CIP Online English Learning - Preposition as simple as possible

 Prepositions – As Simple as Possible

Teacher Michelle

What are prepositions? Being confused with which preposition to use can be common. How do they work? Are there ways to make sure that you are using the right preposition? Read on to learn more about prepositions.

As promised.

We will try to talk about prepositions as simply as possible. I like to teach the same way so I wish to write the same. Let us start with, “ What is a preposition?”. From the prefix  “pre”, these words are positioned before a noun. It shows the relationship of the nouns in a sentence. They link people, objects, time and locations in a sentence.

So, how does it work?

Prepositions are words that show not only a location of an object.

  • They help a sentence come together.
  • They can express movements, who owns something and time.
  • They can provide details of how something happened. Here are some examples.

The book is on the table. – Location of an object

She swam across the pool. – Shows direction and movement

“That house belongs to my grandmother.”  – Shows possession

I got it from her. – Shows source

They preferred exploring on foot. – Shows how things happens

Common usage.

Prepositions are often and commonly used. I have read somewhere that they are a “closed class” of words in the English language. They explained that through time, there were no words added to the group. That means rules for them will be consistent. Hopefully, easier to understand with usage.

  • The book by the author – The book nearby/written by the author.
  • The book of the author – The author has a book. He owns a book or has written it.
  • The book about the author – There is a book written about the author, a  memoir.
  • The book beside the author  – The book is placed at the side of the author.
  • The book from the author – The author has a book. The author gave it.

Most Common Prepositions

If you notice it, it really depends on what you are trying to say. Let us try to clarify further. These are the most common and used prepositions.

   AT – used for specific times such as at 3 o’ clock, at midnight, at sunrise

     – used for specific places for instance at school, at the bus stop, at the door.

IN – used for seasons, months, centuries, years and times of day  

in autumn, in December, in the 21st century, in 1988, in the morning 

     – used for enclosed spaces, cities or countries. For example, in London, in Paris, in a car.


ON – used for days and specific dates and holidays 

on Monday, on the weekends, on July 4, 1776, on my birthday, on Thanksgiving Day.

  • used with surfaces for example on the table, on a page, on the wall, on a bus

Many English learners can sound more natural with the right preposition. The best way to do it is to continue using it correctly. Use it often and rightly. Before you know it, learning the other tons of prepositions will be easier.