English Grammar Guide for ESL


In this section: Description, Exercises


An Overview of Prepositions

Prepositions allow the writer to establish relationships between nouns (things and actions). They indicate origins, destinations, possession, recipients, time, etc.

Common English prepositions are: to, at, from, for, between, among, of, in, on, about, with, without, before, after, during, by toward, against. See the excercise section below for a longer list.

In, at and on

All three are used to indication location.

in is used for: cities, provinces, countries, months and years (e.g.: in Edmonton, in Alberta, in Canada, in January, in 1963)

at is used for: physical locations and times (e.g.: at the restaurant, at school, at my house, at 7PM).

on is used for: streets, buses, cars, planes, radio and TV, and days of the week (e.g.I met her on the bus; I saw it on TV; I will see you on Sunday)

For versus since

for is used: to describe the duration of an action (e.g.: I worked for eight hours)

since is used: to describe the starting point of an action (e.g.: I have been working since this morning).

From versus of

from is used: to indicate the origin of something (e.g.: I took it from the car; She comes from France)

of is used: to indicate possession (e.g.: A friend of mine) or part/whole relationships (e.g.: The front of the house).

Don't use of after modal verbs, e.g.: write I could have done that and not I could of done that.

Write in the morning, but at night.

In this section: Description, Exercises

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