English, as we know, comprises eight parts of speech and each part has a definite role to play. These parts consist of words which are particular to that category, though some words can be found in more than one category. Some of the words that fall in one part can be used to form words in other parts by suitable modification by adding a suffix or a prefix. Words are used to form sentences which are the basic units of communication. Grammar is the rule book that guides all of us to use the words in a particular way so that all of us can understand what is being communicated. One of the important parts of speech is the preposition.
The preposition is used to relate the noun to other words in a sentence. By definition a preposition is a word that is positioned before a noun and, although it is true most of the time, there are occasions where the word may come after a noun. Look at the following three sentences:
‘I went to the market IN a car.’
‘I placed the coffee mug ON the table.’
‘The cover drive was played BETWEEN two fielders.’
‘Meet me AT noon today.’
In the sentences the words IN, ON, BETWEEN and AT are all prepositions. We notice that these words relate to the nouns 'car', 'table', 'fielders' and 'noon'. Prepositions can be used in relation to identifying a place or referring to time and depending on the sentence we have to use specific prepositions. For instance, in the car example it is not appropriate to say ‘I went to the market BETWEEN a car.’
Compared to verbs and nouns prepositions are very few in number but their usage is very high. Some of the prepositions that are used in relation to place and time are IN, AT, AROUND, BEHIND, INTO, ON and IN. Learn to use correct prepositions in a sentence and avoid using the wrong one! Take the quiz that follows and learn more about using the correct prepositions in a sentence.