Some common prepositions and their correct use
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?’)