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Prepositions: Definition and Types

A preposition shows the relation of a noun or noun equivalent to some other word in the sentence.

It shows how persons, places, things, ideas or events are connected to other words in the sentence. A preposition is usually placed before a noun or noun equivalent in the sentence.

Examples:

He is now at home.

He lives in Kolkata.

Keep the book on the table.

I met him on the road.

He talked to me.

At, in, on and to are examples of prepositions here.

Prepositions are usually divided into the following four types:

1. Simple Prepositions:

Simple Prepositions are the simple and single words used as prepositions.

Examples:

at, in, on, by, to, with etc.

Example Sentences: See above.

2. Compound Prepositions: 

Compound prepositions are words that have prefixes like a, be etc attached before them. According to Wren and Martin, "Compound Prepositions are generally formed by prefixing a preposition (usually a=no or be=by) to a noun, an adjective or an adverb)

Examples:

About, above, across, before, behind, below, between, inside, outside, underneath, within, without etc.

Example Sentences:

The book is about Mahatma Gandhi.

He was sitting behind me.

He is sitting between the two boys.

I can't live without you.

3. Phrase Prepositions or Prepositional Phrases:

Phrase prepositions are groups of words used as single prepositions. A phrase preposition can consist of two or more words treated as one preposition.

Examples:

according to, along with, because of, on account of, by means of, in case of, with reference to, by dint of, instead of, for the sake of, owing to, in accordance with etc.

Example Sentences:

According to him, this is a wrong concept.

He couldn't come to school on account of fever.

He achieved success by dint of hard labour.

4. Participle Prepositions: 

Some verbs in their present and past participle forms, that is, in their ing, ed or en forms are sometimes used as prepositions.

Examples:

Barring, concerning, during, notwithstanding, pending, regarding, given, past etc.

Example Sentences:

He came here during holidays.

I know nothing regarding the matter.

Given your health now, you must take sufficient rest.

We drove past the tea garden.

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