Prepositions | List of Most Common Prepositions

Learning to use prepositions in sentences correctly is critical to getting fluency in English speaking. A preposition is like the glue which keeps the words together.

A preposition is a word which shows the relation between a noun and some other word. In the sentence, men live in houses, the preposition in governs the noun houses (causes it to be in the objective case) and connects it with the verb live. The object of a preposition is the noun which follows it, and the noun is said to be governed by the preposition.

A preposition is said to govern its object.

In “The surface of the wall is rough,” of makes it clear that surface belongs with wall. In “Philip is sitting on the river,” on shows Philip’s position with respect to the river. In, or near, or beyond would have indicated a different relation. Water is the object of the preposition of, and river is the object of the preposition on.

List of Common Prepositions in English

There are more than a hundred prepositions in the English language. Below is a list of the most common prepositions.



Name the preposition and state the noun which it governs.

Farmers plow fields with horses. Eagles fly with wings. William strikes George. George is struck by William. Dogs bite boys. Boys are bitten by dogs. Robert buys books in stores. Henry talks about horses. Birds fly above houses. John runs after hares. Mary’s father stands among flowers. Chickens will run about stables. Crowds have stood at the door. Sailors go to sea. John got William’s knife for Mary. Cora’s brother stood in Robert’s garden. George sent Mary flowers by Ben. William finds hares in traps. Mice live in holes. Fruit grows on trees. Snakes live under rocks. Charles handed Susan John’s book.

This is a primer on propositions there will more articles on prepositions in upcoming English grammar lessons.

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