Preposition Summary


shoes on shelf

Quiz 1: beginning – intermediate

Quiz 2: intermediate – advanced 

Preposition Uses / Functions

Canyon explorer

Under the canyon floor is a stream of water.

Jack is in the middle. (location)

Jack climbed down. (location)

Jack explores with enthusiasm.  (manner)

Jack gets up early in order to go climbing. (purpose)




Preposition Phrases for Time & Place


In the morning is the best time to water plants.

Watering plants was a chore until recently. (Adv)

We water our plants before leaving. (Ger)

We will water them before we leave the house. (clause)

For now, they are fine.

Bambi Airstream trailer

Inside is a kitchen, bathroom and bed.

The table unfolds in the middle.

The bed is in the back of the trailer. 

Bedding storage is overhead.

The mini-trailer can easily move from place to place.

gold medalist

Michael Phelps made sports history by winning eight gold medals ___ the 2008 Olympics ___ Beijing, China.

map location / inside location

She is at school. (location)

She is in school. (enrolled in)

Her father is working in the school.(within the space)

He's in hot water.


We are on vacation during July.
We went to the beach several times in our stay.

They are on vacation in July.
*They stayed there during July, not during May.

Thin Cover Girls

We have been coming to this beach for fifteen years.

We have been coming to this beach since July, 1995.


By the time I leave work, the sun will be setting. (ongoing)

By the time I leave work, the sun will have set. (completed)

Verb and Preposition Combinations


Jason is anxious about his future.

He would like to be independent of his parents.

He is good at many things.

He is optimistic about his future.



The children were interested in hearing his story.

The press was excited about the President's speech.

The President is pleased with the response.

The President is pleased with how the people responded.

 Paparazzi camera flash

Celebrities are concerned ____ the activities of the Paparazzi.


wolf lets out a howl
He lets out a howl.

Look up. 
Look up the word in the dictionary.

He took his coat off.
He took off his coat. 
The airplane took off.

overworked man

He talks about leaving.

He accused us of complaining.

He keeps on making trouble.

He worries about making deadlines.


She dreamed of becoming a ballet dancer.

She dreamed about becoming a ballet dancer.

Studying with Children

I put off going to college.

Instead, I took care of raising my two children.


Most people aren't accustomed to working hard.

If you try, you can succeed in doing anything you want.

A mismatch on a date

Who did you give your number to?
To whom did you give your number?  very formal

Can you tell me — what kind of person you are interested in?
Can you tell me — in what kind of person you are interested?

The word — that you looked up — is not in my dictionary.
The word — up which you looked — is not in my dictionary.

Related Pages

e.g. and i.e.

Calcium is in green leafy vegetables, for example, broccoli, kales, arugula, and spinach.

There is calcium in vegetables such as broccoli, kales, arugula, and spinach.

Cruciferous vegetables (i.e., Brassicaceae) have flowers shaped like a cross.


Fixing door

I thanked him for fixing my door.

I appreciate his fixing my door.


You can open it by using a knife.

You can cut the string with a knife.


What's it for? for tying boxes.

Why do you use it? to tie boxes.

How do you close boxes? with string / by using string.

watching tv

Jason read the manual before beginning the installation.

You can't turn it on without plugging it in.

Jane got it working by using a different cable.

A letter

My friend is bringing me a letter.

My friend is bringing a letter to me.

My friend is bringing me it.