Learning prepositions can cause many difficulties for learners of the English
It does help to learn what prepositions are -- and how they are used -- but more
importantly, you need to know the word combinations that you'll find them in.
It's a fact, some words just go together and all you can do is learn them 'by
There are no specific reasons why-- well, at least
notobvious ones -- and students often find this particular item of the English language
difficult to master.
In fact, speaking as someone who has taught English as a foreign language for twenty
years, I would say that prepositions have caused my students the most difficulties.
That said, it pays to take a look at some of the pages in this site as you'll find
plenty of useful and practical information regarding prepositions and the best way, or ways, to learn
You can get started by having the following question answered...
What are prepositions?
Well, they are words that show the relationship between other
words in the sentence. They come before nouns and pronouns and sometimes, (rarely) before other words. Plus,
they don't change form with gender or case differences as do other words.
Example: What are you doingafter school today? (time)
Example: What did you do thatfor? (why did you do that?)
Example: I grew up next to, orbeside, the school. (place, right next
As can be seen from the examples above, there are prepositions of place, time and
There are also prepositions of position, movement, ways and means, group
relationships and comparisons to name a few. You'll find more information about all types of prepositions on others
pages within this site.
If you're interested in a completelist of
prepositions, Wikipedia has a good one. You can go to it by clicking on
the preceding link.
***Follow the links in the menu at the left of
this page to see more pages concerning English prepositions and prepositional phrases.