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USE OF PREPOSITIONS

DIAGRAM OF PREPOSITIONS

DURING
This preposition should be
distinguished from since and for.
During is usually followed by a noun
indicating time. It indicates duration
of time.
Ex: During our vacation, we visited
many relatives across the country

FROM
This preposition generally means the
opposite of to.
Ex: He came from Miami last night
(opposite of: He went to Miami)
He lived in Germany from 1972 to
1978.
We drove from Atlanta to New York.

OUT OF
Opposite of into. (ex: He walked out of the
room angrily when John admonished him.)
Common expression with out of:
Out of town (away). (ex: Mr. Adams cannot see
you this week because he is out of town.)

Out of date (old)


Out of work (jobless, unemployed)
Out of the question (impossible)

Out of order (not functioning)

BY
Means to go past a place or to be situated
near a place. (ex: We walked by the library on the
way home. Your books are by the window.)

Common usage of by:


a. To indicate the agent in passive sentences .
(Romeo and Juliet was written by William Shakespeare.)

b. By + specific time (before) (We usually eat


supper by six oclock in the evening.)

c. By bus/plane/ship/car/bike indicates mode


of travel

Common expression with by:


a. By then (before a time in the past or
future). I will graduate from the university in
1983. By then, to have found a job.

b. By way of (via).

We are driving to Atlanta by

way of Baton Rouge.

c. By the way (incidentally).


d. By far (considerably). This book is by far the
best on the subject.

e. By accident/by mistake (not


intentionally, opposite of on purpose).
Nobody will receive a check on Friday because the
wrong cards were put into the computer by accident.

IN
Means inside a place or enclosure. Dr. Jones is in his office.
Common usage of in:
a. In a room/building/drawer/closet (inside). Your socks are in the drawer.
b. In+month/year. His birthday is in November.
c. In time (not late, early enough). We arrived at airport in time to eat
before the plane left.

d. In the street. The children were warned not to play in the street.
e. In the morning/afternoon/evening.
f. In the past/future
g. In the beginning/end
h. In the way (obstructing). He could not park his car in the driveway
because another car was in the way.
i. One in a while (occasionally)
j. In no time at all (in a very short time)
k. In case (if)
Etc..

ON
Generally means a position above,
but in contact with an object. The
records are on the table.

The common usage of on :


a. On a day/date. Her birthday is on January 28.
b. On a/the bus/plane,train/ship/bike. Its too
late to see Jane, shes already on the plane.
c. On a street ( situation of building).George
lives on 16th Avenue.

Common expression with on:


a. On time
b. On the sidewalk. Dont walk in the street,
walk on the sidewalk.
c. On the way
d. On the right/left
e. On television/radio
f. On the telephone
g. On the whole (in general)
h. On the other hand (however, nevertheless)
i. On sale (offered for sale)
j. On foot (walking)

AT
Is used to indicate a general location.
It is not as specific as in. Jane is at
the bank.
Common usage of at:
a. at + an address. George lives at 100
16th Avenue.
b. At + a specific time. The class
begins at 3:10

Common expression with at:


a. At home/school/work
b. At night
c. At least (at the minimum)
d. At once (immediately)
e. At present/ the moment (now)
f. At times (occasionally)
g. At first (initially)