6 Types of Prepositions with Examples in English

Today we’ll discuss about the types or kinds of prepositions you can say and learn them in brief with example sentences.

We know that Prepositions are a major component of English language, a preposition is placed between noun and governs the  relationship between noun or pronoun(object) to the other words in a sentence (noun phrase), it is placed before a noun to show in what relation the person or thing denoted by it stands in regard to something else.

There are six kinds of prepositions and Now It’s time to have a look at most common types of relation that these prepositions show.

1. Preposition for Place

Prepositions of Place are used to show the relationship with the noun phrase in context of the place for example about, across, against, on, to etc.

Let us understand them by their use in sentence.

  • Went about the world.
  • Ran across the road.
  • Leaned against the wall.
  • Kolkata is on Hooghly.
  • Came to the end of the road.
  • Within the house.

2. Preposition for Time

Prepositions of Time are used to show the relationship between noun phrase and preposition in the context of any time examples are after, at, by, since, during etc.

Have a look at following sentences to see how they are used :

  • After his death.
  • At an early age.
  • By Three o’clock.
  • Since yesterday.
  • During the whole day.

3. Preposition for Agent or Instrument

Prepositions for Agent are used to show a relationship between a noun, perhaps noun as a doer in case of agency and an instrument as in instrumentality and an action. For example at, by, with, using etc.

Take a look at sentences to see how they are used.

  • Sell goods at an auction.
  • Sent the parcel by the post.
  • Cut it with a knife.
  • Was destroyed by the fire.

4. Preposition for Manner

These types of prepositions tell you about the way something happened or how it is done. for example by, with, like etc.

Following sentences will help you learn the way they are used.


  • Dying by inches.
  • Fought with courage.
  • Won with ease.
  • Adam says he laughs like a dog.

5. Preposition for Cause, Reason, Purpose

These are the prepositions that in show the reason of  something  happening or being in a sentence.

These help us to know why something is happening. Examples of these types of prepositions are of, for, with etc.

Following sentences will tell you how they are used.

  • Died of fever.
  • A man of means.
  • The place for a picnic.
  • Shivers with fever.
  • Took medicine for cold.
  • Did it for our good.

6. Preposition for Possession

These prepositions are used to indicate that one noun or pronoun owns something in the sentence. examples are on, of, with etc.

Let’s look at some sentences to learn how they are used.

  • There was no money on him.
  • The mosque of Omar.
  • A man of means.
  • The boy with red hair.

It will be seen that the same preposition, according to the way in which it is used, would have it’s place under several heads, like at can be used both for time and place. It should be noted there are other types(uses) as well, like measure, standard, rate, value, contrast, concession, inference, motive, source, or origin, and all of it could be understood with the given reference.

Before ending our discussion on types of prepositions you might want to have look at different classes of preposition based on the number of words a preposition contains.

There are three classes in which the prepositions are divided –

1. Simple Prepositions

They are the most basic form of prepositions for example – At, by, for, in, of, off, out, till, through, up, with etc.

2. Compound Prepositions

They are generally formed by prefixing a preposition to noun, an adjective, or an adverb.

For example – About, above, across, along, amidst, among, amongst, around, before, behind, below, beneath, between, beyond, inside, outside, underneath, within, without etc.

3. Phrase Preposition

When group of words are used with the force of a single preposition it is called a phrase preposition. following are some examples –

  • According to – He acted according to my instructions.
  • agreeably to – Agreeably to the terms of the settlement, we herewith enclosed our cheque for Rs. 1000.
  • by dint of –  He succeeded by dint of perseverance and sheer hard work.
  • by means of – By means of rope and ladders they scaled the wall.

To make an important note, there is also a class which is formally not noted,  but still by and large is seen as a class of preposition which is participle preposition. These prepositions are actually present participle of a verb for example – barring, concerning, considering, during, etc. Which are used absolutely without any noun or pronoun being attached to them. For all practical purposes they have become preposition, and are sometimes distinguished as participle preposition.

Keep exploring EnglishBix for more quality resources on how to correctly use prepositions while writing sentences.

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Types of AdjectivesExamples of Noun Words
Examples of Prepositional PhrasesSix Rules of Prepositions

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