Preposition List

10 Sep 2013


What is a Preposition?

A preposition is a word or phrase typically placed before a noun and indicates the relation of that noun to a verb, adjective, or other noun.

Richard Lanham’s “Paramedic Method” consists of six steps to create clear and concise copy. The first step is to find and eradicate unnecessary prepositions. But, if you don’t know how to spot a preposition, how can you eradicate it?

Mrs. Moore, my third-grade teacher, taught me to identify most prepositions by asking the question, “Can a cat do it to a box?” For example, a cat can go over, by, beyond, behind, around and through a box. This is a quick and easy way to single out most prepositions, but it doesn’t work every time. A cat can’t go like, subsequent to, or aside from a box, but these are all prepositions. To assist you, I’ve put together a list of the most common prepositions in English.

Four Types of Prepositions:

One-Syllable Prepositions
Two-Syllable Prepositions
Combined One-Syllable Prepositions
Combined Word Prepositions

17 One-Syllable Prepositions:

in with like
at by on
near to from
down off through
out past up
of for

21 Two-Syllable Prepositions:

about along below during
above among beneath except
across around beside inside
after before between outside
against behind beyond over


6 Combined One-Syllable Prepositions:

into upon without
onto within throughout


6 Combined-Word Prepositions:

according to out of on account of aside from
prior to owing to by means of inside of
in front of because of subsequent to as to

For those of you that a picture speaks a thousand words, check out the article on the Visual Representation of Prepositions.

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