Prepositions are mostly small single words used before a noun (at home), a noun phrase (across the river) or a pronoun (for you). They may also consist of two or more words acting as a single preposition called compound preposition. The prepositions are used to form relationships between the nouns and other words in a sentence by linking them.


There are many prepositions, most of which are single-word such as above, along, behind, from, near, of, on, since, to, until, and with.



Compound preposition

A preposition can also be a two-word or three-word combination. It is called a compound preposition.

Two-word compound prepositions include according to, because of, different from, due to, and instead of.

Three-word compound prepositions are as far as, in addition to, in front of, and in spite of, etc.

See List of Prepositions


A preposition is followed by a noun, noun phrase, or pronoun, each of which becomes the object of the preposition. Only the noun can be the object; other parts of speech such as verb, adjective, or adverb cannot be the object.




  • We woke up before sunrise..

    (The noun sunrise is the object of the preposition before.)

  • We often stroll along the beach.

    (The noun phrase the beach is the object of the preposition along.) 

  • She  waved to him.

    (The pronoun him is the object of the preposition to.)


Sentences without prepositions

Prepositions are one of the eight parts of speech. It plays an important role in forming relationship between words in a sentence. Without it, sentences become meaningless.



  • With preposition: Her mother is in the hospital.

    Without preposition: Her mother is the hospital.

  • With preposition: I'm flying to London tomorrow.

    Without preposition: I'm flying London tomorrow. (London is a kite?)


Different types of preposition

The different types of preposition are used to show the time and date when something happens (prepositions of time); where something is or happens (prepositions of place); or where something is headed or directed (prepositions of movement).

He had a catnap at lunchtime. (Preposition used to indicate time.)


Using the different prepositions to show time, place, and direction



  • I shall meet you at 2 o’clock tomorrow. (Indicates time: at 2 o’clock)
  • The kettle is on the table. (Indicates a place or position: on the table)

  • We walked to/towards the cinema. (Indicates direction: to/towards the cinema)


Using the same preposition to show time, place, and direction



  • I shall meet you at 2 o’clock on Sunday under the railway bridge (Indicates time)
  • We will wait for you at the entrance to the stadium. (Indicates place)
  • A stranger pointed at me. (Indicates direction)


The subsections explaining these in details can be accessed with the following links:


 Removal of preposition

Sometimes a preposition does not form a necessary part of a sentence. It can be removed without affecting the meaning of the sentence



  • You can go if you want to.
  • You can go if you want.
  • There is nothing to be afraid of.
  • There is nothing to be afraid.