A full list of prepositions (no singing required)

Looking for a list of prepositions? Look no further. You've definitely encountered prepositions before, even if you didn't know that that's what they were called. They are connector words that are very frequently used in the English language. Some students learn a preposition song (to the tune of "Yankee Doodle") to memorize many of the prepositions, but there are more than you might expect. You can find a comprehensive preposition list at the end of this article. First, let's learn more about these useful words.

What is a preposition?

By definition, a preposition is a word used before a noun or pronoun to mark its relation to the rest of the sentence, such as "to" in "I went to the beach."

1. Common Prepositions

Here is a list of prepositions that are most common. They refer to movement or placement.

2. Less common prepositions

There are many other prepositions that you might never have considered prepositions. Here is a list of prepositions that deserve to be recognized alongside the common examples.

3. Prepositional phrases

Because prepositions are typically followed by nouns, you'll often encounter them in phrases.

What is a prepositional phrase?

Prepositional phrases start with a preposition and end with a noun, although several different types of words can come in between them. Because there are endless possibilities, there is no comprehensive prepositional phrase list, but here are several examples.

Prepositional phrase examples

preposition + noun
after midnight
since yesterday
preposition + proper noun
on Mount Everest
outside Buckingham Palace
preposition + article + noun
under the table
along a route
preposition + adjectives + noun
before your first day
unlike the last English paper
A noun in a prepositional phrase is known as the object of the preposition.

4. Prepositions and Verbs

Sometimes, you might see a preposition followed by a verb. This can only happen if the verb is a gerund, which is a verb ending in -ing that denotes an action or state and thus functions as a noun in a sentence.

Prepositional phrase examples with gerunds

She beat me home by running the whole way.
I managed not to fall during ice skating for once!
Between cooking and cleaning, I wasn’t able to get anything else done today.
And then there's "to"—a tricky proposition that often appears with verbs. However, when "to" is followed by a verb, it is called an infinitive, not a prepositional phrase. An infinitive is an unconjugated form of a verb.

Infinitive examples

to be
to run
to drive

5. Prepositions and Idioms

There are many prepositional phrases that make up idioms. Here are just some examples:
across the street
along the way
at any rate
at last
behind the scenes
beside the point
beyond me
by accident
by the way
down the street
down to the wire
for a living
for sure
in any case
in common
in fact
next in line
of course
on demand
on sale
on time
out of the blue
out of the ordinary
under control
under the circumstances
up in the air
with open arms
with regard to
within reason

A full list of prepositions

Here are the 68 prepositions mentioned in this article:
Are any prepositions missing from the list?
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