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Parts of Speech - Prepositions

  • A preposition is a word used to connect or show relationship between:
    • two nouns: The Jones live in a flat along Milton Avenue
    • a verb and a noun: The Jones live in Durban
    • an adjective and a noun: The boy was full of ideas
    • a pronoun and a verb: He sat between us
    • an adverb and a noun: Dick writes well for his age
  • A group of words preceded by a preposition is called a prepositional phrase. For example, ‘before the holidays’, ‘for whatever reason’, ‘owing to his lateness’
Kinds of Proposition
  • Simple Preposition: For example: about, above, according, across, after, along, amid, amidst, among, around, at, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, by, down, during, except, for, in, into, like, of, off, on, out, over, round, since, through, towards, under, underneath, until, unto, up, upon, with, without, from, before, etc.
  • Compound/Phrasal Preposition: These are words or phrases that work as prepositions. For example: instead of, on account of, owing to, with a view to, with regards to, in favor of, by virtue of, in course of, in addition to, in comparison with, for the sake of, in front, by means of, with reference to, in spite of, in order to, etc.
Kinds of Proposition
  1. We use ‘at’ to show an exact point of time. For example, hours, and names of festivals, as in:
    • The meeting will start at 2 o’clock
    • I’ll visit you at Easter
  2. We use ‘by’ to show the latest time at which an action will be completed. For example:
    • My spouse will probably visit me by the end of the semester
  3. We use ‘for’ with periods of time to indicate the duration of an action. For example:
    • I have been in the university for two years
    • I shall stay in America for one year
  4. The preposition ‘from’ is used with the starting point of an action in the past or future and usually colligates with ‘to’ or ‘until’. For example:
    • She lived in Lagos from 1981 until 1987
    • She will be home from 2 pm until 5 pm
  5. We use ‘in’ with the future tense to show the period in which an action will happen. For example:
    • In five month’s time
    • In the year 2000
    • In January 2001
  6. The preposition ‘since’ is used with a point of time in the past from which an action began and continues right up to the moment of speaking. For example:
    • I have lived in Awka since 1989
  7. Between/among is used for two and more than two, respectively. For example:
    • There was a fight between James and John and I was among the spectators
  8. Besides means ‘by the side of’ or ‘in addition to’. For example:
    • The pupils study English besides Arithmetic
  9. Using ‘with’, which shows relationship (friendliness or unfriendliness) people share. For example:
    • I sweep our room with my sister every morning
    • Olu goes to the farm with his father
    • I study with my friend in school every day
  10. Correct use of ‘from’, ‘of’, and ‘out of’. For example:
    • The table is made of wood
    • Ha has just moved into a house of stone
    • She is wearing a dress of silk
    • The church is built of steel and concrete
    • Garri is made from cassava
Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers
  • A dangling modifier is a sentence in which it is unclear what is being described (or modified). For example:
    • Incorrect: Hoping to excuse my lateness, the note was written and given to the teacher
    • Correct: Hoping to excuse my lateness, I wrote a note to the teacher
  • A misplaced modifier is a modifier that is incorrectly separated from the word that it describes. For example:
    • Incorrect: Sam bought a used car from a local dealer with a smoky tailpipe
    • Correct: Sam bought a used car with a smoky tailpipe from a local dealer
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