Prepositions are words used to link objects (nouns) or persons (pronouns) with other words in a sentence. The main noun or pronoun which is used with a Preposition is called its OBJECT.

Example : There are monkeys frolicking in the garden.
Here the Preposition ‘in’ links the other words of the sentence.

Some of the most commonly used Prepositions include ‘at’, ‘by’, ‘for’, ‘from’, ‘in’, ‘off’, ‘out’, ‘through’, ‘till’, ‘to’, ‘up’, ‘with’.

Sometimes Prepositions are prefixed to a noun, adjective or adverb. These include ‘about’, ‘above’, ‘across’, ‘along’, ‘amidst’, ‘among’, ‘amongst’, ‘before’, ‘behind’, ‘below’, ‘beneath’, ‘beside’, ‘between’, ‘beyond’, ‘inside’, ‘outside’, ‘underneath’, within’, ‘without’.

Phrase Prepositions are groups of words which have the same force as that of a single Preposition.

  • Gitana aced the examination by dint of perseverance and sheer hard work.
  • By virtue of the power vested in me, I hereby order you to refrain from entering the campus premises.
  • The agent bought the dingy cellar with an eye to converting it into a small time discotheque.
  • In course of my research I came across certain aspects to the topic which were never thought of before.
  • By reason of her condescending approach, her daughter never shared her secrets with her.

Adverbs and Prepositions

Certain words are sometimes used as adverbs and sometimes as Prepositions. The meaning however is very different.

The plank came off easily, revealing a tiny alcove in the wall.
I have not seen him since.
I am taking this basket of goodies over to my grandma.

The boy jumped off the school bus as soon as it stopped.
I have not eaten a proper meal since last night.
The canopy spread over most of the lawn.

Usage of Prepositions

While dealing with places we can use a number of Prepositions.
‘At’ is used while referring to names of places especially when we see the place as a point, or a group activity or a workplace.

  • We had a stopover at Hyderabad while flying from Delhi to Kochi.
  • I saw him at the doctor’s.
  • I had a gala time at the party.

‘In’ is used when we talk of a place as an area.

  • We live in Hyderabad.
  • I used to live in Blossom Street.

There are a few other Prepositions which can be used with places

  • Run across the road
  • Lean against a wall
  • Lay under the table
  • Stand by me
  • Sit beside me
  • Put pen to paper
  • Within the house
  • At death’s door
  • Fall into a pit

While using beside and besides we need to be very careful. Beside means by the side of, whereas besides means in addition to.
Examples : ‘Besides being a good dancer, she was also an extremely talented artist.’ or ‘He sat beside the pile of firewood.’

When we talk about time, ‘in’ means at the end of and ‘within’ means before the end of.
Examples : ‘I shall meet you in an hour.’ or ‘I will finish this assignment within an hour.’

The other Prepositions which can be used to denote time are

  • After his arrival
  • During the day
  • In the evening
  • On Saturday
  • Till tomorrow
  • Until his marriage
  • Pending his return
  • Throughout the day

There are quite a few prepositions which can be used to specify a cause, reason or purpose.

  • Shiver with fever
  • Died of fever
  • For her good
  • Lost his watch through negligence

Sometimes related words take different Prepositions after them

  • The teacher is partial to a few students.

Children show a partiality towards sweet meats.

  • I have great respect for his knowledge.

He is respectful towards his seniors.

  • She has a great fondness for children.

He is fond of sweets.

  • He is such a contrast to his brother.

There is a great contrast between them.

An exercise to illustrate the use of Prepositions

  1. She suffered ___________ her parents neglect.
  2. It is twelve thirty ___________ my watch.
  3. There was no money ___________ him.
  4. The incurable malignancy made him die ___________ inches.
  5. I could clearly see ___________his hypocrisy.
  6. ___________ the rules you are not entitled to any leave.
  7. None other ___________ a qualified and experienced neurosurgeon can hold this post.
  8. ___________ all probability, the first snowfall will be in December.
  9. I was able to infer ___________the conversation, the tension which prevailed in the atmosphere.
  10. Nothing will come ___________ nothing.
  11. She was left ___________ dead until the next morning.
  12. Smith asked for a neutral third party to decide the promotions for he felt that his boss was prejudiced ___________ him.
  13. There is still no cure ___________ the common cold.
  14. Extreme simplicity is sometimes liable ___________ abuse.
  15. They were well known for their antipathy ___________ dogs.
  16. The enterprise suffers for want ___________ new ideas.
  17. The Principal dispensed ___________ the teacher’s services after he was found guilty of beating his students.
  18. The students were asked to desist ___________ making attempts to sneak out of the hostel after hours.
  19. She seized ___________ the chance to represent her college in the national level lacrosse championship.
  20. By virtue of being well versed ___________ multiple languages, he was offered the post of Hospitality Chief.


  1. From
  2. By
  3. On
  4. By
  5. Through
  6. Under
  7. Than
  8. In
  9. From
  10. Of
  11. For
  12. Against
  13. For
  14. To
  15. To
  16. Of
  17. With
  18. From
  19. Upon
  20. In

Do post your doubts, questions or suggestions,
All the best,
Arti Mohan.


  1. Hey.. You people(Sandipan in particular) have been saying that there wouldn’t be any vocabulary in CLAT 2011.. How can you be sure?

  2. You’ve written “I used to live in Blossom Street.” Unless we’ve found a way to live in the stones of roads and streets, that’s incorrect. It should be “I used to live ON Blossom Street.”

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