Learn English – How would one use the word preposition


I've always been interested in the word preposition and at times, had used it correctly. How would one use it?

Best Answer

"Simply put, a preposition indicates a relation between things mentioned in a sentence."

For example, in the above sentence, between is a preposition. There's the noun "relation", and the noun "things". The word "between" introduces a relation between them.

Wiktionary defines "preposition" as follows:

A closed class of non-inflecting words typically employed to connect a noun or a pronoun, in an adjectival or adverbial sense, with some other word: a particle used with a noun or pronoun (in English always in the objective case) to make a phrase limiting some other word.

Merriam-Webster says:

Definition of PREPOSITION: a function word that typically combines with a noun phrase to form a phrase which usually expresses a modification or predication

If you are still not quite sure what that all means, there's a list of English prepositions over at Wikipedia.

Also, as Kosmonaut points out in his comment, prepositions usually come before the words they modify — hence the name, "pre" + "position". However, note that there are mechanisms in place that allow prepositions to be "detached" from the words they modify; see, for example, these questions:

You can browse the full list of questions tagged "prepositions" for further insight.