 clock
To is used of place.
Example: I am going to Mumbai tomorrow.
27)        Since, for, before, until
Since, before, until are used with a point of time.
Example: I couldn’t come before 10’O clock
Foris used with a period of time.
28)        With, by
With relates to the instrument employed for doing anytime.
By to the agent or doer.
Example: He was beaten by a madman with a stick.
29)        After, in
After: In relation to past space of time.
Example: Purna died after a few days.
In: In relation to a future space of time.
Example: He will die in a few days.
30)        In, within
In: In refers to the end of a period of time usually in the future.
Example: I will give you in a month.
Within: Within means before the end of a period of time.
Example: I will return with 4 days.
31)        Of denotes origin, cause.
Example: she died of cancer.
32)        Above, Over
Above means higher than
Example: His expenditure is above his income.
Over means vertically above.
Example: there is a bridge over the river.
33)        Below, under.
Below means lower than.