Preposition Examples: Definition and Usage

Prepositions show the relationship between two parts of a sentence. Without prepositions, sentences would consist of nouns and verbs, but no words to show their position or location. Review several preposition examples to understand how these parts of a sentence fit together.

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Simple Preposition Examples

Simple prepositions are common words such as at, for, in, off, on, over, and under. Examples of common prepositions used in sentences include:

  • He sat on the chair.
  • There is some milk in the fridge.
  • She was hiding under the table.
  • The cat jumped off the counter.
  • He drove over the bridge.
  • She lost her ring at the beach.
  • The book belongs to Anthony.
  • They were sitting by the tree.

Examples of Double Prepositions

Double prepositions are two simple prepositions used together, often indicating direction. Some examples include into, upon, onto, out of, and without.

  • Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess.
  • The baby climbed onto the table.
  • It is up to us to find the answer.
  • The loud noise came from within the stadium.
  • She never leaves without her phone.
  • The bird sat atop the oak tree.
  • The caterpillar turned into a butterfly.
  • I was unable to get out of the appointment.

Examples of Compound Prepositions

Compound prepositions (also called complex prepositions) consist of two or more words, usually a simple preposition and another word, to convey location. Some examples are in addition to, on behalf of, and in the middle of.

  • She sat across from Marie.
  • I attended the meeting on behalf of my company.
  • We were in the middle of the storm.
  • He has gym class in addition to his regular classes today.
  • He picked up the penny from beneath the couch.
  • Aside from singing, she also plays the piano at the bar.
  • My car is parked in front of the mailbox.
  • The weather will be good this weekend according to Tom.

Examples of Participle Prepositions

Participle prepositions have endings such as -ed and -ing, just like participial adjectives. Examples of participle prepositions include considering, during, concerning, and provided.

  • She is interested in anything concerning horses.
  • He works one job during the day and another at night.
  • The dog kept following him home.
  • All the neighbors were there including the new one.
  • The principal was asking questions regarding her behavior.
  • Considering his age, he did a great job.
  • He was frustrated at the situation.
  • The teacher said no talking during class.

Examples of Prepositional Phrases

Prepositional phrases are groups of words that include a preposition, an object and the object's modifier. Examples include phrases like on time, at home, before class, and on the floor.

  • We hiked through the forest.
  • The baseball game was canceled after the heavy rain.
  • John found his homework under the bed.
  • The children loved the gifts from their grandparents.
  • He succeeded with a little help.
  • We met to discuss the project about European explorers.
  • She left muddy footprints on the clean floor.
  • According to his wishes, his funeral will be private.

Use Prepositions Wisely

Your writing needs prepositions to show relationships between words. However, it’s easy to choose the incorrect preposition because many sound alike. Clear up any misunderstandings with: