A preposition is a word used with a noun or pronoun to show its correct relation to some other words in a sentence. The proper knowledge and use of appropriate prepositions are essential to writing and understanding the correct usage of the English language.

⮚ Place (in, on, under, over, near, beside, etc.)
Your book is on the table.

⮚ Direction (to, toward, into, through, etc.)
The football player ran through the stadium to the other end.

⮚ Time (in, on, at, etc.)
We can meet at five o’clock.

⮚ Agent (by)
This book was written by a famous author.

⮚ Instrument (by, with)
I heard the news by television. (Communication)
She came by bus.” (Transportation)
He opened the door with a key. (Instrument or tool)
Note: We use by + no article for communication and transportation.
by phone, by radio, and by bus, by car

⮚ Accompaniment (with)
I like spaghetti with white sauce.
Mrs Thapa went to Pokhra with her husband Ganesh.

⮚ Purpose (for)
He went to the store for milk and bread.
Never use for + verb + ing to express the purpose of the verb.
He went to the store for buying milk and bread.

⮚ Partition / Possession (of)
They painted the front of the building white and green.
He broke the top of the table with his fist.

⮚ Measure (by, of)
We buy our olive oil by the 16-kilo container.
Please buy a quart of milk from the market.

⮚ Similarity (like)
Mary walks like her mother.

⮚ Capacity (as)
Bill worked as a teacher:

Use of Preposition

1. At
⮚ We use at to designate specific times.
The train is due at 12:15 p.m.

⮚ We use at for specific addresses.
He lives at 55 Thakali Road in Dharan.

⮚ We use at to indicate points.
You’ll find us at the entrance [at the taxi stand, at the supermarket, at the intersection].

⮚ At can be used in these particular cases.
She was at home [at the library, at the office, at school, at work] when we arrived.

⮚ At is used to mark a verb of motion directed towards a point.
She arrived at the airport late.
The mask man aimed at the hostage-taker with precision.

⮚ It is used to indicate direction:
The man leapt at the thief to subdue him.
She jumped at me without warning.

⮚ At is used with clocked time.
She picks her son up from school at 4:30 p.m.

⮚ At is used with the following times of the day: noon, night, midnight, sunrise, sunset:
We sail for Palawan at noon [at midnight, at sunrise].

⮚ At is used with certain major holidays (without the word Day) as points of time.

⮚ The family always gets together at Thanksgiving [at Christmas, at Easter, at Halloween, at Holi, at Tihar].

⮚ It is used to indicate the point of time, condition, festivals, a dress, place, etc.
at war,
at least,
at profit
at hotel,
at Christmas, etc.

2. On
⮚ We use on to designate days and dates.
My brother is coming on Monday.
We're having a party on the Fourth of July.

⮚ We also use on for names of streets, roads, avenues, and boulevards.
Her apartment is on Bagbazar Pablo Street [on Rani Avenue, on Ramshah Road, on Roxas Boulevard].

⮚ On is used for surfaces:
There’s a large stain on the floor [on the wall, on the ceiling, on the roof.

⮚ We can also use on in these particular cases when vehicles have articles with them.
They are on the plane [on the train, on the boat].”
[But, in a taxi, in a car, in a jeep.]

⮚ On is also used to express activity, concerning, membership, surfaces, closeness/ beside/ against.
on Sunday, on the trek, on rent, lecture on, on my left, on the floor, on the map, on a horse,
Note: an important day which has to be followed by the word day like on New Year's Day, on Laxmi Puja Day but at Dashain, at Tihar, at Id.
on the chair but in the armchair
on the table but at the dining table

3. In
⮚ We use 'in' for nonspecific times during a day, a month, a season, or a year.
She likes to jog in the morning.
It's too cold in winter to run outside.
He started the job in 1971.
He's going to quit in August.

⮚ We use in for the names of land-areas (towns, counties, states, countries, and continents).
She lives in Kathmandu.
Durham is in Windham County.

⮚ We also use in for spaces.
They always meet in a secret room [in a suburban hotel, in a parking lot, in a farm, in a rice field].

⮚ In can be used for bodies of water.
That kind of fish thrives in freshwater [in the river, in the lake, in streams, in the sea].

⮚ We can use in for lines.
The registrants are in a row [in a line, in a queue].

⮚ We use in in these cases:
The children are in the kitchen [in the garden, in the car, in the library, in the class, in school].
(The article “the” is mandatory except for the fourth and last example.)

⮚ In can be used is used with the following times of the day: morning, afternoon, evening:
She waters her roses in the morning [in the afternoon, in the evening].
[In + the + daybreaks]
In is used with dates that do not carry the specific day when they are preceded by a definite article the.
The Spanish explorer reached the Philippines in March 1521.

⮚ In is used with the three basic time frames: past, present, future.
He was a kindly man in the past.
She is doing nothing in the present [“ present” is the preferred usage].
In the future, change the oil of your car regularly.

⮚ In is used with prescribed time periods.
The project must be completed in a month [in a year, in five years].

⮚ We can use in to indicate dresses, occupations, directions, space of time, districts, zones, etc.
in may,
in mosque,
in hospital,
in church
in kitchen,
in a taxi,
in Asia, 
in love,
in dilemma, 
in debt, 
in an hour, 
in a month.
Note: in winter but during the monsoon
in the west but at the North pole
in the house but at home
in a taxi but on bus/ship/train/place

4. By
⮚ It is used to indicate path or means of travel, transport, conveyance, parts of the body that is touched.
He went by car.
I sent her money by bank draft.
He caught me by my hand.

⮚ It expresses the sense of being in accordance with; in agreement with and according to.
By the terms of the agreement, she has to pay me Rs.600.
It is 10 o'clock by my watch.

⮚ It is used to express measurement and division.
Cloth is sold by the meter.
This hall is 8 feet by 50 ft.
Eight divided by four is equal to two.

⮚ By also expresses through the agency, means, or instrumentality.
She earns her living by teaching.
The dog was run over by a car.

⮚ It gives the sense of near, at or to the side of, beside.
She came and sat by me.
His house is by the river.

⮚ By is used with an act completed or to be completed by a certain time.
She expects to finish writing the book by April [by then, by the second quarter].

5. With
⮚ It is used to indicate accompaniment or relationship, antagonism, opposition.
She came with her dog.
He fought with his father.
He had a hot argument with his boss.

⮚ It is used to express means or instruments.
He cuts vegetables with a knife.
She solved all her problems with the help of her brother.
In + writing instruments (pen, pencil, biro, ink)
With + article + writing instrument (a pen, a pencil, etc.)

⮚ It is used to express manner, separation, agreement, cause, possession, etc.
She spent her life with pleasure.
A girl with blue eyes is my sister-in-law.
I am with you in what you say.

6. For
⮚ We use for when we measure time (seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years).
He held his breath for seven minutes.
She's lived there for seven years.

⮚ For is used with particular durations.
Our president will be abroad for three weeks [not for long, for most of next month].

7. Since
⮚ We use since with a specific date or time.
He's worked here since 1970.
She's been sitting in the waiting room since two-thirty.

⮚ Since is used with an event that happens at some time or continuously after another time or event:
She has not watched a movie since last month.
They have been producing noodles since the war.

8. From
⮚ is used to refer to the beginning and end of an activity or event.
The weather was stormy from Wednesday to Friday.

⮚ From...until is used to refer to the beginning of one period to the beginning of another:
Our sales rose continuously from Christmas until right before Holy Week.

⮚ We use to in order to express movement toward a place.
They were driving to work together.
She's going to the dentist's office this morning.

⮚ Toward and towards are also helpful prepositions to express movement. These are simply variant spellings of the same word; use whichever sounds better to you.
We're moving toward the light.
This is a big step towards the project's completion.

⮚ During is used to refer to a period of time in which an event happens or activity is done:
She had coffee during the morning break.

⮚ Within is used to refer to an action that must take place or be completed within a given period:
You must get the job done within the week.

⮚ Beyond is used to refer to a period of time after a particular event has taken place or a particular time has elapsed:
Beyond the mid-1990s all of our offices had shifted to word processors.

9. No Prepositions
With the words home, downtown, uptown, inside, outside, downstairs, upstairs, we use no preposition when they have motion verbs.
Grandma went upstairs.
Grandpa went home.
They both went outside.

10. More about the Prepositions

⮚ The following nouns take the preposition for after them.
Apology, appetite, aptitude, affection, ambition, anxiety, blame, candidate, capacity compassion, compensation, contempt, craving, desire, esteem, fitness, fondness, guarantee, leisure, liking, motive, need, opportunity, partiality, passion, pity, pretext, relish, remorse, reputation, surely.

⮚ The following nouns take the preposition with after them.
Bargain, comparison, conformity, Alliance, acquaintance, enmity, intimacy, relation.

⮚ The following nouns take the preposition of after them.
Distrust, doubt, abhorrence, assurance, charge, experience, failure, observance, proof, result, want.

⮚ The following nouns take the preposition to after them.
Antipathy, approach, assent, attachment, attention, concession, disgrace, access, accession, allegiance, alternative, antidote, dislike, encouragement, enmity, exception, incentive, indifference, invitation, key, leniency, likeness, limit, obedience, objection, opposition, preface, reference, menace, succession, supplement, temptation, traitor, repugnance, resemblance.

⮚ The following nouns take the preposition  from after them.
Deliverance, descent, abstinence, cessation, escape, exemption, inference, respite.

⮚ The following adjectives and participles take the preposition to after them.
Abhorrent, acceptable, accessible, accustomed, addicted, adequate, adjacent, affectionate, agreeable, akin, alien, alive, amenable, analogous, applicable, appropriate, beneficial, callous, common, comparable, condemned, conducive, comfortable, congenial, contrary, creditable, deaf, derogatory, detrimental, devoted, disastrous, due, entitled, equal, essential, exposed, faithful, fatal, foreign, hostile, impertinent, incidental, inclined, indebted, indifferent, indispensable, indulgent, injured, irrelevant, favourable, hurtful, immaterial, indigenous, liable, limited, lost, loyal, material, natural, necessary, obedient, obliged, offensive, opposite, painful, partial, peculiar, pertinent, pledged, preferable, prejudicial, prior, profitable, prone, reduced, related, relevant, repugnant, responsible, restricted, scared, sensitive, serviceable, subject, suitable, suited, supplementary, tantamount, true.

⮚ The following adjectives and participles take the preposition in after them.
Absorbed, accomplished, accurate, backward, correct, defective, deficient, experienced, diligent, enveloped, fertile, foiled, honest, implicated, involved, lax, proficient, remiss, temperate, versed.

⮚ The following adjectives and participles take the preposition with after them.
Acquainted, afflicted, beset, busy, compatible, compliant, consistent, contemporary, contented, contrasted, conversant, delighted, disgusted, drenched, endowed, fatigued, fired, gifted, infatuated, infected, infested, inspired, intimate, invested, overcome, popular, replete, satiated, satisfied, touched.

⮚ The following adjectives and participles take the preposition of after them.
Accused, acquitted, afraid, apprehensive, apprised, assured, aware, bereft, bought, cautious, certain, characteristic, composed, confident, conscious, connected, convinced, covetous, defrauded, deprived, desirous, destitute, devoid, diffident, distrustful, easy, envious, fearful, fond, greedy, guilty, headless, ignorant, informed, innocent, irrespective, lame, lavish, negligent, productive, proud, regardless, sanguine, sensible, sick, slow, substantive, sure, suspicious, tolerant, vain, void, weary, worthy.

⮚ The following adjectives and participles take the preposition for after them.
Anxious, celebrated, conspicuous, customary, designed, destined, eager, eligible, fit, good, grateful, notorious, prepared, proper, qualified, ready, sorry, sufficient, useful, zealous.

⮚ The following verbs take the preposition to after them.
Accede, adapt, adhere, allot, allude, apologize, appoint, ascribe, aspire, assent, attain, attend, attribute, belong, conduce, conform, consent, contribute, lead, listen, object, occur, prefer, pretend, refer, revert, stoop, succumb, surrender, testify, yield.

⮚ The following verbs take the preposition from after them.
Abstain, alight, cease, debar, derive, derogate, desist, detract, deviate, differ, digress, dissent, elicit, emerge, escape, exclude, preserve, prevent, prohibit, protect, recoil, recover, refrain.

⮚ The following verbs take the preposition with after them.
Associate, bear, clash, coincide, comply, condole, cope, correspond, credit, deluge, disagree, dispense, fill, grapple, intrigue, meddle, part, quarrel, side, sympathize, trifle, vie.

⮚ The following verbs take the preposition of after them.
Acquit, beware, boast, complain, despair, die, disapprove, dispose of, divest, dream, heal, judge, repent, taste.

⮚ The following verbs take the preposition for after them.
Atone, canvass, care, clamour, feel, hope, mourn, pine, start, stipulate, sure, wish, yearn.

⮚ The following verbs take the preposition in after them.
Acquiesce, dabble, delight, employ, enlist, excel, fall, glory, increase, indulge, involve, persevere, persist.

⮚ The following verbs take the preposition on after them.
Comment, decide, deliberate, depend, determine, dwell, embark, encroach, enlarge, impose, insist, intrude, resolve, subsist, trample.

Some Troublesome Prepositions

⮚ agree with a person- I hope you will agree with me on this point. This climate does not agree with me. (suit me)

⮚ agree to a proposal or an opinion-I do not agree to your proposal. Nor do I agree to your opinion.

⮚ agree on a matter or terms-They all agreed on the terms fixed.

⮚ agree about a subject of discussion-Have they agreed about the prices yet?

⮚ angry with a person-I am angry with you for not helping me.

⮚ angry at or about something-I am angry at your rude behaviour. What is he angry about?

⮚ apologize to a person-I had to apologize to him.

⮚ apologize for causing pain or trouble-I apologized (to him) for stepping on ' his foot.

⮚ bad at something-He is bad at studies. She is bad at English. I'm bad at chess.

⮚ capacity of (ability to contain)-This room has a capacity of fifty seats.

⮚ capacity for (ability to do things)-We are all praise for his capacity for hard work.

⮚ clever at something-He is clever at figure works.

⮚ consist in (to have its being in)-The beauty of Venice consists in the style of its ancient buildings.

⮚ consist of (be made up of)-This committee consists of three High Court judges.

⮚ correspond to (be similar to)-Her actions do not correspond to her professions.

⮚ correspond with (exchange letters)-Do you ever correspond with your friends in America?

⮚ cure of (as a verb)-Dr Verma cured me of my disease.

⮚ cure for (as a noun)-There is no cure for gout.

⮚ differ with (disagree with)-I differ with you on this point.

⮚ differ from (unlike, different from)-My house differs from your house in many respects.

⮚ dream of (imagine, think of)-I often dreamed of being an actor when I was a child.

⮚ dream about something-What did you dream about last night?

⮚ engaged in (busy with)-I am engaged in writing an article.

⮚ engaged to (agreed to marry)-Rita is engaged to Rajesh: they will be married next year.

⮚ enquire about (ask for information about)-I want to enquire about the date of exam.

⮚ enquire into (investigate, examine)-Let's enquire into this matter.

⮚ enquire after (ask about someone's health or welfare)-He was enquiring after your father.

⮚ entrust something to somebody-Can I entrust the task to you?

⮚ entrust somebody with something-I have entrusted him with this task,

⮚ familiar with (having a good knowledge of)-I am not very familiar with botanical names.

⮚ familiar to (well-known to)-These subjects are familiar to me.

⮚ get in (to) and out of (a car, taxi, or small boat)-When I got into the car, I found that the key was missing.

⮚ get on (to) and off (a bus, train, plane, or ship)-We'll be getting off the bills at Rajgir.

⮚ good at something-He is good at studies. You are good at English. She in good at chess.

⮚ ill with (NOT from)-He has been ill with malaria for weeks.

⮚ interfere in something (take part in it in an unwanted manner)-I don't interfere in his affairs these days.

⮚ interfere with something (get in the way, prevent)-The sound of the radio interfered with my work.

⮚ insist on (NOT to)-He insisted on doing this work.

⮚ kind to (NOT with)-My neighbours is very kind to me.

⮚ look at (point one's eyes at)-He is looking at the glorious lamp of the day.

⮚ look after (take care of)-A mother looks after her children.

⮚ look for (try to find)-He is looking for a good job.

⮚ look into (examine)-Let me look into this matter.

⮚ pay in cash-Let me pay in cash.

⮚ pay by cheque-You can pay either in cash or by cheque.

⮚ polite to (NOT with)-You must be polite to your teachers.

⮚ reason for (NOT of)-Nobody knows the reason for his absence.

⮚ rude to (NOT with)-You were pretty rude to my eldest brother.

⮚ run after (try to catch)-The dog ran after the rabbit.

⮚ run into somebody (meet unexpectedly)-I ran into my old friend in the market yesterday.

⮚ sorry for a person-I feel really sorry for these street urchins.

⮚ sorry about something that has happened-I am really sorry about your poor showing in the interview.

⮚ taste of (experience, have a taste of)-The valiant never taste of death but once.

⮚ taste for (liking for)-I have no taste for classical music.

⮚ useful to a person-This magazine is very useful to me.

⮚ useful for a purpose- These things are useful for my research project.

⮚ write in ink or pencil-Let me write either in ink or in pencil.

⮚ write with a pen or pencil- I can write with a pen or with a pencil.

Look at these charts, too.
Die .... Conditions ...
Die of disease, illness, hunger, thirst, grief
Die from a wound, over-eating, over the poisoning
Die for one's ideals, one's country
Die in an accident, battle
Die by violence, one's own hands (i.e., commit suicide)
Die through neglect

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