New Model Master English
Prepositions

 

Prepositions

A word that shows the relationsihp between people, things or events.

(e.g)I saw Cena in the school.

In this above sentence, the preposition ‘in’ shows some relation between Cena and school. Although the preposition is usually placed before a noun of pronoun, sometimes it comes after the word which governs.

The prepositional is always placed a the end of the sentence

1. When its object is the Relative Pronoun that.

(e.g)a) Here is the pen that you are searching for.
b) This is the habit that I am used to.

2. When its object is a Relative Pronoun, understood and not stated.

(e.g)a) I caught the ball (Which) I was running after.
b) That is the poet I was referring to

3. When its object is an interrogative pronoun.

(e.g)a) What are you looking at?
b) Who are they waiting for?
c) Who are you pointing to?

In addition to single word preposition like on, in about, above, outside, underneath, etc. there are some word groups which function as prepositions.

Infront of; inspite of; by means of; in order to; owing to, instead of, forthe sake of, on behalf of, with regard to, etc., These are called phrase prepositions.

(e.g)a) She was standing infront of the mirror.
b) I went to Mumbai inorder to attend a conference.
c) Inspite of his best efforts, he could not win the election.
 
The correct use of some prepositions

I. At, In

1. With reference to ‘time’ ‘at’ is used for ‘a point of time’, ‘in’ for a period of time in which something happens as

(e.g)a) He came at daybreak / at sunset / at midnight.
b) At an early hour the morning, the hall was full of noise.
c) In this morning (year, season) many famous men died.
d) He was born in 1956.
e) He will start at five O’clock in the morning.

2. With reference to ‘place’ ‘at’ is used for small less important places, villages and towns; ‘in’ is used for large places, countries and large towns, as

(e.g)a) He lives at a village called Salem.
b) She lives in Bangalore.
c) He lives at Lawspet in Chennai.
d) I met him at No.33, in the first main road.

II. On, Upon

1. On is used when starting the location of place with reference to road, railway etc.

(e.g)a) Egypt is on the bank of Nile river.
b) Delhi is on the National Highway No.7

2. ‘On’ is often used in speaking of things at rests; ‘upon’ is generally used in speaking of things in motion; as,

(e.g)a) The book is on the table.
b) The cat sprang upon the table.

3. ‘On’ is used with specific days and dates.

(e.g)a) I was born on Sunday.
b) I wrote him a letter on 16th of last month.

III. Use of In, Within, Before and By with reference to ‘time’

IN refers to almost the end of a period.
Within’ refers to ‘earlier to the end of a period’
Before’ refers to ‘Subsequent to the end of a period of specific time’.
By’ refers to ‘the latest time at which an action will be finished’; It is used with future tenses.

(e.g)Answer all these questions in ten minutes.
Definition (Ten full minutes are allowed)
(e.g)You must return within ten minutes.
Definition (Less than ten minutes - ten full minutes are not allowed)
(e.g)Appear before 30th of March.
Definition (Specific time is mentioned)
(e.g)Meet me after 11 A.M.
Definition (Not at 9.59 A.M. not even at 10 A.M.)
(e.g)He will arrive by 7 O’clock.
Definition (the latest time for his arrival)

IV. By, With:

By’ is used verbs in the passive to express ‘the agent or doers’ of the action expressed by the verb. ‘With’ is instrument with which the action is done.

(e.g)The farmer was killed by a robber with a knife.
The tree was cut by a wood cutter.
The tree was cut with an axe.

By’ is also used to refer to mode of travel.

(e.g)I prefer to travel by train.

V. In, Into

‘In’ implies a state of rest or position inside of anything: while ‘into’ denotes ‘motion’ towards the inside of anything -

(e.g)a) He is in his room (rest)
b) He is in the class (rest)
c) He fell into the river (motion)
d) He jumped into the well (motion)

VI. Since, For

Since’ is used to denote a point of time in the past: ‘for’ is used to denote a period of time in the present, past or future.

(e.g)a) I have lived here since 1980, (past)
b) I have lived here for fifteen year (period)
We cannot say ‘I ahve lived here since fifteen years’

VII. Since, From

Sice’: usually refers to an event or date etc in the past or between sometime in the past and the present. It is always used with the perfect tense.

(e.g)a) She has been ill since monday.
b) They have been working sice 10 a.m.

From is used in tenses other than the present perfect tense. It denotes a specific point of time to show a beginning.

(e.g)a) I shall be at home from 6 p.m.
b) He lived in London from 1980.
c) He is staying with me from this morning.
A Common Error

A curious mistake that is often noticed is the use of ‘to’ after between; as in,

(e.g)The show will be held between 2 to 4 p.m.
DefinitionThe above sentence is incorrect. The word ‘and’ should replace ‘to’
ansThe show will be held between 2 and 4 p.m.

IX. Beside and Besides

Beside means by the side of
Besides means Inaddition to

(e.g)a) The club is beside the rive (by the side of the river)
b) He stood beside me (by my side)
c) He plays cricket besides Tennis and Foot ball.
d) Besides being an intelligent boy, he is an excellent actor. (in addition to)

X. Above

Above is used to denote higher inplace, more than and superior to; as

(e.g)a) Diana is above me in the class.
b) The price of the book is above fifty rupees.
c) He is above meannes.

XI. Over

abovea) The moon looks over the earth.
more thanb) He is over sixty years old.
On the other side ofc) My friend lives over the way.

XII. With

1. It is used before the instrument with which an action is done.

(e.g)He killed the snake with a stick.

2. It also means accompanied by, inspite of; and some points of reference.

(e.g)a) I went to the picture with my friend.
b) With all his faults, I respect him.
c) Down wiht the traitors.

XIII. For

1. ‘For’ is used to denote period of time, as,

(e.g)He has been absent for four days.

2. It is also used as under:

(e.g)a) my brother attended the meeting for me (in place of)
b) I bought this book for ten rupees (in exchange of)
c) They will vote for me. (in favour of)
d) Akbar did it for me. (on account of)
e) The animals gasped for breath (for the purpose of)
f) Diana is clever for her age (in point of)
g) For all his wealth, he is discontented (inspite of)
h) You can trust this man for twenty rupees (to the extent of)
i) He left for London (destination)

XIV. From

1. It also means

Starting pointa) He comes from Paris.
Causeb) He died from overwork.
Originc) He worked from a wicked motive.
Separationd) I do not know him from his brother.
 
There are other uses of prepositions. They are as follows.

1. ‘At’ is used to denote.

Directions towards somethinga) throw at me, shoot at birds, rush at an enemy.
Activityb) at work, at play; at studies, at dinner, at breakfast.
State of conditionc) at war; at place, at liberty, rest.
Rate of speedd) at 100 ruppes a kilogram, at fifty kilometers an hour.

2. ‘In’ is used to denote.

Positiona) Mother is in the kitchen.
Dressb) in white; in disquise; in silk.
Surrounding or conditionc) in the rain; in sunshine, in moon light; in prison; in tears; in haste.

. ‘By’ is used to denote.

a) in the sense of during or not later than - by day, by night, by 9 O’clock.
b) in the sense of : by your house, by the post office, by your side.
c) swearings : by god, by you, by my children

4. ‘On’ is use to denote in the sense of

a) about or conceming: On Shakespeare, on your conduct.
b) Condition of the staff: on the committee Manner: On sale, on foot, on duty, on good terms.
c) Basis or cause: On your account, on his advice, on a charge, on penalty of death

5. ‘Of’ is used to denote in the sense of

a) Possession: rood of the house, legs of the chain, poems of Milton.
b) Adjective Phrases: a man of courage; a story of adventure.
c) A part of something: a piece of bread, father of David, wife of Robert.

6. ‘For’ is used to denote in the sense of

a) Money: a pen for ten rupees; a cheque for five hundred rupees.
b) Destination: for France, for London, for Delhi.
c) Purpose: for a walk, for a living, for pleasure.
d) Cause: for fear, for joy, for this reader.
e) Inspite of: for all his richness, for all his power.
f) Other expressions: for health, ear for music, for peace, thirst for knowledge.

7. Before is used to denote ‘in front of’

He was brought before the judge.
The wrong use of prepositions:-

No prepositions is used; after transitive verbs. If a preposition is used between a transitive verb and its objective it is wrong. The prepositions shown after the following verbs are unnecessarily and wrongly used.

  • answer to
  • tell to
  • approach to
  • leave from
  • ask to
  • marry with
  • attack on
  • meet with
  • climb on
  • obey to
  • comprise of
  • order for
  • fear from
  • permit to
  • enter into
  • reach at
  • resemble with
We go home / arrive home / reach home.
No preposition is used before ‘home’
 

Some Adjective and Participles followed by prepositions.

i) Some adjectives & participles always take particular prepositions after them.

  • absorbed in
  • tired of
  • according to
  • due to
  • accustomed to
  • fond of
  • afraid of
  • interested in
  • angry with
  • involved in
  • anxious to / for
  • successful in
  • ashamed of
  • suspicious of
  • aware of
  • terrified of
  • capable of
  • worthy of
  • owing to
  • sorry for
  • sorry about
  • busy with
  • faithful to
  • dependent on
  • famous for
  • eager for
  • ignorant of
  • infested with
  • injurious to
  • kind of
  • jealous of
  • free from
  • desirious of

ii) Some verbs followed by prepositions:-

abstrainfrom something
accusesomeone of a wrong deed
agreewith a person, to a proposal
answera question, to a person
arguewith a person; for or against something
askfor help of a person
attendto a person / work on a person
callat place, on a person
compareto (two similiar things)
with (two dissimiliar things)
contratulatesomeone on his success
consistof several things
dieof a disease
entera place, into an agreement
feedon grass, hay etc.
inquireof a person / about a person / some matter
partfrom a person / with a thing
listenot something
putupwith a person / at a place
referto a person / thing
remindsomeone of something
waitfor aperson / something to happen
laughat others / with friends
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