Prepositions in English GrammarJust here for the exercises? Click here.
Prepositions are short words that link nouns and pronouns to other words. They can express position/place (e.g. under the table) and time (e.g. on Monday) as well as many other things (e.g. by train). Prepositions are usually placed before a noun. On this page, you will find a comprehensive list of prepositions, tips on usage and examples in real English.
Learn about prepositions of time, prepositions of place and other important prepositions in English grammar with Lingolia’s simple overview. Then practise using prepositions in the exercises.
The weather was so nice on Tuesday that Mr Norris decided to leave his car at the office and walk home after work.
List of Important Prepositions
In the following tabels, we have listed some rules for commonly used prepositions.
Table: Prepositions of Time
The following table provides and overview of the most common prepositions of time in English grammar along with information on usage and examples.
|later than a certain point in time
|the time or date something begins
|I’m on holiday as of/from tomorrow.
|a certain time or date in the past
|two years ago
|referring to the weekend
(but AE: on)
|at the weekend
(am. Engl.: on the weekend)
|certain times (when?)
|at half past nine
|Public holidays (Without a day)
|at Christmas, at Easter
|before a certain time or date
|in the sense of at the latest
|I will be back by 6 o’clock.
|before/up until a certain point in time
|By 11 o’clock I had read five pages.
|within a period of time
|during the summer holidays
|during a certain period of time
|for two years
|from … until/
|when something begins and ends
|from Monday until/till/to Friday
|in August / in winter
|a section of the day
|in the morning
|approximate time (when?)
|in an hour, in the past,
in the future
|on 16th May
|Public holiday (with a day)
|on Easter Monday
|for times of day (on the clock)
(AE also: after)
|ten past six (6:10)
(am. Engl. auch: ten after six)
|starting at a certain point in the past
|for times of day (on the clock)
(AE also: before, of, till)
|ten to six (5:50)
(AE also: ten before/of/till six)
|in the sense of how much longer something will last
|He is on holiday until/till Friday.
Table: Prepositions of Place and Movement
The following table provides and overview of the most common prepositions of place and prepositions of movement in English grammar along with information on usage and examples.
|higher than something else, but not directly over it
|The castle stands above the town.
|to get to the other side
|to walk across a bridge
to swim across a lake
|in opposition to
|Barcelona is playing against Manchester tonight.
|in contact with something, either supported by it or colliding with it
|Michael stood with his back against the wall.
|in the sense of next to, in front of, by
|at the door, at the station
|sitting at a table (for a meal)
|at the table
|at an event
|at a concert, at the party
|a place where people do a certain activity (see films, learn, work)
|at the cinema, at school, at work
|at sb’s house, at the doctor’s
|located directly behind
|There is a beautiful garden behind the house.
|under something, but above the floor/ground
|The fish are below the surface.
|between two things/objects
|The train doesn’t stop between Sheffield and Leeds.
|by, next to, beside
|located very close to
|Jane is standing by/next to/beside the car.
|from/out of a place
|a flower from the garden
|room, building, street, town, country
|in the kitchen, in hospital, in London, in Ireland
|book, newspaper, etc.
|in the book
|in the car, in a taxi
|in the picture, in the world
|to enter a room or a building
|to go into the kitchen/house
|in front of
|located directly before/in front of
|There are two men in front of the house.
|not far away
|The school is near here.
|the picture on the wall
|located by a river
|London lies on the Thames.
|on a flat surface
|on the table
|on a side (left, right)
|on the left
|on a floor/storey (of a building)
|on the first floor
|on the bus, on a plane
|television, radio, internet
|on TV, on the radio, on the internet
|up on to something
|to jump onto the table
|when something else is covered
|Put a jacket on over your shirt!
|in the sense of more than
|over 16 years of age
|to get to the other side (also across)
|to walk over a bridge
|to cross a high obstacle
|to climb over a wall
|edges above, below, and on both sides
|to drive through a tunnel
|to a person, to a building
|to go to the cinema
|to a place, to a country
|to go to London/Ireland
to go to the USA
|to go to bed
|to go to work
|in the direction of something (but not all the way there)
|to go 5 steps towards the house
|under something, but on a floor/surface
|The bag is under the table.
Other Important Prepositions
The following table provides and overview of common important prepositions in English grammar along with information on usage and examples.
|for subjects, in the sense of about what
|We were talking about you.
|She learned Russian at 45.
|the creator, author, etc.
|a book by Mark Twain
|Prices have risen by 10 percent.
|travel in a vehicle
|by car, by bus
|to show purpose or intention
|flowers for Jane
|because/a result of something
|She spent 5 years in prison for fraud.
|the person bringing it is mentioned
|a present from Jane
|possessive case for things
|a page of the book
|to travel (foot, horse)
|on foot, on horseback
|in the company of someone/something
|with my parents, with a friend
|a woman with red hair
|indicating a material/instrument used to do something
|The scratch was treated with an anticeptic.