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Free Grammar HelpWordsPrepositions

Prepositions are one of the 8 parts of speech in English. Prepositions tell us something about other words in a sentence. The words or phrases that a preposition introduces are called "the object of the preposition." Prepositions of position include words that tell us the position of a noun such as: as, on, under, behind, in, above, across, against, around, among, at, below, beneath, beside, beyond, and down. We also have prepositions of time, such as: before, during, after, about, and until.

The most important thing about prepositions is that they tell us about another thing. A prepositional phrase includes the preposition, its complement, and any associated adverbs and adjectives. A prepositional phrase can function as an adverb or adjective. Some prepositions simply introduce noun or verbs or noun or verb phrases.

In the examples below the prepositions are in red; their objects are in blue.

The book is on the table.

The fish is in the water.

The boat is at the dock.

The shoes are under the bed.

The TV show is before dinner.

The school is around the block. (preposition of place)

The meal is around six pm. (preposition of time)

In the examples below the prepositional phrases are in red; their objects are in blue.

I published borrowed three books from the public library.

She lost weight when she went to the gym regularly.

They got married in the hotel in Hawaii.

There is a "rule" in English that you should never end a sentence with a preposition. Feel free to break this "rule" if it makes your writing awkward. There are many English phrases that naturally end in prepositions. When we revise these to avoid ending in a preposition, we make the sentences crazy. As Winston Churchill apparently said, "This is something up with which I shall not put."

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