Grammar 8 min read

5 Types of Prepositions: An Easy Guide

Main Takeaways:

  • There are five types of prepositions in the English language.
  • A preposition is a word that helps connect nouns and pronouns with a verb or adjective in a sentence.
  • The five types of prepositions are simple, double, compound, participle, and phrase prepositions.
  • Prepositional phrases contain a preposition plus a noun or pronoun.

There are five types of prepositions. They are simple, double, compound, participle, and phrase prepositions. A preposition is used to show a relationship between the noun, pronoun, or phrases in a sentence. They are used to connect people, objects, time, and locations.

What is a Preposition?

The definition of a preposition is a word or phrase that connects a noun or pronoun to a verb or adjective in a sentence. They are usually short words, and they normally are found in front of nouns. On rare occasions, prepositions can be found in front of gerund verbs.

If the subject, noun, and verb are the bricks of sentence, then prepositions are the mortar that connects them. They express position, movement, possession, time, and how an action is completed.

How Many Types of Prepositions are There?

There are five types of prepositions:

  • Simple preposition
  • Double preposition
  • Compound preposition
  • Participle preposition
  • Phrase preposition

These are spoken and written quite often in English. In fact, many of us use all types of prepositions naturally without realizing that they are distinct and have a name.

for, with, on, that, of, to
Handwritten collection of common prepositions in various black font styles against a white background
Common prepositions are also some of the shortest words | Jane SamoilovaShutterstock.comLicense

What are the Most Common Prepositions?

The Top 10 most common prepositions in the English language are: of, with, at, from, into, during, including, until, against. These represent the most frequently used prepositions. They are also called “simple prepositions.”

What is a Simple Type of Preposition?

Simple prepositions are the short words used to show the relationship between nouns, pronouns, or to join parts of a clause or sentence. 

List of Simple Prepositions

Here are some of the most common, or simple prepositions:

aboard about above across after against along alongside amid among around at before behind below beneath beside besides between beyond but by concerning

considering despite down during except excepting for from in inside into like near of off on onto opposite out outside over past regarding

round save since through throughout till to toward under underneath until unto up upon via with within without

Examples of Simple Prepositions Used in Sentences

The dog jumped out while the car was moving.

Car is the object of the preposition out.

Dorothy came upon the Tin Man.

Upon is the preposition. Tin Man is the object.

She came home without her homework.

Homework is the object and the preposition is without.

What are Prepositions of Place?

Writers use this type of preposition to describe where something is located. There are four Prepositions of Place. “At” describes a specific point in space. “In” describes an enclosed space. “On” describes an object’s relationship to a surface. “By” describes an object’s proximity to something else.

Many common prepositions are also “Prepositions of Place”. These are used to indicate a noun’s location.

Prepositions of Place Examples

“At”

Meet me at the library.

“In”

[example]I’m trapped in the elevator!

“On”

Is that a cat sleeping on your car?

“By”

I’ve always wanted to try that cafe by the train station.

Prepositions of Direction

If you ask “Where?”, this type of preposition is usually part of the answer. Prepositions of Direction let you know where something is going. They indicate which direction something is moving. There are dozens of examples, but the most common examples of Prepositions of Direction are:

above, across, along, among, around, at, behind, below, beside, over, through, toward, up, down, between, by, inside, in, near, past, under
A meme depicting an armadillo with the words "Without prepositions, we'd be nowhere"
“Without” is an example of a preposition of direction, a common preposition, and a simple preposition | QuickMemeCreative Commons License

What is a Double Preposition?

Easily form a Double Prepositions by joining two simple prepositions.

Examples of Double Prepositions in Sentences

The dog jumped out of the moving car.
The child hid inside of the cabinet.

What is a Compound Preposition?

Double prepositions and compound prepositions are very similar. Both are two-word phrases. The double preposition is formed through the conjunction of two simple prepositions. Whereas the compound preposition is formed through the conjunction of a non-prepositional word and a simple preposition.

Note: Compound prepositions can sound dated or stuffy. For readability’s sake consider attempting to simplify the phrase.

I use INK which is a web content optimization editor. It identifies wordy or complex sentences and suggests that I edit to make my articles easily digestible.

At that point in timeI didn’t know the answer.

This sentence can be simplified to:

Then, I didn’t know the answer.

or

I didn’t know the answer.

The Most Common Compound Prepositions

according to ahead of along with alongside of apart from around about as against as between as compared with as compared to as for at that point in time at this point in time at the point of at the time of because of by force of by means of by reason of by virtue of by way of due to during the course of except for for fear of for lack of for the purpose of for the reason that for the sake of from above from among from behind from beneath from between from the point of view of in accordance with in a manner similar to in care of in case of in close connection with in common with in comparison to in compliance with in connection with on account of on behalf of on the basis of on the part of on the point of on top of out of outside of owing to previous to prior to pursuant to regardless of relating to relative to short of similar to

subsequent to under cover of what with with a view to with regard to with reference to with respect to with the intention of in consequence of in consideration of in contrast to in default of in deference to in exchange for in excess of in favor of in front of in lieu of in opposition to in order to in place of in preference to in receipt of in regard to in relation to in search of in spite of in terms of in the course of in the event of in the face of in the immediate vicinity of in the nature of independently of inside of instead of on account of on behalf of on the basis of on the part of on the point of on top of out of outside of owing to previous to prior to pursuant to regardless of relating to relative to short of similar to subsequent to under cover of what with with a view to with regard to with reference to with respect to with the intention of

Participle Prepositions

Participle prepositions have endings such as -ed and -ing.

assumingbarringconsideringduringgivennotwithstandingprovidedregarding, and respected. 

Prepositional Phrase Example Sentences

The baby cries during the day and sometimes at night.
All the children were in the classroom including the teacher.
Considering she was sick, she still put up her best times.
“Sing along” is an example of a command using a Preposition of Direction | The Bazillions

How do you Identify a Prepositional Phrase?

A prepositional phrase is a group of words that doesn’t contain a verb or a subject. It functions as a unified part of speech. A prepositional phrase normally has a simple preposition and a noun or a simple preposition and a pronoun.

Think of prepositional phrases as making a hamburger. You must have meat (or a protein) and bread. A simple preposition and the object of the preposition are the basics of a prepositional phrase.

You can jazz up your hamburger by adding cheese, grilled onions, mustard, tomatoes, etc. The same can be done for prepositional phrases. Add adverbs and adjectives to make your sentence more enjoyable to read.

Prepositional Phrase Examples

Prepositional phrases contain a preposition followed by an article followed by a noun.

The hamburger with cheese is yours.

Let’s spice up this sentence.

The hamburger with ooey-gooey cheese is yours.
I danced on the stage.

Next, we add more details.

I danced on the concert stage.
The puppy ran through the grass.

Adjectives make the sentence more enticing to read.

The puppy ran through the lush green grass.
Of the types of prepositions, I think simple prepositions are the easiest.

Adding a number adjective makes the sentence for informative.

Of the five types of prepositions, I think simple prepositions are the easiest.

Read More: Biggest List Of Transition Words For Irresistibly Smooth Content

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Alexander De Ridder

Co-Founder of INK, Alexander crafts magical tools for web marketing. He is a smart creative, a builder of amazing things. He loves to study “how” and “why” humans and AI make decisions.

Comments (98)
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  1. White Label SEO January 30 at 1:45 pm GMT
    Awesome post! Keep up the great work! 🙂
    • Alexander De Ridder Author June 28 at 6:14 pm GMT
      Thank you! Happy that you’ve enjoyed it!
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    • Alexander De Ridder Author June 28 at 6:14 pm GMT
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  3. Maheswar Deka June 14 at 12:14 am GMT
    Thank the innovator. Students would feel that learning of prepositions is easy
    • Alexander De Ridder Author June 28 at 6:13 pm GMT
      Happy you’ve liked the article!
  4. Stephen DeVoy June 27 at 6:36 pm GMT
    Wonderful article!
    • Alexander De Ridder Author June 28 at 6:14 pm GMT
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    Marvollus
  9. Jillian Wardle August 05 at 12:36 am GMT
    Thanks. Helpful.
  10. Sheila Weber August 05 at 6:13 pm GMT
    I’m learning a foreign language and when prepositions are used in a sentence, it changes the placement of a conjugated verb. Your article helped me understand prepositions better. Thank you!
    • Krista Grace Morris August 07 at 10:57 am GMT
      Sheila, so glad to hear it! Thanks for taking the time to let us know. This means the world to us. If there’s anything we could add to the article to make it better or a topic you’d like more information on, don’t hesitate to post your ideas here. Also, have you taken a look at this article? We recently added a quiz that might give you some extra practice. I would love to know what you think: https://blog.inkforall.com/prepositional-phrase
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    • Mumtaz Ali Jatoi February 23 at 5:27 am GMT
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  12. Joselisse Burgos August 11 at 7:49 pm GMT
    Thank you for the explanation ?
    • Krista Grace Morris August 13 at 5:51 am GMT
      Thank you for reading our article, Joselisse!
  13. M.A.K studies. August 23 at 1:54 am GMT
    Love your post
  14. Michelle Flynn August 27 at 3:59 pm GMT
    Thank you. This helped me teach middle school students more grammar!
    • Krista Grace Morris August 31 at 4:02 pm GMT
      WOW, Michelle! What an honor. Thanks for letting us know. We’re proud to be a part of your curriculum. Is there anything we can change or add to make this a better resource for students like yours? Thanks again!
  15. saurabhn singh September 02 at 10:17 am GMT
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  16. Abdul Azeem September 02 at 11:42 am GMT
    I have a good study of preposition but this article has added tremendously to my knowledge. Thanks for all the hard work that you must have gone through.
    • Krista Grace Morris September 07 at 9:11 am GMT
      Abdul, thank you! We’re thrilled and appreciate your kind words.
      • Binod Kumaradv November 21 at 3:05 pm GMT
        Very useful information about uses of preposition.
        • Alexander De Ridder Author November 25 at 6:19 pm GMT
          We’re happy that you find our content useful!
  17. Zakir Khan September 10 at 11:38 am GMT
    Thanks a very helpful….
    • Krista Grace Morris September 18 at 12:41 pm GMT
      Thanks, Zakir! We’re glad the article was helpful to you. Let us know what you think about our other resources on prepositions. And, don’t forget to take some of the quizzes to test your skills. Thanks again!
  18. Bibek Lochan. Sa September 13 at 12:40 pm GMT
    Thank you
    • Krista Grace Morris September 18 at 12:39 pm GMT
      Hi Bibek, thank YOU for stopping by and checking out our article. Is there anything we missed that might make the article more helpful for you? Thanks again!
  19. Paige Kalish September 26 at 1:42 pm GMT
    Good post. Easy to read and well laid out. Will refer students.
    • Krista Grace Morris September 28 at 10:01 am GMT
      Thank you so much, Paige! We also have a follow up article with a quiz here, would love to know what you think: https://blog.inkforall.com/prepositional-phrase Thank you again for stopping by and taking the time to leave your very kind comment. Stay safe!
  20. Tito Rocaberte September 29 at 3:10 pm GMT
    How nice of you to have shared your lecture! Looking forward to more sharing from you. Thanks.
    • Krista Grace Morris October 05 at 3:39 pm GMT
      Hi Tito, thank you! Please do let us know what you think of our other articles on prepositions. Looking forward to your thoughts! Thanks again for stopping by.
  21. James EDWIN THOMSON October 06 at 1:36 pm GMT
    Thank you. Superb.
    • Krista Grace Morris October 12 at 9:31 am GMT
      WOW, James! What an encouraging comment. So happy to have created a valuable resource for you. We appreciate you. Thank you again!
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    • Krista Grace Morris October 12 at 9:32 am GMT
      Hi, thank you for your feedback and positive words!
  23. Chakib Bachiri October 14 at 12:53 pm GMT
    Great. Good job. Add some activity for practice.
    • Krista Grace Morris October 15 at 1:32 pm GMT
      Thanks, Chakib! Great suggestion. We have another article on prepositional phrases with a quiz at the end here: https://blog.inkforall.com/prepositional-phrase See what you think of this practice exercise and let us know your feedback. It will help us create better resources in the future. Looking forward to your thoughts! Thanks again for your comment.
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      Thank you, Sir! Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks again for stopping by.
  30. نعيم دغامين November 29 at 8:30 am GMT
    A wonderful article, but can you give prepositions examples that learners can’t distinguish them in general.
    • Krista Grace Morris December 18 at 3:09 pm GMT
      Hi! Thank you for your comment. No worries, it would be my pleasure. Some simple prepositions are: after against along alongside amid among around atSome examples of compound prepositions include: by means of by reason of by virtue of by way of due toReread the article for a more complete list of simple, compound, and other types of prepositions. Cheers!
  31. Areeba Tariq November 30 at 12:02 pm GMT
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    • Krista Grace Morris December 02 at 7:48 am GMT
      Thank you, Areeba!
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    • Krista Grace Morris December 07 at 12:08 pm GMT
      Thank you, Sushma!
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    • Krista Grace Morris December 11 at 2:54 pm GMT
      Thank you, Muhammad! I appreciate you taking the time to leave such a kind and encouraging comment.
  34. Bithika Kashyap December 14 at 11:40 am GMT
    This is so informative. Never ever had I got to know about preposition in such detail. Thank you so much.
    • Krista Grace Morris December 15 at 6:34 pm GMT
      Hi, Bithika! WOW! What a beautiful comment. Thank you! We are so glad our article could help make one of the hardest things in English (and any language, for that matter) a little easier. Thank you again for your touching words.
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  36. Gahan Dey January 05 at 2:19 am GMT
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    • Krista Grace Morris January 12 at 11:34 am GMT
      Hi Gahan, thank you for reading!
  37. Raymond Jennings January 30 at 12:56 pm GMT
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  39. Ritika Dubey February 07 at 1:50 pm GMT
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    • Rechelle Ann Fuertes March 17 at 11:39 am GMT
      Awesome! We’re glad that you find this article helpful, Ritika! Did you try the quiz? How was it? Feel free to let us know your thoughts. Take care and have a great day!
  40. Cynthia Bakobie February 20 at 10:19 pm GMT
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    • Rechelle Ann Fuertes March 12 at 12:32 pm GMT
      Cynthia, thank you for reading! We’re thrilled you found our article helpful. Thank you again for the beautiful words of encouragement. Let us know how we can make our articles even better. Take care!
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    • Rechelle Ann Fuertes March 12 at 12:30 pm GMT
      Thank you, Cynthia! We appreciate your positive feedback. Let us know if there’s anything else that we can do to make our article even better. Have a great day!
  42. Commerce and English Coaching Centre March 03 at 8:02 am GMT
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    • Rechelle Ann Fuertes March 10 at 1:42 pm GMT
      Awesome! We’re thrilled that our post has been helpful to you. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to let us know how much you liked the article.
  43. Ghatfan Emery Razan April 13 at 7:53 am GMT
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    • Rechelle Ann Fuertes April 21 at 12:52 pm GMT
      Thank you, Ghatfan! Glad you found this article helpful.
  44. dev anand April 26 at 2:43 am GMT
    It is very useful for learners and students.
    • Rechelle Ann Fuertes April 26 at 9:55 am GMT
      Hello Dev! Thank you for the positive feedback. Have a great day!
  45. Rudra prakash Jena April 28 at 2:33 am GMT
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    • Rechelle Ann Fuertes May 04 at 11:11 am GMT
      Thank you for the positive feedback. Let us know if there’s anything else that we can do to improve our post. Take care and have a great day!
  47. Kuyateh Ibrahim May 04 at 12:58 am GMT
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    • Rechelle Ann Fuertes May 04 at 10:51 am GMT
      Hi! We’re glad that you found this article helpful. Thank you for reading and have a great day!
  48. Janat rahman May 31 at 4:32 am GMT
    thanks for the explanation.
    • Rechelle Ann Fuertes June 02 at 9:25 am GMT
      Hello Janat! We’re glad you found our article helpful. We also have a post about prepositional phrases. You might want to check it out. Have a great day!
  49. Arjun Bk June 23 at 7:10 am GMT
    Thank you, Alexander!
  50. ENGLISH PUC CLASSES August 14 at 12:12 pm GMT
    Prepositions are the magical logical cyclical and chronological components that fill flesh and blood into the ENGLISH COMMUNICATIVE SPOKEN LINGUISTIC SKILLS.
    • Rechelle Ann Fuertes August 19 at 9:50 am GMT
      That’s wonderfully said! Hope you enjoyed reading our post. Have a great day!
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