Using Prepositions Correctly: Rules & Examples

Prepositions make up a small word class in English that connects nouns; they almost act as the glue to a sentence, telling us where or why. In English, prepositions are used all the time, and they don’t have to be as simple as on, at, in, though these are commonly used.

In this article, we will explain prepositions and their uses and, as always, give you plenty of preposition examples so that you can use them immediately.

Preposition examples

Rules When Using Prepositions 

There are a few rules when using prepositions in a sentence. Let’s look at them now.

  • Prepositions always need a noun. They’re most likely an adverb if they don’t have a noun after them. She went inside the cafe.
  • When using a pronoun after a preposition, it acts like an object. Sandra gave it to them. So, use pronouns in the object form; My, them, her, him, etc.
  • A verb never follows prepositions.
  • ‘To’ as a preposition is not the same as ‘to’ in the infinitive particle. We’re going to Chicago, give it to her.

There are many different types of prepositions examples. Let’s take a look at them.

Simple Prepositions With Examples

Simple prepositions are the easiest to learn. In fact, you’ve probably come across them before.

  • In
  • On
  • At
  • Over
  • Off
  • Under
  • From
  • For
  • Between
  • By

Simple preposition examples

  • She’s sitting between them.
  • You will find the keys on the kitchen table when you arrive.
  • I’m looking in the cupboard.
  • Let’s meet at the station.
  • They’re waiting for you by the car.
  • This was meant for him.

Double Prepositions With Examples

Double prepositions are when two prepositions are used together. They usually indicate direction or movement and are sometimes called directional prepositions or prepositions of movement.

  • Inside of
  • Next to
  • Within
  • Out of
  • Throughout
  • From behind
  • Onto
  • Without

Example Sentences

  • He got 7 out of 10 on his maths test.
  • Look in the refrigerator; it should be next to the milk.
  • It’s not within our capabilities.
  • The sound was coming from behind the school.
  • He jumped onto the scooter and sped away.
  • I left my keys inside the house.
  • Live within your means, and stop spending money!

Participle Prepositions With Examples

Participle prepositions are fascinating as they are verbs that act like or function like prepositions. Participle prepositions have endings like -ed and -ing, just like when you conjugate a verb in different tenses.

  • Consider becomes considering or considered
  • During
  • Frustrated
  • Provide becomes providing or provided
  • Regard becomes regarding or regarded
  • Assume becomes assuming or assumed
  • Still
  • Despite
  • Including

Example Sentences

  • She was still hungry despite the amount she had eaten.
  • We’ve spoken to him concerning his behavior.
  • The total is 100$, including tax.
  • They were frustrated with the situation.
  • My Grandma was working as a nurse during World War One.
  • We will be providing lunch at no additional cost.

Compound Prepositions With Examples

Compound prepositions or complex prepositions are when a simple preposition and another part of speech are used. They are a type of compound word.

  • In addition to
  • In front of
  • In spite of
  • In the middle of
  • Because of
  • On account of
  • Prior to
  • As well as

Example Sentences

  • Prior to coming today, we decided to visit my auntie.
  • We’re in the middle of a heatwave.
  • Nouns and verbs are essential to English. As well as adjectives.
  • They didn’t make much money in spite of how well the business went.
  • In addition to working at the mall, she also had a job in the library.
  • On account of your poor behavior, we won’t be going to the park.
  • Her Vespa is parked in front of the beach house.

Prepositional Phrases With Examples

Prepositional phrases are grouped words made up by using objects, prepositions, and any modifying words needed to modify the object. They are used in the same way as other prepositions despite being wordy.

  • Out of place
  • On-time
  • To date
  • Under age
  • For a change
  • For granted
  • In my…
  • Through the…
  • With my…
  • According to…

Example Sentences

  • The bus arrived just on time.
  • We walked through the park.
  • According to Sally, we’ve been given an extra room.
  • The children received gifts from their parents for Easter.
  • I always take my parents for granted.
  • Shakespeare can be considered one of the best playwrights to date.
  • They’ve decided to go camping for a change.
  • I always feel out of place at school.

Prepositions are a great part of speech to learn. If you’re after more grammar tools, we’ve got plenty.

Parts of Speech Articles: