Preposition Exercises (With Printable Worksheet)

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Danielle McLeod

Danielle McLeod is a highly qualified secondary English Language Arts Instructor who brings a diverse educational background to her classroom. With degrees in science, English, and literacy, she has worked to create cross-curricular materials to bridge learning gaps and help students focus on effective writing and speech techniques. Currently working as a dual credit technical writing instructor at a Career and Technical Education Center, her curriculum development surrounds student focus on effective communication for future career choices.

Propositions are parts of speech that you use every day in English grammar to build your sentence structure into something that is understandable. But, when I ask a class to name a preposition, they struggle to provide an answer despite their adept use of them.

Most teachers assume prepositions are easily recognized because they are a lesson taught early in grade school. But for English language learners or secondary students, a review is necessary.

Let’s take a look at a quick preposition basics guide to help you recognize what a preposition is and why you use them is important.

What Is a Preposition?

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Prepositions are words (or groups of words) that are placed before a noun, noun phrase, or pronoun. They offer information concerning an introduction of an object, time, direction, place, location, and spatial relationships.

They are very common, familiar, and uncomplicated. There are over 150 prepositions regularly used in the English language, but the average person only uses approximately 50 of the same ones over and over.

For example:

  • The wind pushed the door into the glass window, causing it to shatter. (Preposition: into)
  • We found our lost kite between the fence and trees in the backyard. (Prepositions: between, in)

Prepositions Concerning Time

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When referring to one point in time, the prepositions “in,” “at,” and “on” are commonly used.

For example:

  • We build a snowman in the winter.
  • We wake up for school at 5 am every day.
  • I write my lesson plans on Thursday every week.

When referring to extended time, use the prepositions “since,” “by,” “for,” “during,” “within,” etc.

For example:

  • I have been working here since 2014.
  • I should be done with work by 5:00.
  • I will be on vacation for two weeks.
  • I work during the weekends.
  • I will be done within the next 2 hours.

Prepositions Concerning Direction

When referring to directions, use the prepositions “to,” ”in,” “into,” “on,” and “onto.”

  • I’m going to the theater after work.
  • When you arrive, walk in the front door and past the window that leads into the kitchen.
  • Don’t walk on the grass.
  • Instead, walk up the stairs onto the pathways that lead into the backyard.

Prepositions Concerning Place and Location

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When referring to places, use the preposition “in” to explain the point itself, “at” for a general vicinity, “on” for surface placement, and “inside” for things that are contained.

For example:

  • I’ll meet you in the classroom after school.
  • Wait at the corner for me to pick you up.
  • Leave your tablet on the desk.
  • The pens are inside the office drawer.

When referring to objects higher or lower than a specific point, use the prepositions “over” and “above” or “below,” “under,” “beneath,” and “underneath.”

For example:

  • The mosquito evaded us by flying over our heads and back under the window.
  • Put your backpack beneath your desks.
  • Get the dog out from underneath the deck.

When referring to objects close to a point, use the prepositions “among,” “next to,” “near,” “by,” etc.

For example:

  • My car is parked near the curb.
  • Go next door and ask if they have any sugar.
  • Your shoes are by the back door.
  • The cat is lying among the flowers.

Let’s Review

The word (or group of words) placed before a noun, noun phrase, or pronoun is called a proposition. These are simple words that provide information about the time, direction, location, and spatial relationships of the subject or objects in a sentence.

We use them every day in our speech, and their placement is important so your audience understands you.

Let’s practice recognizing correct prepositional use in the grammar exercises below!

Prepositions Exercise #1

Prepositions Exercise #1

Choose the letter of the correct preposition in parentheses.

This classroom smells (like, as) propane.
No, I did not talk to him. I was only there (for, during) a half hour.
We always buy milk (of, by) the gallon.
Susanne rushed (in, into) the kitchen and threw her library book (on, over) the table.
He took a trip cross-country (in, by) train.
Jon has resided in Michigan (for, since) two years.
Max is laying (in, on) the sofa (at, in) the den.
I took the painting (above, on) the fireplace down.
Has Michael gotten back (at, from) work? Yes, he is (in, at) his room.
The flight is ( on, in) time. It will arrive (in, by) three hours.
I heard you met Mr. Kaney (at, during) your stay in Charleston.
The muffins are (for, to) breakfast.
Would you go (by, with) us (by, in) our car so we get the directions correct?
I used to live (at, on) Green Street (in, on) Johnsonville.
I studied (for, during) three hours, (at, from) 6:00 pm (until, by) 9:00 pm.
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Prepositions Exercise #2

Prepositions Exercise #2

Complete the sentence with the correct preposition from the choices given.

Our new director was thankful ______ everyone who helped with the can drive.
My dad yelled up the stairs ____ me because I didn’t complete my chores.
For six months, the man was fighting ____ his right to keep a cat in the apartment.
All of the students will benefit _____ the new program that is focused on critical thinking.
Turning your work in on time can keep you _____ failing your classes.
I was very upset _____ the final essay exam results.
Five people were sworn _____ the honors society.
Almost all major businesses care _____ the community they are located in.
The customers were very upset _____ their service.
She insisted ____ helping me finish the project.
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Prepositions Exercise #3

Prepositions Exercise #3

Fill in the blanks with the appropriate preposition in the following paragraph.

__________ April 6 the Community Players of Hobbs will open __________ the Lea CountyTheater ________ a viewing _________ a local director’s play, When it All Ends. When first shown _________ the state drama competition a week ago, the critics gave the Community Players excellent reviews. High-rated reviews are typical for this group, who have entertained local and state audiences ________ their talent __________ the past three years. In fact, they were so popular _________ their last season performances, that their play stayed open _________ three extra months.

Tickets are on sale now _________ the box office __________ the Lea County Theatre __________ a special two week engagement. There will be a performance every night, except Monday, ___________ 8:30 p.m., and a matinee ________ Saturday and Sunday _________ 1:30 p.m. Reservations may be made __________ telephone or on the website.
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