Prepositions are abstract words that have no concrete meaning. They merely show the relationships between groups of words. A good way to test if a word is a preposition is to position it in front of phrases like "the box" or "the sides of the box" and see if the phrase makes sense. For prepositions concerning time, try positioning the preposition in front of a phrase like "the movie." (This rule works for about nine out of ten prepositions). Here are some
examples: across the box under the box around the box near the box on top of the box along the sides of the box
Such a phrase that begins with a preposition is called a prepositional phrase. The noun that comes after a preposition or concludes the prepositional phrase is called the object of a preposition. Here is a list of the most common prepositions. aboard above across after against along among around at before behind below beneath beside(s) between beyond but* by down during except for from in inside (of) into like near of off (of) off
on (top of) out (of)
outside over past** since*** through til to toward(s) under underneath until
up upon with within without
*But can also function as a pure conjunction. **Past can also function as a noun or an adjective. ***Since can also function as a subordinate conjunction
Should I end a sentence with a preposition?
The so-called "rule" about never ending a sentence with a preposition comes from Latin grammar. In Latin, the word order of a sentence didn't matter; subjects and verbs and direct objects could appear in any sequence. However, the placement of prepositions was important. Latin sentences could quickly become confusing if the preposition does not appear immediately before the object of the preposition, so it became a stylistic rule for Latin writers to have objects always and immediately following prepositions. That meant a sentence would never end with a preposition. When English grammarians in the 1500s and 1600s...