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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Grammar Handbook: Prepositions

A preposition is a word or group of words that shows the relationship--in time, space, or some other sense--between its object (the noun or pronoun that follows the preposition) and another word in the sentence:

Kinds of Prepositions

There are three kinds of prepositions: simple, compound, and phrasal. The following are representative examples of each.

Common Prepositions

A list of most of the common prepositions in English include:

aboard, about, above, according to, across, across from, after, against, along, alongside, alongside of, along with, amid, among, apart from, around, aside from, at, away from, back of, because of, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, besides, between, beyond, but, by, by means of, concerning, considering, despite, down, down from, during, except, except for, excepting for, from, from among, from between, from under, in, in addition to, in behalf of, in front of, in place of, in regard to, inside, inside of, in spite of, instead of, into, like, near, near to, of, off, on, on account of, on behalf of, onto, on top of, opposite, out, out of, outside, outside of, over, over to, owing to, past, prior to, regarding, round, round about, save, since, subsequent to, together, with, through, throughout, till, to, toward, under, underneath, until, unto, up, up to, upon, with, within, without

Prepositional Phrases

A prepositional phrase includes the preposition, the object of the preposition, and the modifiers of the object. It may function as an adverb or an adjective: