Prepositions are one of the most varied and difficult to remember in English. In order to use prepositions fluently, we must study hard and often. Let’s take a look at the following very important knowledge about prepositions with IELTS Fighter.

Watching: What is Preposition

I. Definition: A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between the words in a phrase or in a sentence. Words that usually go after a preposition are Object, V-ing, Noun Phrase…Example:She is sitting in the room.I don’t have interest in learning Chinese.

II.The position of the preposition:

1. After “tobe”, before nouns:+ The book is on the bookshelf. = The book is on the shelf.+ I will stay in Japan for 2 years. = I will stay in Japan for 2 years.

2. After the verb: It can be immediately after the verb, there can be another word between the verb and the preposition.+ I live in Nha Trang = I live in Nha Trang.+ She usually turns the air-conditioner on at night. = She usually turns on the air conditioner in the evening.

3. After adjectives:+ I’m very worried about my father’s illness. = I am very worried about my father’s illness.+ She is angry with him. = She is angry with him.

III.Some mistakes made when using prepositions:

1) Infer from the usage we have met before: For example: Before we met : worry about : worry about Next time we meet the word : disscuss _____ (discuss about ) so we infer from the above sentence and fill in about , that’s wrong.

2) Didn’t realize that the preposition changed because we saw the same noun: Example: Before we met : in the morning So when we met : ___ a cold winter morning, we saw morning so we chose in => false (true) out must use on)

3) Influenced by Vietnamese: For example: Vietnamese says: polite to someone, so when you meet: polite, immediately use with (with) => false (should use to).

IV. The form of the preposition:

1) Simple prepositions: Prepositions with one word: in, at, on, for, from, to, under, over, with…

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2) Doubleprepositions: A preposition created by combining two simple prepositions: Into, onto, upon, without, within, underneath, throughout, from among …

3) Compound prepositions: A preposition formed with the prefix a or be: About, among, across , amidst, above, against, Before, behind, beside, beyond, underneath, between, below…

4) Participle prepositions: According to (depending on), during (about), owing to (due to), pending (while), saving = save = except (except), notwithstanding ( although ), past (over, through) consider (considering), regarding/regarding/touching (about, about), excepting = except (except)…

5) Phrases used as prepositions: Prepositions of this type include a whole phrase:Because of (because); By means of (do, by); In spite of (although); Print opposition to (opposite of ); On account of (because); In the place of (instead of); In the event of (if);With a view to (with the intention to);On behalf of (on behalf of);-In view of (about);With reference to (about the matter, refer to) …

6) Preposition in disguise: This is a group of prepositions hidden in another form: At 7 o’clock (o’ = of): At 7 o’clock

V. Common types of prepositions:

1) Time from time: -At : at (usually goes with hours) -On : on (usually goes with days) -In : on (usually goes with month, year, season, century) -Before: before -After : after-During : (about) (go with nouns of time)

2) Prepositions of place: -At : at (for small places like schools, airports…) -In : in (inside only), in (big places, cities, provinces, countries, continents…)-On,above,over : on_On : above but only in surface contact.

3) Prepositions of movement:-To, into, onto : to+To: indicate the approach to the person, thing, or place.+Into: approach and inside that object or place+Onto: continue approach and surface contact, at the outermost edge of the object, location-From: indicating origin Ex: i come from vietnamese-Across : across Ex: He swims across the river. (he swims across the river)-Along : along-Round,around,about: around

4) Prepositions of manner:-With : with-Without : no, without-According to: theo-In spite of : although-Instead of : instead

5) Prepositions of purpose:-To : to-In order to : to-For : for you, for you-Example: Let me do it for you : let me do it for you.-So as to: to

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6) Prepositions of cause:-Thanks to : thanks in-Through : do, because-Because of : because-Owing to : thanks in, do in–By means of : thanks, by means

BECAUSE. The meanings of some common prepositions:

1/About: Around. Example: She looked about him :She looked around him.Everywhere, around. Example: He walked about the yard. he walked around the yard. approx. Example: It takes about 5 minutes to the bus station : It takes about 5 minutes to get to the bus station. Return. Example: What are you talking about? you’re talking about something that?

2/Against: Against, against. Example: struggle against … fight against Encounter. Example: She drive against the wall : she drove against the wall. Lean on. Example: He placed his guitar against the trunk : He placed his guitar against a tree.Compared. Example: The company now has 70 employees against 30 last years : the company now has 70 employees staff compared to 40 employees last yearPrepare, plan. For example: She saved moneyagainst her business plannext month :she saved money for next month’s business plan.


– At (place).Example: The teacher is at the desk: the teacher is at the desk.

– At (time). Example: I get up at 6.00 : I get up at 6 o’clock

Idioms for status.+At work : working+At play : playing+ At oen’s prayers : praying+ At ease : comfortable+ At war : at war+ At peace : at peace

Idioms indicating direction.Example: -Rush at somebody: rush towards someone

Point at : point at. Example: The teacher pointed at me : the teacher pointed at me.

Idioms for quantity. Example: I estimated the class at 50 : I have a class size of about 50 people.


Next to, next to. Example: She sat by the river : she sat by the river

Before. Example: You should be at the party by 9 pm : you should be at the party by 9 pm.


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Example: I saw her passed by your house : I saw her passing by your house.

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By.Example: I was bitten by his dog: I was bitten by his dog.

In place.Example:He took me by the hand: he took my hand.

Theo.Example: Don’t judge people by their appearance: don’t judge others by their appearance.


Because , for.Example: I save money for my children. I spend money for my children.

Just time.Example:She has studied English for 2 years : she has been studying English for 2 years

Just the reason.Example: I hate myself for being lazy : I hate myself for being lazy

Direction only.Example:He left for Paris : He went to Paris

Exchange only. Example: I paid 10 dollars for that pair shoes: I paid 10 dollars for that pair of shoes.


From (somewhere).Example:She went from her house (she came from her house)

Origin only.Example: I am from Vietnam (I am from Vietnam)

From + time.Example: From Tuesday to Sunday (from Tuesday to Sunday)

Just the difference.Example:She looks different from others.


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Example: He suffers from bellyache : ( he has a stomachache)


Time indication: in time

Only place: in the street

Session : In the moning

Months and up: in May , in spring, in 2008, in the 19th century.

8/Status only

To be in debt : to be in debt

Be in good health : have good health

Be in danger : be in danger

Be in bad health

Be in good mood : being happy

Be in tears : crying

VII.Idioms with prepositions

-In such case : in such case – In short, in brief : in summary – In fact : indeed – In other words : in other words – In one word : in short – In all: total – In general : in general-In particular : in particular-Little by little : gradually-Day by day : day by day-Two by two : one by two-By mistake : by mistake.-Learn by heart : memorized

That’s it Unit 19: We have almost finished our prepositions, now you can continue with the next lesson!