Prepositions – Definition and Types

Preposition of Time

What is a preposition of time?

A preposition of time is a preposition that allows you to discuss a specific time period such as a date on the calendar, one of the days of the week, or the actual time something takes place. Prepositions of time are the same words as prepositions of place, however, they are used in a different ways. You can easily distinguish these prepositions, as they always discuss times rather than places.

  • At – This preposition of time is used to discuss clock times, holidays and festivals, and other very specific time frames including exceptions, such as “at night.”
  • In – This preposition of time is used to discuss months, seasons, years, centuries, general times of day, and longer periods of time such as “in the past.”
  • On – This preposition of time is used to discuss certain days of the week or portions of days of the week, specific dates, and special days such as “on New Year’s Day.”

Prepositions are essential parts of speech that indicate relationships between words in a sentence. They usually show the location, direction, time, or manner of action or relationship between nouns, pronouns, or phrases.

The function of Prepositions:

  1. Showing Location: Prepositions indicate where something is in relation to something else.
    • Example: The cat is on the table.
  2. Expressing Direction: Prepositions show the direction of movement.
    • Example: They walked towards the park.
  3. Indicating Time: Prepositions express when an action takes place.
    • Example: The meeting is scheduled for 3:00 PM.
  4. Depicting Manner or Means: Prepositions show how an action is performed.
    • Example: He plays the guitar with passion.
  5. Showing Possession: Prepositions indicate ownership or possession.
    • Example: The book belongs to him.
  6. Describing Relationships: Prepositions indicate connections between words.
    • Example: She is sitting beside her friend.

Common Prepositions:

Some frequently used prepositions include:

  • in, on, under, over, above, below
  • beside, next to, between, among
  • through, across, along, around
  • by, with, without, for, against
  • during, after, before, at, from, to

Prepositional Phrases:

Prepositions often come with objects, forming prepositional phrases. The object of the preposition can be a noun, pronoun, or gerund (verb ending in -ing).

  • Example: She walked to the park.
  • Example: They met with their friends.

Avoiding Common Mistakes:

  • Use the correct preposition that fits the context.
  • Ensure proper placement of the preposition in relation to its object.

Prepositions play a crucial role in structuring sentences and adding detail to your language. A strong grasp of prepositions enhances your ability to communicate accurately and clearly.

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