Relations shown by prepositions

Prepositions show various kinds of relations. The most important among them are the following:


  • She ran across the street.
  • The boy fell among the thorns.
  • We were at the foot of the hill.
  • The thief was hiding behind the cupboard.


  • I have a meeting in the afternoon.
  • You must return before sunset.
  • Wait till tomorrow.
  • We waited for hours.

Method and manner

  • The letter came by post.
  • He cut the cake with a knife.
  • They fought with courage.
  • They succeeded by hard work.

Reason and Purpose

  • She died of malaria.
  • He trembled with anger.
  • Smoking is injurious to health.


  • He is a man of principles.
  • Mumbai is the financial capital of India.
  • I saw a boy with red hair.

Direction and Motion

  • He fell into the well.
  • He climbed up the tree.
  • She walked towards the market.
  • The moon moves around the earth.

Objects of prepositions

The object of a preposition may be a noun, a pronoun, a gerund, an infinitive or a noun clause.

  • The house was built near a river. (Noun)
  • She was talking to him. (Pronoun)
  • We were prevented from entering the house. (Gerund)
  • What would you like to do besides watch a movie? (Infinitive)
  • I am content with what I have.  (Noun clause)