What are Prepositions?

Prepositions show concepts and ideas such as time, place, direction, and manner. They also can demonstrate relations and connections between ideas.

Some common prepositions, presented in alphabetical order are – about, above, after, around, before, behind, beside, between, during, for, in, on, to, under, with, and without, .

One tip to remembering what prepositions are is this-

A preposition is anything a plane can do to a cloud.

Thus, a plane can be above, below, between, around, through, by, in, on, off, out, under, over, and to.


We are going to the store- ‘to’ shows movement and direction.

John is hiding under the covers- ‘under’ shows location.

The birds fly through the air- ‘through’ demonstrates movement.

We will have cake after dinner– ‘after’ demonstrates time.

We have been waiting for so long– ‘for’ shows relationship.

Interactive Exercise

Click the prepositions in the following sentences:
1. I am going to the store for some more bread.
2. I live between the college and the mall.
3. I will be there at ten o’clock in the morning.
4. On that day, I will stand before my class to give my speech.
5. Did you look in the freezer for the leftovers?
6. I will go with you tomorrow.
7. During the blackout, the library was closed for three hours.
8. I attended a workshop on time management.
9. My friend went to the store that is across the street from the school.

Prepositions Capitalization in Titles and Headings

Small two or three letter word prepositions that appear in titles are usually not capitalized unless they are the first or the last word of the title.

Gone With the Wind
Wind in the Willows
Much Ado About Nothing
The Lord of the Rings
Finding Comfort in Hard Times
Discovering the Hidden Beauty Within
Because I Wanted To

The Prepositions: At, On and In

One set of prepositions that gives students difficulties is- At, On, and In.
Below is a guide to help make it easier to remember.

In- the most general
On- a little more precise
At- the most precise

I live IN the United States. – City, town, farm, country? This is general.
I live ON Highway 200. – Ok we know the street but house or apartment?
I live AT my parent’s house. – Now we know exactly where you live.

I will be there IN the morning. – Which morning and what time of the morning?
I will be there ON Tuesday morning. - Ok now we know what day of the week.
I will be there AT 3:30. – We know the specific time to be looking for you to arrive.

I am IN my car. – Is the car moving, parked, driving, stalled, broken down?
I am ON the highway. – Ok we know where you are more specifically.
I am AT the red light. –Now we have a specific place to look for you.

Interactive Exercise:

Click on the correct preposition from the choices given in brackets:
1. We walked (in / on) the sidewalk.
2. Billy said to meet him (at / on) the train station (on / at) the 5th of June.
3. Sally still gets lost (in / on) her home town!
4. Dad and I went to the grocery store and stopped (at / on) the new hardware store on the way.
5. How many times have I told you to call me if you are going to stay (at / in) the school after class?
6. He lives (on / in) an apartment (on / in) 3rd street, (in / at) Dallas.
7. Kayden likes playing (in / on) the swings (at / on) the park down the street (at / in) his neighborhood.
8. Because we live (at / in) a flood plain area, we have to evacuate.
9. We live (at / in) the corner of Main Street and Magnolia Avenue (at / on) five acres of land.
10. I hate sitting (at / in) these red traffic lights (on / at) my way to work.