Forms of Prepositions

Forms of Prepositions, The English Learners Guide to Mastering Usage

Learning a foreign language demands significant time, commitment, and consistent effort. For English learners, classroom settings may not suffice to attain fluency rapidly, so self-directed instruction remains necessary to supplement their learning.

Attending language classes or training centers offers opportunities to practice English with classmates, participate in group exercises and activities, receive prompt feedback, and learn from the expertise of teachers. Conversely, self-study complements classroom instruction by enabling learners to acquire background knowledge, broaden their vocabulary, develop robust reading habits, and reinforce skills that could be limited by class time and size.

However, identifying appropriate resources for self-study can be intimidating. Not all materials suit individual learners’ language abilities or learning preferences. To undertake this challenge, a comprehensive grammar hub was established by, covering all major English grammar topics with extensive instructional content. This section specifically focuses on providing a detailed discussion of prepositional forms.

lillypad english learning app banner

Types of Prepositions Reference Guide for ESL and English Language Students

If you’re seeking a comprehensive and exhaustive resource on the different Forms of Prepositions, you’ve landed in the right place. This grammar hub is tailored for English Language Learners regardless of their aptitude grade. While these pages may offer greater usefulness to Beginners or Intermediates, Advanced students will benefit from their wide coverage, specialized categorization of different types or forms of prepositions, real-world examples, and in-depth breakdowns of rules and concepts.

These pages and their subsections are designed to be a user-friendly and complete resource for prepositional forms and other grammar topics, available for your reference and examination at any time. English is an innovative language that continuously evolves, and as a result, these sub-pages are regularly modified and updated. We suggest saving or bookmarking them for future use.


Some prepositions are used to specify the position of people or objects. They mainly include “at,” “in,” and “on,” and can apply to various locations. These rules can be intricate, and many English learners struggle to differentiate them. To address this, we’ve included a table on this page listing commonly used locations and places exclusively for each Preposition of Place in English.


Prepositions of Manner, also known as method prepositions, describe how things are done or how events occur. They answer the question “how” and include prepositions such as by, in, on, and with. This page concentrates on these four commonly used prepositions of manner to clarify their functions and nuances in language usage. One frequent error made by students is using incorrect prepositions in established English prepositional phrases.

lillypad english language software CTA


This page provides useful sections on the regulations and applications of Prepositions of Time, which connect nouns to other parts of a sentence to indicate when an event happens or happened. They answer the question “when” and involve prepositions such as at, ago, before, by, during, for, from, in, on, since, till/until, and to. These are the most widely used prepositions of time that may have overlapping or similar meanings, making them pose a challenge for English learners. This page simplifies the concepts for a better grasp of the subject.


To specify the direction of people or things in motion, we use Prepositions of Direction typically in combination with an action verb. These prepositions establish a link with movement, which is why they’re also referred to as prepositions of movement. Some reference books may group them with prepositions of place or location. These are some of the confusing elements that English learners may face when studying broad topics such as prepositions. Luckily, this page uses tables of regulations and functions, example sentences, and frequently asked questions to make learning less confounding.

Situation and Comparison

Prepositions of Comparison are used to contrast, distinguish, or draw a comparison between two individuals, objects, concepts, etc. Some commonly used prepositions of comparison include between, like, than, and unlike. English learners often encounter various complexities while studying extensive topics like prepositions. Luckily, this page provides a comprehensive set of tables that outline rules and functions, accompanied by sample sentences and frequently asked questions, to simplify the learning process and grant it more clarity.

lillypad english learning app banner


Prepositions of Degree or measure are used to express quantity or quality in various contexts, such as standards, rates, or values. The number of prepositions of degree is limited and includes frequently used ones such as at, by, for, to, and of. This page provides valuable resources, including tables that outline rules and functions, as well as sample sentences and frequently asked questions. These resources aim to make it easier for learners to understand and grasp the concepts at hand.


English learners often encounter several nuances when studying large topics such as prepositions. Fortunately, this page provides valuable resources to enhance accessibility and facilitate better comprehension, including tables that outline rules and purposes, sentence examples, and a list of common errors. Prepositions of Cause, which answer the question “why,” are often grouped with prepositions of effect or reason due to their similar purpose. These prepositions are used to indicate the reason behind an event or the intention of an action. The most commonly used prepositions to express cause include for, due to, owing to, and because of.


A type of preposition that explains the reason or intended goal of an action is the Preposition of Purpose. They are especially valuable when dealing with verb phrases since they provide essential context to the action being described. Prepositions of purpose can also be used in sentences with two verbs, such as “He came by to pick up the package,” which explains the purpose of the subject’s visit. By incorporating purposeful prepositions, sentences become sharper in an efficient manner. Explore this page to learn more about the effective use of prepositions of purpose.

English Grammar Learning Infographic


To refer to the effect of an action or event, we use Prepositions of Result. These prepositions describe how something is impacted by the outcome of another action or event and provide a more detailed context within the sentence. Prepositions such as “due to,” “from,” “because of,” and “through” are examples of prepositions of result. This page provides useful resources, including tables of rules, sentence examples, and learning tips to assist English learners in understanding and using prepositions of results correctly.


Prepositions of Agency are used to signify the doer of an action in a sentence. They clarify who performed the action and are commonly used with passive verbs to emphasize agency in the sentence. Common prepositions of agency include “by,” “with,” and “through.” Learning prepositions can be challenging for English learners, especially since it covers a wide range of topics. This page offers a helpful resource for students by providing tables that explain the rules, sample sentences, and tips for avoiding errors. These resources make it more accessible for learners and help them understand the topic better.


Prepositions that depict the method by which something is done or how one subject is connected to another are called Prepositions of Means. They clarify the method by which an action occurred or the tools or equipment utilized. They can be classified into two categories: instrumental and modal means. Instrumental means refer to the specific tools employed, while modal means describe the essential conditions for something to happen. Knowledge of these prepositions can improve students’ verbal and written communication skills by providing clarity to action phrases and precisely describing the connections between ideas.

lillypad english learning app banner

Frequently Asked Questions:

It is important to keep in mind that any list of the “most common” English vocabulary, including prepositions, is not absolute. English is a language that is constantly evolving, with new words and phrases gaining popularity and eventually becoming integrated into standard use.

Therefore, the list of the 10 most widely used prepositions is subject to change over time. Nevertheless, most resources agree that the top 10 most commonly used prepositions are in, on, to, for, at, by, from, with, of, and about. Each of these prepositions has multiple meanings and unique functionalities.

A prepositional phrase is a cluster of words that starts with a preposition and ends with a noun or pronoun. Prepositions usually consist of a single word, such as ‘at’, ‘on’, ‘in’, ‘after’, or ‘between’, but can also be phrases like ‘according to’ or ‘in spite of’.

Prepositional noun phrases can provide additional details to enrich the meaning of a sentence by conveying implications that often cannot be conveyed without the preposition. Prepositional phrases can also substitute adjectives or adverbs in expressing specific qualities, such as “I’m looking forward to summer” instead of saying “I’m excited about summer”. Prepositional phrases make our language more vivid and expressive for everyone. 

No, they cannot. Prepositional phrases are composed of a preposition and its object, which can be a noun, pronoun, or noun clause that functions as a noun. Although gerunds, which are present participle forms of verbs, can serve as nouns and may form part of a prepositional phrase, they are not considered verbs in the context of the phrase.

Yes, as you may have encountered in a notice like this: “In case of fire, break glass.” Prepositional phrases that start sentences do not always require a comma. For instance, “Down the road the car went” is an example of a similar sentence structure that many writers use in their works. 

Yes, that’s correct. Despite the widespread notion that ending sentences with prepositions is incorrect, there is no grammar rule that forbids it. In fact, attempting to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition can frequently lead to clumsy and convoluted phrasing. For instance, the sentence “Where are you going to?” is much more natural and effective than the awkward “To where are you going?”

It’s worth noting that many highly regarded literary works and other publications employ prepositions at the end of sentences, further underscoring their acceptability in contemporary English.

The following are preposition types: time, place, movement, measure, manner, source, possession, and agency. If you want to study them further, explore our grammar hub and take a look at each dedicated page on all types of prepositions.

LillyPad english language app CTA icon

Learn from History – Follow the Science – Listen to the Experts

For learners of all ages striving to improve their English, LillyPad combines the most scientifically studied and recommended path to achieving English fluency and proficiency with today’s most brilliant technologies!

What’s the one thing that makes LillyPad so special? Lilly! Lilly’s a personal English tutor, and has people talking all over the world! Lilly makes improving your English easy. With Lilly, you can read in four different ways, and you can read just about anything you love. And learning with Lilly, well that’s what you call liberating!

Additionally, the platform incorporates goal-setting capabilities, essential tracking & reporting, gamification, anywhere-anytime convenience, and significant cost savings compared to traditional tutoring methodologies.

At LillyPad, everything we do is focused on delivering a personalized journey that is meaningful and life-changing for our members. LillyPad isn’t just the next chapter in English learning…

…it’s a whole new story!

Do you want to improve your English? Visit

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram!

lillypad english learning app icon