Archive for October, 2015

Some common prepositions and their correct use

October 22nd, 2015 in English Learning

Correct usage of some common prepositions are explained in this article.


In is used with the names of countries and large towns.

  • He was born in Australia.

In and at are used to talk about things at rest; to and into are used to talk about things in motion.

  • He spent the whole day in bed.
  • She ran into the room.
  • He went to the market.
  • The snake crawled into its hole.

Till and until

The prepositions till and until show time.

  • I waited for him till / until he came.

The preposition ‘to’ shows direction.

  • The children have gone to school.

With and by

The preposition ‘with’ denotes the instrument and ‘by’ denotes the agent.

  • The snake was killed by the boy. (NOT The snake was killed with the boy.
  • The boy killed the snake with a stick. (NOT The boy killed the snake by a stick.)

Preposition at the end of the sentence

The preposition can go at the end of a clause. This usage is considered acceptable in modern English.

  • She likes being looked at.
  • This is the boy I was talking about.

When the object of the preposition is the relative pronoun ‘that’, the preposition always goes at the end.

  • This is the file that you were looking for.
  • This is the house that I live in.

When the object is an interrogative pronoun, the preposition sometimes goes at the end of the sentence.

  • What are you looking at? (More natural than ‘At what are you looking?’)