What are the Kinds of Prepositions

Prepositions are an essential part in the English language and there are different kinds of prepositions. Said that, let’s see what is preposition before finding the answer  to the question, what are the different kinds of preposition in English Language? Preposition is a subject that many of the learners of English language struggle with. This is because, the rules regarding prepositions have a number of exceptions and thus making it hard for many of us to use the appropriate preposition at the correct place. This difficulty, however, does not lessen the value prepositions have. Without prepositions we cannot finish a good piece of writing or make a comprehensive and beautiful speech. So, it becomes very necessary  to understand the kinds of prepositions in order to use them appropriately.

Definition of Preposition

According to the High School English Grammar and Composition, ‘a preposition is a word placed before a noun or a pronoun, to show what relation the person or thing denoted by it stands in regard to something else.’ In other words, preposition makes a connection between a noun or pronoun with something else. This other thing to which the preposition connects the noun or pronoun can be another noun, an adjective or a verb. A preposition is always placed before a noun or a pronoun too.

There is no salt in the soup. (noun – noun )

She is happy about him. ( noun – adjective)

I took off the ring (noun – verb)

Preposition in creates a relationship between salt and soup in the first. About creates a connection between happy and him in the second sentence. In the third sentence, the preposition off creates a connection between took and ring.

There are three kinds of prepositions. They are Simple Prepositions, Compound Prepositions, and Phrase Prepositions.

What are the Kinds of Prepositions 01

‘There is no salt in the soup.’

Kinds of Prepositions

Simple Prepositions

Simple prepositions are the normal prepositions we use such as in, by, under, through, etc.

She was in the room.

The boat went under the bridge.

I saw him through the broken window.

In the above sentences, the prepositions in, under and through are used. The preposition in shows where the subject was, with regard to the room. In the second sentence, the preposition under shows the relationship between the boat and the bridge. It shows how the boat passed the bridge. In the third sentence, the word through is the preposition. It shows how the speaker saw a man. This person saw this other person through the window. In this way, simple prepositions are used in sentences.

Compound Prepositions

Compound prepositions are the prepositions that are formed by adding the preposition to the front of a noun, an adjective or an adverb. Usually, in these constructions, if the prefix that is added to the beginning of the noun, adverb or adjective is ‘a’ it is equal to no; if that prefix is ‘be,’ that is equal to the preposition by.

She went to the party without me. (with + out)

They ran inside the building. (in + side)

She sat beside me on the bench. (by + side)

In the first sentence, the preposition without is made by adding with and the adverb out. In the second, the preposition inside is made by adding the noun side to the preposition in. In the third sentence, the preposition beside is made by adding the preposition by to the noun side.

What are the Kinds of Prepositions 02

‘She went to the party without me. ‘

Phrase Prepositions

Phrase prepositions are groups of words that use the force of a single preposition.

According to Harry, I cannot go.

I need you to understand the situation for the sake of our daughter.

His response with regard to the fight was very unacceptable.

According to, for the sake of, and with regard to are phrase prepositions. They carry a group of words with them with prepositions.


A preposition placed before a noun or pronoun connects it to another noun, adjective or verb. Kinds of prepositions are Simple Prepositions, Compound Preposition, and Phrase Prepositions. Simple prepositions are the normal prepositions we use such as in, by, under, through, etc. Compound prepositions are the prepositions that are formed by adding the preposition to the front of a noun, an adjective or an adverb. Phrase prepositions are groups of words that use the force of a single preposition.

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