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Prepositions of Time: at, on, and in

Weuseattodesignatespecifictimes.
Thetrainisdueat12:15p.m.
Weuseontodesignatedaysanddates.
MybrotheriscomingonMonday.
We'rehavingapartyontheFourthofJuly.
Weuseinfornonspecifictimesduringaday,amonth,aseason,orayear.
Shelikestojoginthemorning.
It'stoocoldinwintertorunoutside.
Hestartedthejobin1971.
He'sgoingtoquitinAugust.

Prepositions of Place: at, on, and in


Weuseatforspecificaddresses.
GrammarEnglishlivesat55BoretzRoadinDurham.
Weuseontodesignatenamesofstreets,avenues,etc.
HerhouseisonBoretzRoad.
Andweuseinforthenamesoflandareas(towns,counties,states,countries,andcontinents).
ShelivesinDurham.
DurhamisinWindhamCounty.
WindhamCountyisinConnecticut.

Prepositions of Location: in, at, and on


and No Preposition
IN
(the) bed*
the bedroom
the car
(the) class*
the library*
school*

AT
class*
home
the library*
the office
school*
work

ON
the bed*
the ceiling
the floor
the horse
the plane
the train

NO
PREPOSITION
downstairs
downtown
inside
outside
upstairs
uptown

* You may sometimes use different prepositions for these locations.

Prepositions of Movement: to
and No Preposition

Weusetoinordertoexpressmovementtowardaplace.
Theyweredrivingtoworktogether.
She'sgoingtothedentist'sofficethismorning.
Towardandtowardsarealsohelpfulprepositionstoexpressmovement.Thesearesimplyvariant
spellingsofthesameword;usewhicheversoundsbettertoyou.
We'removingtowardthelight.
Thisisabigsteptowardstheproject'scompletion.
Withthewordshome,downtown,uptown,inside,outside,downstairs,upstairs,weuseno
preposition.
Grandmawentupstairs
Grandpawenthome.
Theybothwentoutside.

Prepositions of Time: for and since


Weuseforwhenwemeasuretime(seconds,minutes,hours,days,months,years).
Heheldhisbreathforsevenminutes.
She'slivedthereforsevenyears.
TheBritishandIrishhavebeenquarrelingforsevencenturies.
Weusesincewithaspecificdateortime.
He'sworkedheresince1970.
She'sbeensittinginthewaitingroomsincetwothirty.

Prepositions with Nouns, Adjectives, and Verbs.


Prepositionsaresometimessofirmlyweddedtootherwordsthattheyhavepracticallybecome
oneword.(Infact,inotherlanguages,suchasGerman,theywouldhavebecomeoneword.)This
occursinthreecategories:nouns,adjectives,andverbs.

NOUNS and PREPOSITIONS


approval of
awareness of
belief in
concern for
confusion about
desire for

fondness for
grasp of
hatred of
hope for
interest in
love of

ADJECTIVES and
PREPOSITIONS
afraid of

fond of

proud of

need for
participation in
reason for
respect for
success in
understanding of

angry at
aware of
capable of
careless about
familiar with

happy about
interested in
jealous of
made of
married to

similar to
sorry for
sure of
tired of
worried about

VERBS and PREPOSITIONS


apologize for
ask about
ask for
belong to
bring up
care for
find out

give up
grow up
look for
look forward to
look up
make up
pay for

prepare for
study for
talk about
think about
trust in
work for
worry about

Acombinationofverbandprepositioniscalledaphrasalverb.Thewordthatisjoinedtothe
verbisthencalledaparticle.Pleaserefertothebriefsectionwehavepreparedon phrasal
verbsforanexplanation.

Idiomatic Expressions with Prepositions

agreetoaproposal,withaperson,onaprice,inprinciple

argueaboutamatter,withaperson,fororagainstaproposition

comparetotoshowlikenesses,withtoshowdifferences(sometimessimilarities)

correspondtoathing,withaperson

differfromanunlikething,withaperson

liveatanaddress,inahouseorcity,onastreet,withotherpeople

Unnecessary Prepositions
Ineverydayspeech,wefallintosomebadhabits,usingprepositionswheretheyarenot
necessary.Itwouldbeagoodideatoeliminatethesewordsaltogether,butwemustbeespecially
carefulnottousetheminformal,academicprose.

Shemetupwiththenewcoachinthehallway.

Thebookfelloffofthedesk.

Hethrewthebookoutofthewindow.

Shewouldn'tletthecatinsideofthehouse.[oruse"in"]

Wheredidtheygoto?

Putthelampinbackofthecouch.[use"behind"instead]

Whereisyourcollegeat?

Prepositions in Parallel Form


(ClickHEREforadefinitionanddiscussionofparallelism.)Whentwowordsorphrasesare
usedinparallelandrequirethesameprepositiontobeidiomaticallycorrect,theprepositiondoes
nothavetobeusedtwice.
Youcanwearthatoutfitinsummerandinwinter.
Thefemalewasbothattractedbyanddistractedbythemale'sdance.
However,whentheidiomaticuseofphrasescallsfordifferentprepositions,wemustbecarefulnot
toomitoneofthem.
Thechildrenwereinterestedinanddisgustedbythemovie.
Itwasclearthatthisplayercouldbothcontributetoandlearnfromeverygameheplayed.
Hewasfascinatedbyandenamoredofthisbeguilingwoman.