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Prepositions are short words (atinon) that are used to show position, location, direction, and time in English. These words are generally placed in front of the noun in a sentence.

Prepositions | English Medium

Types of prepositions


A preposition of time is one that allows you to discuss a specific time period such as a date on the calendar, a day of the week, or the actual time when something takes place. 

Prepositions of time are the same words as prepositions of place; however, they are used in a different way. One can easily distinguish between these prepositions, as they always discuss times rather than places.

Let’s look at some of them-

AtClock times, holidays, festivals- very specific time frames (for example- at night)
InMonths, seasons, years, centuries- general time of the day, longer periods of time (for example- past)
OnCertain days of the week or portions of days of the week, specific dates and days (for example- New Year’s Day)

Here are some of the examples of the prepositions mentioned above-

  • Republic day comes in the month of January.
  • I start work at 8 o’clock.
  • I don’t work on Sundays.


A preposition of place is one which is used while referring to a place where something or someone is located. 

There are only three prepositions of place; however, they can be used to discuss an almost endless number of places.

Let’s look at some of them-

AtUsed to discuss things/events happened at a certain point/place
InOne that is used to discussed an enclosed space
OnOne used while talking of a surface

Here are some of the examples of the prepositions mentioned above-

  • She is waiting for me at the bus stop.
  • The boy’s books were in the room.
  • The flower vase was kept on the table.


Prepositions of movement or direction are used to show movement from one place to another. These prepositions are most often used with the verbs of motion and are placed after the verb.

Let’s look at some of them-

Acrossfrom one side to the otherThe boat will take you across the river. You must walk across the street at the crosswalk.
Alongin a line; a point in the length of; from one point to anotherHe’s walking along the path. The street runs along the seafront. 

Exceptions in Prepositions

There are a few terms that tend to confuse one another. Let’s have a look at some of them-

InUsed to show positionThe keys are in the almirah.
IntoUsed to show the movement of something towards the interior of anotherThe ball fell into the well
OnHaving covered something; part of the surfaceSit on the chair
AboveUsed to talk of something is higher than the another object Hints to a certain positionThe temple is above the hill.
BetweenUsed to refer to two people or thingsRadha is sitting between Mohit and Raman.
AmongUsed to refer to more than two people or thingsRadha is the sweetest among all the girls in the class.
BesideUsed to refer to something which is ‘next to’ somethingTom is seated beside Alice.
BesidesUsed to refer to something in addition to something elseBesides Maths, Peter got an A in History.
OnUsed to refer to something which is physically in contact and supported by a surfaceThe water just was on the table.
OntoUsed to refer to something moving to a location on the surface of something moving abroad a vehicle for travellingWe got onto the train to see grandma.
SinceUsed to talk about a specific point in timerefers to the starting point of actions, or eventsIt indicates an unfinished actionIt has been raining since yesterday.
FromIndicates the starting point of an actionIs followed by other prepositions, which refer to the end of an actionIndicates a finished actionI’ll be here from 8:00 AM.

Check out the basics of English Grammar for more!

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