What is Preposition? Definition, Meaning in English & Preposition Examples

What is preposition in the English language? A very common question for all of us. In this session, we have discussed the details of prepositions, its definition, meaning along with a lot of examples.

An animated video is also a part of this session for your better understanding!

Let’s explore!

What is Preposition? Explained in English Grammar

What is Preposition in English grammar is a very common question for all of us from our childhood. We have read so many English grammar preposition books as well.

Let us see, details of preposition along with Preposition Examples.

what is a preposition
What is a preposition

Now, keep all the books together. Take an apple and keep on it. If your friend asks you where is the apple? What do you reply to him? You will simply say, the apple is kept on the book and your friend will understand the location of the apple.

preposition example on
Preposition example on

Now, if you remove ‘’on’’ from the above sentence, it will become, ‘’apple is kept – the table’’. Now, can you understand where is the apple? No, because the word ‘’on’’ is missing and the sentence will be divided into two parts:

1) apple is kept and

2) the book.

Hence, if we place ‘’on’’ in the sentence it will connect both the part of the sentence.

preposition examples
Preposition examples

If we keep the apple below the table, we will say, ‘’apple is kept below the table’’. Like ‘’on’’, ‘’below’’ is also making meaning of the sentence.

Let’s don’t keep the apple below, take it and enjoy it!

This tiny word ‘’on’’ and ‘’below’’ helps the sentence to have meaning by connecting two parts of the sentence. This is known as a preposition in English Grammar.

In this session, we will totally clear all the basics about prepositions” with so many Preposition Examples.

Definition of Preposition and Preposition Meaning

We will understand the meaning of prepositions and conclude the definition of preposition in the English language.

preposition meaning
Preposition meaning

Meaning of Preposition: What Does Preposition Mean?

The word preposition consists of ‘’Pre’’ & ‘’Position’’. ‘’Pre’’ means before and ‘’position’’ means place. So, preposition means ‘’place before’’. Normally, preposition comes before nouns or pronouns.

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Explanation & Understanding with Preposition Example

Let us try to understand. Now, we will take another two examples:

  • I will meet in January.
  • He is going to school.

Here, in the first sentence, ‘’in’’ divided into two parts ”I will meet’’ and ‘’January’’.

preposition in examples basics
Preposition in examples basics

If the tiny word ‘in’ is missing between these two parts, the sentence will not have any meaning. Here, January is a noun. Hence, we can say, ‘’in’’ connects between noun and other parts.

In the second sentence, ‘’to’’ divided into two parts ‘’He is going’’ and ‘’School’’. Here, ‘to’ connects these two parts. School is a noun. Hence, we can say, ‘’to’’ connects between noun and other parts.

preposition to
Preposition to

These other parts may be nouns, or pronouns or adjectives, or verbs, based on the sentence structure.

Preposition Definition

Hence, if anyone asks what is a preposition in English grammar? we can say,

”a preposition is a word that connects nouns or pronouns to other words within a sentence”.

Preposition meaning, in short:

  • It connects people or objects, locations, time, etc. in a sentence.
  • It is normally a single word sometimes more than one also.
  • It is normally placed in front of nouns, but it can be placed after also.


What are the Common Prepositions? Many Examples in English Grammar

There are thousands of prepositions in English Grammar, however, we are using a few of them in our daily life. Let’s explore!

common prepositions list
Common prepositions list

These all, prepositions, normally placed in front of nouns in English Grammar. It is not mandatory to place it always in front of nouns or pronouns or adverbs, sometimes it can be placed at the end of the sentence too. It totally depends on the use as well as the type of sentences.

For examples,

  • at Howrah Station
  • near London
  • for Mini
  • from Delhi

Preposition Exercises With Explanation

Let us check, a few exercises with a clear explanation of examples:


A pen is kept on the book

Preposition ”on” connects ”a pen is kept” and ”the book” and it indicates the place of the pen. Here, ”on” indicates the place.


The cyclone hit the land at 5.0 PM

Preposition ”at” connects ”The cyclone hit the land” and ”5.00 PM” and it indicates the time of the cyclone. Here, ”at” indicates the time


They are going to school

Preposition ”to” connects ”They are going” and ”school” and it indicates the direction or movement. Here, ”to” indicates direction or movement


He has written a letter in English

Preposition ”in” connects ”He has written a letter” and ”English” and it indicates the manner how has it been written. Here, ”in” indicates manners


Power of Emptiness has been written by Tanusri Sen

Preposition ”by” connects ”Power of Emptiness has been written” and ”Tanusri Sen” and it indicates the agent, that Tanusri Sen has written this book. Here, ”by” indicates agent or instrument.


Cheetah can run at 180 km/hr speed

Preposition ”at” connects ”Cheetah can run” and ”180 km/hr speed” and it indicates a value. Here, ”at” indicates the measure


I have read the article in the newspaper

Preposition ”in” connects ”I read the article” and ”the newspaper” and it indicates the source of something. Here, ”in” indicates the source


A girl of courage

Preposition ”of” connects ”A girl” and ”courage” and it indicates someone own something. Here, ”of” indicates possession

So, prepositions are used in the case of the followings:

  • Place
  • Time
  • Movement
  • Manners
  • Agent / instrument
  • Source
  • possession

Why Correct Prepositions Are to Be Chosen in English?

The use of prepositions is very crucial in our life to communicate properly. Incorrect use of prepositions will change the total meaning.

Let’s take an example for understanding.


We will take the three most commonly used prepositions, 

  • at
  • on
  • in for explanation. 

Option#1 I am at the taxi

example at the taxi
Example – at the taxi

It means, I am almost near the taxi. Here ”at” is a preposition that symbolizes the location.

Option#2 I am in the taxi

example in the taxi
Example – in the taxi

It means, I am inside the taxi. Here ”in” is a preposition that indicates the location of me.

Option#3 I am on the taxi

example on the taxi
Example – on the taxi

It means, I am on the taxi. Here ”on” is a preposition that indicates the location of me.


Hey, are you surprised to see where are you! So, we have to use these tiny words very carefully!

Hence, if we say to someone that we are on the taxi, he will understand where are we (see the above image)!

So, it is clear that if we use the wrong prepositions at the wrong place, the meaning will be absolutely wrong!

What are the Characteristics of Prepositions in English grammar?

  • Prepositions are placed based on some rules, sometimes, based on practices. The same can have different meanings in different sentences.
  • It can be used to express place, time, movement, etc., based on the pattern of the sentences.
  • It shall be selected in the correct way to have a proper meaning.
  • These are normally placed before nouns or pronouns.
  • It cannot be followed by a verb.
  • There is a total of eight (8)  parts of speech and preposition is one of them. Many books for parts of speech also available.

Use of Prepositions

We have already learned the basics of prepositions in English language. There are many examples of uses of preposition have been illustrated for more clarity:

  • Never ever tell lie to anyone
  • The teacher advised students to read more for exam preparation.  
  • I wake up at 5 O’Clock daily.
  • I passed my engineering in 2008.
  • I love to read in the library.
  • The book is kept on the desk
  • I have written a letter with a ball pen.
  • He has read this article in the newspaper.
  • Never ever hurt any people in your life.
  • I walk through the tunnel.
  • There is a cat below the table.
  • There are no tigers within 5 kilometers of the jungle.
  • You can come with your sister.
  • Rohan will meet me in January.
  • Sipra went to her village yesterday.
  • Rohit loves to play football.
  • Minu has read the article on the internet.
  • Advik loves to play games on his computer.
  • Remu walked for 30 minutes before taking a rest.
  • He is working on the internet.


Hence, we understand the lesson! Any doubt, please feel free to write! And of course, you can share our article in your friend circle.

Always welcome, all kinds of suggestions for improvement. Thanks a lot!

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