How to identify prepositions

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The word is probably a preposition if it is followed by a noun or a noun equivalent. Of course, this can be misleading because verbs are also followed by noun objects. That said, identifying prepositions is not all that difficult. There are only a limited number of prepositions in English so if you want you can even memorize their list.

Here is a list of the most common prepositions in English.

At, on, in, up, down, above, over, below, under, across, through, into, onto, out of, of, off, behind, in front of, with, by, beside, among, between, from, since, for, to, along, towards etc.

Some of these words can also be used as adverbs or conjunctions and hence you cannot identify their parts of speech without analysing their function in a sentence.

Prepositions are very important words and they are absolutely necessary to establish the connection between a particular noun and another word in a sentence.

Consider the sentence given below.

What will happen if we remove that preposition in from the sentence?

As you can see this sentence doesn't make much sense.

Adverbs, on the other hand, are mainly complementary. Even if you remove them, the sentence will still make good sense. Of course, some meaning will be lost, but there will be no ungrammaticality.

Consider the two sentences given below. They both mean the same, but the second sentence provides some extra information, thanks to the presence of the adverb well.

Sections in this article

Transformation of sentences - I
Transformation of sentences - II
Transformation of a Simple sentence into a compound sentence
Transformation of a compound sentence into a simple sentence
Transformation of a simple sentence into a complex sentence
Transformation of a complex sentence into a simple sentence
Transformation of sentences containing too
Interchange of degrees of comparison
Combining two sentences using and so...that
How to combine two sentences using

See Also

Exclamations exercise
Exclamations: common errors
Common mistakes with pronouns - Part 2
Common errors with adjectives - part 1
Common errors with adjectives - part 2

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