Grammar 8 min read

What Are the Types of Prepositions?

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.

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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, Double, Compound, Participle, and Phrase prepositions.

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 example, for, with, on, that, of, and to are all prepositions.

Handwritten collection of common prepositions in various black font styles against a white background
Common prepositions are also some of the shortest words | Jane License

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 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:

Homework is the object and the preposition is without.



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




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.

Drawing of two cups of tea inside a heart with the pun
A silly take on an iconic prepositional phrase using the preposition of place “in” |eclecticworks License

— She came home without her homework.

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.

Prepositions of Place Examples

“At”: Meet me at the library.

“In”: 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 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” 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 simply the phrase.

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For example: At that point in time I didn’t know the answer.

This sentence can be simplified to:

Then, I didn’t know the answer.


I didn’t know the answer.

The Most Common Compound Prepositions

according to

ahead of

along with

alongside of

apart from

around about

Preposition Pig helps fatten up sentences with the right types of prepositions | GrammarIsEasyCreative Commons License

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

A meme of a sleazy-looking middle-aged man in a suit pointing at the camera. Overlayed are a list of prepositions followed by the the pun response from a woman:
Thankfully, you don’t need a prepositional phrase to decline any of these types of prepositions | Bobberino01Creative Commons License

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

Gorgeous lateral view of an Asian tiger heading left with the sentence
One of the gravest Grammatical Sins | Arjuna Gihan License

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.  Some of the most common examples are: 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

— 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.

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Comments (19)
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    White Label SEO January 30 at 1:45 pm GMT

    Awesome post! Keep up the great work! 🙂

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      Alexander De Ridder June 28 at 6:14 pm GMT

      Thank you! Happy that you’ve enjoyed it!

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    AffiliateLabz February 16 at 2:52 am GMT

    Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂

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      Alexander De Ridder June 28 at 6:14 pm GMT

      Thank you AffiliateLabz!

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    Maheswar Deka June 14 at 12:14 am GMT

    Thank the innovator. Students would feel that learning of prepositions is easy

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      Alexander De Ridder June 28 at 6:13 pm GMT

      Happy you’ve liked the article!

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    Stephen DeVoy June 27 at 6:36 pm GMT

    Wonderful article!

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    Braddon Upex June 28 at 1:50 pm GMT

    Thank you very much.

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      Alexander De Ridder June 28 at 6:14 pm GMT

      You’re welcome!

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    Ray Gonzalez Gaytan July 03 at 2:31 pm GMT

    Thank you from Mexico, it was very helpful

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    Dr.Vijay Songire July 23 at 5:42 pm GMT


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      Krista Grace Morris August 07 at 11:01 am GMT

      Thanks for reading! Glad it was helpful.

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    Muhammad Umair July 31 at 11:43 am GMT


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    Jillian Wardle August 05 at 12:36 am GMT

    Thanks. Helpful.

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    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!

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      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:

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