What Are Prepositions


A preposition is a word like on, in, off, about and over. It is normally followed by a noun or pronoun.

Most English prepositions have several different functions. At the same time, different prepositions can have very similar uses.

When we use verbs after prepositions, we use -ing forms, not infinitives.

When to is a preposition, it is followed by an -ing form.

In addition to single-word prepositions like at, in, on, for, to and about, there are certain word groups which function as prepositions.

Examples include in front of, in spite of, by means of, in order to, on behalf of and in the course of .

These word groups are called phrase prepositions or conglomerate prepositions.

Prepositional phrase

A phrase consisting of a preposition followed by a noun phrase, its object. In the following example, all the bracketed sequences are prepositional phrases.

(After the game) several (of the players) went (into the town) (with their wives).