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1. Introduction to Preposition

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Prepositions like Conjunctions are connectives. Prepositions connect noun, verb, and adjective to the following noun/noun phrase/gerund. Conjunctions on the other hand connect clauses. Common Prepositions Time: in (a month/year), on (day), at (time), before, during, after, since, until Location/Position/Place: behind, under, over, above, below, between, in, out, on, at, by Direction/Movement: to, into, onto, towards, through, across, up, down, around, past Possession: water of the Ganges, a man of honesty; the girl with blond hair, that part is owned by my brother Agency/Instrument/Means: runs on diesel; on foot; by force; travelled by train; gifted by my friend; opened with a knife Cause/Purpose/Reason: died of hunger; took antibiotic for infection; diet for weight reduction; due to, because of, owing to Source: message from head office; wrested control from his uncle Manner: death by hanging; resisted with courage; won with ease; walks like a penguin 1. Multi-word prepositions starting with preposition

as a result of; at odds with; at risk of; at the expense of; at the hands of; at the top of; by means of; by way of; except for; for the sake of; in accordance with; in addition to; in association with; in case of; in charge of; in comparison with; in conjunction with; in connection with; in contradiction of; in excess of; in favour of; in front of; in light of; in line with; in relation to; in respect of; in spite of; in terms of; in the absence of; in the event of; in the hope of; in the interests of; in the region of; in tune with; in the wake of; in the words of; in view of; on account of; on the basis of; on top of; out of tune with; under the auspices of; under the influence of; with regard to; with the aid of; with the aim of; with the exception of

2. Prepositions with ‘and’

in and around, above and beyond, over and above

3. Adverb First

about to; ahead of; along with; apart from; aside from; away from; further to; instead of; next to; out of; over against; regardless of; up to

4. Participles and Participle First

based on; compared to; depending on; linked to; owing to; considering; concerning; failing; given; during; excluding; notwithstanding

5. Other Words First

According to, as for; because of; but for; contrary to; courtesy of; due to; except; except for; apart from; prior to; relative to; subsequent to; thanks to, regardless of, irrespective of


1) Prepositions are followed by either noun or noun phrase or gerund or nouns derived from verbs or pronouns in accusative/ objective case (me/you/her/him/them/whom) which is called object of preposition..

behind the door, stays in mosquito-infested area, went for swimming, a token of appreciation, sat by me, laughed at him

2) Whether a particle is a preposition or adverb, can be determined if the particle can be used without a noun/gerund following it.

Examples of ‘down’ as adverb:

They went down fighting. (here ‘fighting’ is a participle)

He is down with fever. (here ‘down’ doesn’t follow any noun or verb and moreover followed by another particle ‘with’)

She has gone down to refill the bottles. (here ‘down’ is followed by the infinitive ‘to-refill’)

The thief jumped 20 feet down. (here ‘down’ is not followed by any part of speech)

Lie down on your stomach. (here ‘down’ is followed by preposition ‘on’)

Examples of ‘down’ as preposition:

Tears streamed down her cheek as she watched the movie.

Numerous waterfalls cascading down the hill is a feast to the eyes in the monsoon.

Other such examples of preposition which can aloso function as adverb, are:

past: (10 minutes past 7; the bus just went past);

around: (went around the circle; went around in circle)

below: (ead the instructions below.)

along: (he brought his accountant along to the discussion.)

beyond: (the vast empire extended up to the River Narmada and beyond.)

3) A Verb followed by a particle is not a preposition even when the particle is followed by a noun or gerund. In such cases the particle is an integral part of the root verb. The verb together with the particle itself is a verb which has a meaning different from that of the root verb. These are known as phrasal verbs and just like verbs, can be transitive or intransitive.

Examples: He is trying to give up (stop) smoking by cutting down (reducing) the number of cigarettes he smokes. The plan fell through (didn’t succeed).

Thus a verb can be followed by particle as in phrasal verb, or an adverb or a preposition or an infinitive (to–verb), all of which must not be confused as preposition, unless the particle is part of the following noun/gerund functioning as adverb of time/ place/ manner etc

In the sentence 'going down the stairs instead of taking lift is good for improving balance and coordination' , 'down' is a preposition which describes both adverb of direction and manner. However look up dictionary to find so many other meanings of 'go down' as a phrasal verb.

4) A Phrase headed by preposition is called a Prepositional Phrase which functions either as an adjective, preceded by a noun (or pronoun or as an adverbial, preceded by an adjective or verb.

a. opened with a bottle opener (adverbial after verb)

b. certain about winning (adverbial after adjective)

c. travel by road (adjective prepositional phrase/adjectival after noun)

5) Some words which can be used both as preposition and conjunction are: after, before, for, since, but, as, like, until, than

a. Preposition: taller than me; Conj: My duty hours are less than it used to be.

b. Preposition: since yesterday; Conj: You haven’t changed a bit since we parted after college.

c. Preposition: Nobody but your mother knew about it; Conj: I have money but I need coins.

d. Preposition: Try to get information posing as a customer; Conj: I was not allowed entry as I was late.

e. Preposition: He is very/just like his father; Conj: It looks like it is new.

6) Quite a few prepositions can be used as adverb.

Read the instructions below. He brought his accountant along to the discussion. The vast empire extended up to the River Narmada and beyond.

7) Many prepositional phrases can be substituted by alternate verb or conjunction or another prepositional phrase:

ask for(request); carry on (continue); come/get into (reach); conflict with (contradict); consist of (comprise); deal with (manage); focus on (emphasize); go/look into (investigate); go into (enter); look for (seek); refer to (consult), talk about (discuss); think about (consider); wait for (await), with ease (easily); in haste (hastily); attracted by (seek); collected by (fill); followed by (precede); looked after by (depend on); owned by (belong to); run by (manage); afflicted by/with (suffer from)

8) Some Action Nouns (like passive verbs) are followed by the preposition ‘by’ and some are followed by ‘of’ when the object of the preposition is a subject in alternate sentence construction with verb replacing action noun.

a. The film maker has directed superbly. = Direction by the film maker is superb.

b. The film maker has directed the cinema brilliantly. = Direction of the cinema by the film maker is brilliant.

c. The management has accepted what the Union had demanded. = The management has accepted the demand of the Union.

d. The cat killed the rat. = The rat was killed by the rat.

9) Action Nouns are followed by ‘of’ when the object of preposition is object of verb replacing the action noun in the alternate sentence construction.

Everyone rejoiced when moon appeared. = Appearance of moon brought joy. [‘appear’ is intransitive]

Project report was submitted late. = There was a delay in submission of the project report. [‘submit’ is a transitive verb]

10) Sentences can start with preposition only if the prepositional pharse is adverbial and not Adjectival. Sentences can begin with Adverbials of time, place, manner, instrument, purpose, reason etc followed by comma for emphasis.

With little time left, I decided to revise the 80% rather than waste time learning and understanding the difficult 20%.

After 6 in the evening, no one ventures out of home.

More than time, what he lacks is will.

11) For as many as 20 different uses of the preposition 'OF' refer to the link

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