Prepositions show concepts and ideas such as time, place, direction, and manner. They also can demonstrate relations and connections between ideas.
Some common prepositions, presented in alphabetical order are – about, above, after, around, before, behind, beside, between, during, for, in, on, to, under, with, and without, .
Thus, a plane can be above, below, between, around, through, by, in, on, off, out, under, over, and to.
We are going to the store- ‘to’ shows movement and direction.
John is hiding under the covers- ‘under’ shows location.
The birds fly through the air- ‘through’ demonstrates movement.
We will have cake after dinner– ‘after’ demonstrates time.
We have been waiting for so long– ‘for’ shows relationship.
Small two or three letter word prepositions that appear in titles are usually not capitalized unless they are the first or the last word of the title.
One set of prepositions that gives students difficulties is- At, On, and In.
Below is a guide to help make it easier to remember.
In- the most general
On- a little more precise
At- the most precise
I live IN the United States. – City, town, farm, country? This is general.
I live ON Highway 200. – Ok we know the street but house or apartment?
I live AT my parent’s house. – Now we know exactly where you live.
I will be there IN the morning. – Which morning and what time of the morning?
I will be there ON Tuesday morning. - Ok now we know what day of the week.
I will be there AT 3:30. – We know the specific time to be looking for you to arrive.
I am IN my car. – Is the car moving, parked, driving, stalled, broken down?
I am ON the highway. – Ok we know where you are more specifically.
I am AT the red light. –Now we have a specific place to look for you.