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Prepositions: a Simple, Step-by-Step Explanation

(Click the PLAY button at the bottom to listen while you read)

1 What Are Prepositions?

It is important you fully understand prepositions in English. When you use them correctly, your reading, listening, speaking, and writing greatly improve.

preposition is a word we use to show a connection.

Examples of prepositions: behind, on, in.

The word “preposition” comes from Latin, from prae (meaning “before”) + ponere (meaning “to place”).

2 Why Are Prepositions Important?

It is hard to make logical sentences without prepositions!

Let’s take a look at the following example:

It’s hard to understand what the this woman is saying, right? That’s because all her prepositions are missing.

Now, let’s put back the missing prepositions:

So now we can understand where the flowers are:

3 Test Your Understanding

Before we continue, let’s test your understanding.

4 Different Types of Prepositions

There are different types of prepositions. For example, there are prepositions of place. Prepositions of place help us understand where something is.

The books are on the bookshelves.

The lamp is by the armchair.

The window is behind the armchair.

We will learn more about this in the course.

A Short Game: Prepositions of Place Memory Game

There are also prepositions of time. Prepositions of time help us understand when something happens.

Hungarian warriors wore this during the 10th century.

This church was built in the 14th century.

This church was built after the 14th century.

This church was built before the 14th century.

Two important prepositions in the English language are IN and ON. Sometimes, it seems they mean the same thing and it is not clear how to use them. This course will help you clear up any confusion.