Educall Language Academy
We use prepositions to show the time, date, place an movement of things and events. There aren't any particular rules to follow to learn them. We can just categorize them in order to understand better.
Prepositions of Time
time of the day
in the afternoon
days of the week
on the weekend
on Christmas Day
on May 1st
time (what time, when?)
periods of time
at half past seven
at the weekend
at 15 (years old)
since (from a certain point of time in the past until now)
since 1969, since 2 o'clock, since 1 p.m., since I last saw you, since the morning etc.
I haven't seen her since the party.
ago (a certain point of time in the past)
3 days ago, 5 years ago, 2 weeks ago, ages ago, many years ago, a century ago
I saw her a minute ago.
before (earlier than a certain point of time)
before Christmas, before the wedding, before millennium, before 2050
I saw her before dinner.
for (a period of time)
for a month, for 2 years, for 5 days, for 3 years, for ages, for years, for 10 seconds
I could see her only for 5 seconds.
till/until/up till (the end point of an action)
till 3 p.m., till tomorrow, up till now (up to now), until 2005, until Sunday, until next month, until the end of time
I looked at her till dawn.
from... to/till ... (the beginning and the end of a period)
from 9 to/till 5, from Monday to/till Friday, from 2006 to 2016
I looked after her from Sunday to Wednesday.
by (up to a certain point of time)
by Friday, by tomorrow, by 6 o'clock, by half past eight, by next year
Cinderella had to leave the ball by midnight. (at the latest)
past/to (telling the time)
It's half past six. (6:30)
It's ten to five. (4:50)
Prepositions of Place
in Turkey, in Bali
in Paris, in Jerusalem
in the world
in the bathroom, in the kitchen
in the book, in the magazine
in the car, in the taxi, in the cab
bus, plane, ferry, boat
the surface of something
on the Thames, on the Nile
on the bus, on the plane, on the ferry, on the boat
on the table, on the desk,on the floor, on the shelf
on the left, on the right
on the 3rd floor, on the second floor, on the first floor
on TV, on the radio, on the internet
on the wall
places (for a typical purpose)
at the cinema, at the theatre, at a concert
at a restaurant, at hospital, at work, at school
at the table
at the door
under (lower than something)
There are stools under the bar.
below (lower than something but higher than the ground/the bottom)
The paragraph below briefly explains the history of apes.
underneath (under a surface, just below)
Underneath the blanket, I found my jacket.
beneath (under a surface, just below) -this has the same meaning as underneath but has a more formal, literary meaning
Beneath the surface, he seems quite kind-hearted.
above (higher than something, not directly over)
The birds were soaring above us.
next to/by/beside (on the left/right side of something/someone)
She was sitting next to me in class.
She was standing by the door.
She sat beside me during the ceremony.
between (at the position separating two things or people)
I sat between Jane and Diana.
Prepositions of Movement
to (movement to a place, a country, a person, a thing)
She went to the USA last summer.
He came to my office to talk to me.
I went to bed pretty late last night.
into (entering somewhere, a building, a room)
We went into the mall.
He looked into her eyes.
onto (to the top of something)
The cat jumped onto the coffee table.
out of (leaving somewhere, a car)
They got out of the taxi.
the magician got out of the box.
up (in the direction of a higher point of something)
He walked up the hill.
They climbed up the wall.
down (in the direction of a lower point of something)
They ran down the hill.
There is a payphone down the alley.
across (to the other side of something)
We travelled across the world.
He went across the street.
I swam across the river.
along (to the side of something, length)
We walked along the river.
I ran along the path.
over (to the other side/across, more than, covering the surface of something)
Come over to my place.
I ran over the bridge.
He worked in that company over 20 years.
We wore a sweater over our t-shirts.
through (movement to the one side of an enclosed space to the other)
They drove through the tunnel.
She cut through the park.
from (where from, showing the starting point, the origin of someone or something)
Where are you from? -I'm from Turkey.
They're from Florida.
I bought these from the market.
He brought a glass of water from the kitchen.
I got this dress from that expensive store.
towards/toward (movement in the direction of something or someone)
He ran towards the building.
She came toward me.
around/round (every side of something or someone)
They looked around.
We walked around the pool.
He wrapped his arms around his dog.
She went round the corner.
off (leaving the public transport, away from something)
I got off the bus.
We got off the boat.
Keep off the fire.
back to (returning somewhere)
We went back to school.
She looked back.
away (from here to another place, not here)
Get away from me! I'm so angry at you.
Mr. Black is away this week.
of (belonging to someone or something)
We tried to find the cause of the problem.
The lid of the jar was missing.
by (showing the person who performed an action)
Harry Potter was written by J.K. Rowling.
The question was raised by one of the reporters.
We went to the airport by car.
I'm coming by plane.
They're going by train.
about (topics, when talking about something)
She asked about you.
I was talking about my thesis.
Have you heard about the accident?