PREPOSITIONS AND ADVERBIAL PARTICLES
Fishes live in water.
Put the oranges on that table.
We passed through a dark forest.
The words in, on, through in the sentences above are called prepositions. They are so called because they are placed before nouns or noun phrases they control. Such nouns and noun phrases are called objects of preposition. Prepositions indicate the relationship between two words or phrases.
Some simple prepositions commonly used:
About, before, down, of, since, above,
Behind, during, off, than, across, below,
For, on, through, after, beneath, from,
Upon, throughout, against, beside, in, outside,
Opposite, along, between, into, over, to,
Amidst, beyond, like, till, towards, around,
By, inside, round, toward, at, until, near, up,
Under, without, with, past, within.
Phrase prepositions: There are some phrases that act like prepositions.
He put his own life in danger for the sake of his son.
A big dog stood in front of the man gate.
In all these sentences the phrases in italics are doing the work of prepositions.
Such phrases are called phrase prepositions.
Some phrase prepositions in common use:
According to, by virtue of, in comparison to, Along with,
by way of, in favour of, Apart from, for the sake of, in front of,
As for, except for, in place of, Away from, in case of, in order to,
Because of, in addition to, in regard to, But for, in course of, in spite of,
By means of, on account of, with a view to, Due to, owing to instead of.
OBJECTS OF PREPOSITIONS
a) Nouns and noun phrases as objects.
He hid himself behind the tree.
They stood around the dinning table.
b) Infinitives as objects.
The bus is about to start.
c) Gerunds as objects.
She is fond of playing on the piano.
He is good at hunting.
d) Adverbs and adverbial phrases as objects.
The bus starts from here.
The doctor was here till a few minutes ago.
e) A clause as object.
Your appointment depends on how you fare at the interview.
Listen to what your father says.
POSITION OF PREPOSITIONS IN SENTENCES
i) A preposition is usually placed before the noun or the noun phrase which is its object.
He is waiting for you outside (prep.) the hostel (noun).
ii) In some sentences prepositions come after the infinitive.
He is a fine man to work with. (infinitive +prep.)
This is a good hotel to stay at.
iii) Prepositions can come at the end of a relative clause and questions.
This is not the umbrella I asked for.
What is he looking at?
iv) Prepositions can be placed at the beginning of some questions.
With whom did she go to the market?
For which bus are you waiting?
v) Some sentences have two objects , a direct object and an indirect object. If we put the indirect object after the direct object, a preposition is necessary.
I gave her a present.
I gave a present to her.
My father bought me a computer.
My father bought a computer for me.
USES OF PREPOSITIONS
a) Preposition of time: at, on, in.
At is used for a point of time and also for festivals.
We usually have dinner at 9 o’clock in the evening.
Our grandparents came to meet us at Christmas.
On is used for particular day or for part of a day.
We go to the grand mosque on Fridays.
He was born on 20th January, 1965.
In is used for a period of time.
It was very hot here in summer.
World War II started in 1939.
Some other preposition of time: after, before, by, during, for, from, since, throughout, till, towards, until, within.
b) Prepositions of direction etc. : across, at, before, behind, below, beside, between, by, in, into, near, on, over, around, through, to, towards, under, up, upon, within, without.
The child ran across the road.
Look at the blackboard.
The stranger stood before the gate.
I go to school everyday.
Meet me at the station.
c) Prepositions of mode of travels: by, on.
The group traveled by bus.(also by train/boat/air/taxi etc.)
We will go there on bicycles. (also on foot /horse back/ motor cycle etc.)
d) Prepositions in phrases expressing cause, reason, purpose: of, from, because of, on, through, for, at.
The patient died of malaria.
My brother is suffering from influenza.
The accident occurred because of the driver’s negligence.
I sat in the examination for the job.
He reached the top through hard work.
e) Prepositions of manner: by, lie, with.
He caught me by the neck.
Don’t believe like a fool.
The soldier faced the enemy with courage.
f) Prepositions of agency and instrumentality: with, an, by through, on.
Ali shot the tiger with his gun.
He was killed in an explosion.
Send it by post.
The message has come through a friend.
Speak to him on the telephone.
g) Prepositions of state or condition: at, in, on, under.
The country is at war.
Ali is in love.
The workers are on strike.
The bridge is under construction.
h) Prepositions of rate , measure etc.: at, on, by, for.
He drives at a high speed.
He worked on poor wages.
Cloth is sold by the meter.
I bought these books for a dollar each.
WORDS FOLLOWED BY PREPOSITIONS
(i) Verbs followed by different prepositions:
VERBS PREPOSITIONS NOUNS /NOUN PHRASES.
Abide by a decision, promise etc.
Abstain from wine etc. taking part in something.
Accede to request.
Accuse of crime.
Adapt to circumstances, condition.
Account for money spent.
Agree to a proposal, suggestion.
Agree with person.
Aim at someone, something
Allot to a person.
Allude to an incident, a personetc.
Answer for conduct
Apologize to someone
Apologize for misconduct, mistake
Appeal to a person, a higher court.
Appeal against a decision.
Appeal for help.
Apply to a person, office.
Apply for job, leave, permission.
Arrive at a place, a decision.
Arrive in city, country.
Avail of an opportunity.
Ask for someone, something.
Ask from person
Ask about something, someone.
Attend (give care to) to a job, aperson.
Attend (look after) on person.
Begin at a given time, place.
Believe in something.
Belong to someone, some place.
Boast of an achievement, possession.
Break into a house.
Bring (something) to light.
Bring down prices, government, aircraft.
Bring out a book, facts.
Bring up a child.
Burst into tears
Call for a doctor, police,
Call on a person.
Call out a person.
Care for someone, something.
Charge with a mission, misbehaviour.
Come across someone
Come of a good family.
Compare with peroson, things.
Compare to dissimilar things
Comply with a request, an order.
Consent to a proposal.
Consist of items, pages, members.
Consult with a person on some matter.
Congratulate on success.
Count on someone, something.
Dash against a tree, wall.
Deal in something
Deal with a person, a subject.
Decide on/against something.
Depend on someone, something.
Differ with person.
Differ from something
Die of a disease
Die from a wound.
Dissuade from an action.
Dispose of something.
Enter into a contract, an agreement.
Escape from prison.
Excel in music, painting.
Explain to someone.
Fall in love with someone.
Fight with/against a person.
Get over a shock, an illness.
Get through in examination.
Hope for something.
Inquire into an affair, complaint.
Inquire of a person.
Inquire after someone’s health.
Inform of something.
Insist on/upon some point.
Interfere with someone else’s affairs.
Invite to a party.
Jump to a conclusion.
Keep back a secret
Knock at a door.
Laugh at a person, a thing.
Lay down arms or condition.
Lead to a result.
Listen to a person.
Look up a word.
Object to a remark, proposal.
Part with something.
Prefer to someone, something.
Prepare for examination
Prevent from an action.
Provide for one’s family.
Quarrel over/about something
Refer to a subject, a person.
Result from a cause
Reward for honesty.
Run into debt
Run after money, fashions.
Save from harm
Search for someone, something.
See through someone’s trick.
Send for someone.
Smile at someone.
Speak on a subject
Speak of a subject or someone.
Stand by someone, something.
Start for a place.
Stick to one’s decision, a point.
Succeed in efforts, examination.
Sympathize with someone
Take off an aeroplane.
Think of/about someone, something.
Think over a problem
Touch upon a subject
Trust in a person.
Vote for/against a person, resolution.
Wait for person, a thing.
Wait on a person.
Warn off/against danger
Yield to someone, something.
Nouns followed by different prepositions:
Noun Preposition words
Access to person.
Admission to a place.
Affection for a person.
Anxiety about someone or something.
Application for a job.
Attack on a person.
Candidate for election, examination.
Cause for worry.
Claim on a person.
Comment on a statement.
Comparison with a person or thing.
Comparison between two persons or things.
Confidence in someone, something.
Contempt for a person.or thing.
Control over someone , something.
Cure for a disease,trouble.
Demand for something.
Desire for something.
Duty to someone, something.
Effect of medicines, temperature etc.
Escape from prison,.
Excuse for delay,absence.
Fondness for something.
Freedom from work, slavery.
Guarantee for a thing,or a person
Hope of something
Information about someone,something.
Invitation to a function
Key to success, mystry
Love of/for someone, something.
Need for something
Obedience to parents, orders.
Objection to something.
Opposition to a person, pan.
Order for things
Order for/against doing something.
Preference for something or someone.
Preference to/over a person/thing.
Pride in something
Progress in work.
Quarrel with someone
Quarrel between two persons
Request for help,leave.
Result of an action.
Skill in doing something.
Sympathy for a person or a cause.
Taste for something.
Want of something.
Adjectives followed by Prepositions:
Adjectives Prepositions words
Acceptable to someone.
Accomplished in dancing, singing.
Addicted to a bad habit.
Afraid of someone or something.
Angry with a person.
Angry at something.
Annoyed with someone
Anxious for news.
Applicable to a person, to a case.
Ashamed of one’s behaviour.
Aware of danger, circumstances.
Born of rich, poor, parents.
Capable of doing something.
Certain of/about something.
Common to a number of persons.
Confident of success victory.
Conscious of one’s weakness.
Contented with what one has.
Convicted of a crime
Deaf to advice, request etc.
Defeated in game, bttle.
Delighted with something.
Determined on a course of action.
Different from something.
Disgusted at something.
Displeased with someone
Disqualified for election,job.
Disqualified from dioing something.
Doubtful about doing something.
Eager for fame,success.
Eligible for post
Engaged in struggle,work.
Engaged to a person.
Faithful to a person,a cause.
Fit for a job
Fond of someone, something.
Free from blame, mistake.
Full of something.
Gifted with talent
Good at a subject.
Grateful to a person.
Guilty of crime.
Honest in dealings.
Hopeful about future, compromise.
Ignorant of rules, plans, events.
Independent of someone.
Indifferent to someone, something.
Innocent of crime, wrong-doing.
Interested in a person or thing.
Jealous of someone, reputation.
Loyal to a person, country.
Mad about someone, something.
Moved to tears.
Negligent of duties, obligations.
Occupied with some work.
Offended with someone.
Poor in spirit, health, quality.
Popular with men, people.
Proud of one’s success
Ready for action.
Related to someone, something.
Relevant to a subject, topic.
Responsible to a person for something.
Satisfied with one’s job.
Shocked at someone’s behaviour.
Short of funds
Similar to someone, something.
Sorry about something.
Slow at doing sums, accounts.
Sufficient for a purpose.
Suitable for a job.
Tired for someone doing something.
Victorious in war, battle.
SOME PREPOSITIONS OFTEN CONFUSED
a) In, Into: In is used to indicate position; Into to indicate movement and entrance.
There is some milk in the jug.
Fish swim in the river.
He quickly got into the bus.
The girl jumped into the water.
b) In, at: In is used in the expression like in an office, in a shop, in the world.
But we say, at the bus stop, at home, at a small village.
Look at these examples:
We have a picnic at the river. (i.e. by the side of the river)
He had a bath in the river.(i.e. in the river water)
The policeman arrived at the hotel. (i.e. at the hotel entrance
We hired two rooms in the hotel.(i.e. inside the hotel)
c) Between, among: Between is used in relation to two persons or things; among is used for more than two persons or things.
The two sisters shared the money between themselves.
The ship sails between Dhaka and Jeddah.
She distributed sweets among the school children.
The thief hid himself among the bushes.
d) For, since: For is used for a period of time, ; since is used for a point of time.
She has studied in this college for four years.
She has been playing for our team since last year.
e) From, since: From is used for both time and place; since is used for time only. From can indicate time in both past and future; since indicates time from a point of time in the past to the time of speaking.
He was busy from 6 o’clock to 10 o’clock.
Our holidays begin from the coming Monday.
He came straight from home.
I haven’t eaten anything since morning.
Look at these sentences:
The monkey climbed up the tree.
The smoke went up.
In the first sentence up is a preposition. it is placed before the noun the tree and shows the relation between the monkey and the tree. In the second sentence up is an adverbial particle. The adverbial particle behaves like an adverb. Here it modifies the verb went; up is an adverbial particle of place. Where did the smoke go? Up answer the question where.
He fell off the tree.(preposition)
Take your shoes off.(adverbial particle)
He wandered all about the town. (preposition)
The children were running about.(adverbial particle)
As shown in the examples given above, words like in, off, up, down, by, on, about etc. can function both as preposition and adverbial particles. But the following words function as adverbial particles only.
Away, back, out, backward, downward, forward, upward.
Adverbial particles are most commonly used in combination with verbs with which they form compound verbs or phrasal verbs. These verb-adverb particle combinations are of two kinds:
i) Where the verb and the adverb keep their original meanings.
Put your shirt on.
ii) Where the verb and the adverbial particle combine to give an entirely new meaning.
Put off the ceremony.(postpone it)
The watch has run down. (Stopped working)
Position of adverbial particles in a sentence
Look at these sentences:
He took away the dog.
He took the dog away.
He took it away.
When the object is a noun or a short noun phrase , the adverbial particle could be put either before or after the object. But if the noun phrase is long the adverbial particle is usually put before the object.
Keep out the dog.
He knocked down the man
Keep the dog out.
He knocked the man down.
Keep out the dog with dirty hair.
He knocked down the man that abused him.
Fill the blanks with suitable prepositions.
1. My brother came ….Thursday.
2. The train leaves… eight …Monday morning.
3. They were married…1975.
4. Children don’t go to school ….holidays.
5. The bus did not stop ….the bus stop.
6. We live … this street.
7. The train stopped ….a small station on way …the capital.
8. They received us ….the hotel. We first rat …the reception room.
9. He hid himself …. The tree.
10. They stood ….the main gate to receive the guests.
11. He lives …s big bungalow ….the river.
12. I went to his house ….the morning but could see him only …night.
13. Nights here are cool… summer.
14. We started …noon but reached the village only …sunset.
15. we worked …8 o’clock …the morning…seven ….the evening.
16. The school will remain closed…tomorrow.
17. We swam …the river and reached the other side safely.
18. Look… the picture…the wall carefully.
19. He took a coin… his pocket and dropped it …piggy bank.
20. We covered the whole distance ….bus…five hours.
21. We can’t go train We will have to go …..foot.
22. My children go to school ….bicycles.
23. The stranger came and sat …a tree …the roadside.
24. Take him …hospital. He is suffering… high fever.
25. Some people died….the accident…the spot. A few died later …wounds.
26. The poor man died ….tuberculosis.
27. He tried ….a job…many places.
28. Are you mad or are you acting …a mad man.
29. He caught her …the arm.
30. He hit the dog ….a stone..
31. This letter will go … airmail.
32. I came to know of his success……a friend.
33. Did you speak to her …..the telephone?
34. He hurt himself ….an accident.
35. Why do you drive ….such a high speed?
36. Milk is sold ….the litre.
37. Diesel is not available ….any price.
38. I bought this shirt ….five dollars.
Fill the blanks with suitable prepositions.
- There is enough tea …the teapot. Pour it…..the cup.
- I don’t want to go …the army. My preference is ….teaching.
- Go …the station. You will find him either ….the waiting hall or …the platform.
- Which factory does your father work….?
- There is a big park ….the two schools.
- Who …you will take the patient …the hospital?
- There wasn’t much love …the father and the son.
- The dacoits quarreled ….themselves over sharing the loots.
- He has been painting ….8 o’clock …the morning.
- They waited …hours in the hot sun to welcome the leader.
- There will be an exhibition of books on arts …next Monday.
Fill the blanks with suitable prepositions.
- Almost everyone agreed ….George’s proposal.
- The government has allotted this flat … us.
- The hunter aimed his gun …the bear.
- Avail yourself …this opportunity to go abroad.
- The report has brought the corruption ….the department ..light.
- You can’t accuse me ……dishonesty.
- The Principal congratulated me …my success.
- Do you believe…. ghosts?
- You can’t depend …..him to help you.
- We must fight …our right.
- She will take time to get …her grief.
- I like to listen ….pop music.
- I prefer tea …. coffee.
- They searched …the treasure everywhere.
- The king sent ……his minister for consultations.
- Do you ever think ….your parents?
- No one liked him. So, the whole town voted….him.
- The admissions …the school will start …Monday.
- A mother’s affection …her children is natural.
- We have received fifty applications …just one post ..a clerk.
- We must get united to fight the enemy’s attack ….our country.
- You will succeed if you have confidence….yourself.
- There is no cure…cancer.
- Children have a duty ..their parents.
- When will our country win freedom ….hunger?
- The television carries a guarantee …three years.
- Regular exercise is the key ……good health.
- There is a great need rfor a good book ….composition.
- Our preparation ….the journey are complete.
- He quarreled ……the conductor over the bus fare.
- We are all afraid …old age.
- The teacher is angry ….us for making so much noise.
- I am anxious …my father’s health.
- Aren’t you ashamed ….your behaviour at the picnic?
- They were defeated …the match.
- your shirt is not different …hers.
- He has served for twenty years and is eligible ….a pension.
- A short man is hardly fit ..the army.
- An intelligent student is good ….all the subject.
- Most young people are interested ….films.
- Film stars are quite popular …young people.
- Who is responsible…..this mistake?
- I am tired ….my job as a typist.
Fill the blanks with suitable prepositions and adverbial particles.
- She put…her new dress and went …for a stroll.
- Throw these rotten tomatoes……. They are not good…eating.
- She got …late ….the morning.
- I will pay you …..your money very soon.
- He looked …and prayed to God.
- We were all waiting …..him. But he hurried ….without looking …us.
- He caught him …the arm.
- The child fell….the water but a stranger quickly took him ….
- Ring him…. And ask him to meet us ….the street corner.
- Is the manager…. ? I wish to see him.