Here we have the dreaded propositions, a difficult topic for any English learner. I’ll start with the bad news… there are more than 100 prepositions in English. The good news is that not all of them are used frequently. The even better news is that if you make a mistake and use the wrong one, we’ll still understand you.

Let’s start with a brief overview so you can understand what a preposition actually is. Study the pictures below.

importance of prepositions
what is a preposition preposition definition

Why are prepositions important?

So, are you all with me? It’s going to get a tad more difficult.

Prepositions are necessary as they provide additional details. They explain the time, space or logical relationship between other parts of the sentence. This information is often vital.

Let’s take a look at one more example.

 

You don’t know key information about a sentence without prepositions. As you can see from the above picture, they are vital in some situations.

importance of prepositions

prepositional phrases

Prepositions don’t stand alone, they are part of what we call a ‘prepositional phrase’. These begin with a preposition and end with a noun.

prepositional phrases
Prepositional phrases - AT - at times
prepositional phrases

common prepositions in English

I think it’s now time for you to learn some of the most common prepositions we use in English. The graphics should help you picture them in your mind.

common prepositions - above/over
common prepositions - around
common prepositions - at
common prepositions - behind
common prepositions - below/under/beneath
common prepositions - between/within
common prepositions - down
prepositions in English - in front of
common prepositions - in
common prepositions - into
prepositions in English - near
common prepositions - next to/beside
prepositions in English - off
common prepositions - on
prepositions in English - through
prepositions in English - up
common prepositions - with

commonly confused prepositions – in, on, at

The most commonly confused prepositions for English learners are in, on and at. The good news is we understand what you’re trying to say. However, if you want to perfect your speaking skills, you should learn their uses. ​​

Here is an overview of the uses of in, on and at.

in, on, at prepositions

Click on the links below to learn in, on and at in more detail.

test yourself on prepositions

Now you know a lot about prepositions, have a go at these fun prepositions exercises:

  • read my stories
  • imagine the scenarios
  • describe the pictures

If you’re still having trouble with prepositions, send me a message and i’ll help you out.

prepositions exercises
prepositions exercises
prepositions exercises

So, you’ve dipped your toe into the wonderful waters of prepositions. Are you hungry for more? Prepositions are dotted throughout the English language, if you’re feeling brave, why not learn some phrasal verbs or idioms with prepositions.