Part 1: PSC English Guide – Prepositions

Here is a guide for PSC English questions and answers on prepositions. A preposition in the English language is a word that links a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase to some other part of the sentence. The most commonly used prepositions in the English language are “On”, “At” and “In”.

In English, the prepositions can be classified into three main categories. They are: “Prepositions of Time”, “Prepositions of Position”, and “Prepositions of Direction”.

Prepositions of Time

Usage of “AT”
  • With a definite point of time: ‘I usually get up at 5.0′ clock.’
  • With festivals: ‘He left Delhi at Holi and will return at Christmas.’
Usage of “IN”
  • With the parts of the day, month, seasons: ‘He takes walks in the morning’, ‘In summer the weather is warm’.
  • With future tense referring to the period in which an action occurs.
Usage of “ON”
  • With days and dates: ‘on Monday, on Friday‘, ‘My birthday is on the 2nd of June
Usage of “BY”
  • With the latest time at which an action is over: ‘The meeting will be over by 5 p.m.’
Usage of “FOR”
  • With the perfect continuous tense showing the duration of action: ‘He has been waiting here for three hours
Usage of “SINCE”
  • With the point of time an action begins and continuous, used in the perfect continuous tense: ‘He has been waiting here since morning‘, ‘Since 1980, he has been working here.’
Usage of “FROM”
  • The starting point of an action: ‘This water came from a spring.’

Prepositions of Position

Usage of “AT”
  • To an exact point: ‘He is waiting at the door.’
Usage of “IN”
  • To larger areas: ‘He lives in Mumbai.’
Usage of “BETWEEN”
  • For two persons or two things: ‘It is a secret between you and me.’
Usage of “AMONG”
  • With more than two individuals or things, but before the word starts with a consonant letter: ‘Divide the sweets among the five girls‘.
Usage of “AMONGST”
  • With more than two persons or things, but before the word starts with a vowel: ‘Divide the sweets amongst us.
Usage of “ABOVE”
  • Above is used for higher than…: ‘We were flying above the clouds.
Usage of “UNDER”
  • Under is used for lower than: ‘She sat under the tree.
Usage of “BELOW”
  • Below is used for lower than: ‘Your work is below average.
Usage of “OVER”
  • Over is used vertically above: ‘The bedroom is over the kitchen
Usage of “BENEATH”
  • A lower position: ‘The ground beneath is slippery

Prepositions of Direction

Usage of “TO”
  • To express motion from one place to another: ‘He walked to the school and back.
Usage of “TOWARDS”
  • To a particular direction: ‘He rushed towards me.
Usage of “INTO”
  • To denote motion towards the inside of something: ‘She fell into the well‘.
Usage of “AT”
  • To aim: ‘He aimed at the dog.
Usage of “FOR”
  • To denote direction: ‘He left for U.K
Usage of “OFF”
  • To denote separation: ‘He fell off his chair.
Usage of “FROM”

To denote the point of departure: ‘I parted from my friends.

Some other Prepositions and use:

  1. ABOUT: Shows nearness.
  2. ALONG: stands for in the same line: ‘She led them along the corridor.’
  3. AFTER/BEFORE: are used with point of time: ‘This happened before/ after 1998.
  4. ACROSS: stands for direction, from one side: ‘She ran across the road.
  5. BEHIND: means at the back of : ‘She sat behind the door.
  6. BEYOND: means ‘by the farther side of’: ‘This is beyond my power.
  7. BESIDE: means ‘by the side of’: Í sat beside him.’
  8. BESIDES: means ín addition to’: ‘Besides being a teacher, she is a writer.’

Words Followed by Prepositions (Examples)

  • Absorbed in reading
  • Accurate in calculations
  • Accused of theft
  • Acquainted with someone
  • Acquitted of theft
  • Afraid of someone/something
  • Agree with a person
  • Agree to a proposal
  • Angry with someone
  • Angry at something
  • The new lesson begins at page 50
  • Let us begin with the first poem
  • Beware of something
  • Compare with something
  • Love is compared to madness
  • He deals with his customers
  • Arun deals in computer software
  • Differ with an opinion
  • Differ from State differs from other rocks
  • Congratulate someone on his success
  • Eligible for a post/position
  • Engaged in studies
  • Engaged to – His Daughter is engaged to my son
  • Escape from someone/place
  • Fond of something
  • Inferior to – My work is not inferior to yours
  • Guilty of murder or something
  • Junior to – He is junior to me by one year
  • Laugh at someone
  • Loyal to someone/ your country
  • Mourned for – The people mourned for their dead leader
  • Good health is necessary to man
  • It is not necessary for you to apply for leave
  • Notorious for something
  • Parted from someone
  • Prevented from doing something
  • Proud of an achievement/ some person etc
  • Qualified for a post
  • Refer to a dictionary
  • Relieve of pain
  • Rely on something
  • In search of
  • Sure of success
  • Sympathise with
  • Sympathy for the poor
  • Taste of music/dance…
  • Trust in God
  • Grow weary of life
  • Yield to someone

Source: THOZHIL VARTHA WEEKLY

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