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
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.
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
behind the scenes
beside the point
by the way
down the street
down to the wire
for a living
in any case
next in line
out of the blue
out of the ordinary
under the circumstances
up in the air
with open arms
with regard to
A full list of prepositions
Here are the 68 prepositions mentioned in this article: