Special Uses of some Prepositions

Before dealing in detail with the special uses of some Prepositions, let us understand what are the primary function of a Preposition in a sentence structure?

Prepositions are words that are used to link the Noun or Pronuon to another part of the sentence.

Examples: On, It, At

The primary function of a Preposition is to indicate time, direction or location of an object.

Prepositions invariably must contain a Subject and verb before it and follow it up with another Noun or Pronoun, not a verb.


·         He put the eggs in the wrong basket.

·         She is going to her hostel in December.

·         I’ll meet you at sharp 6.30 p.m.

Special Use of In and At

Both “in”/ “at” can be used for cities, towns and villages.

“In” is used for a general location whereas “At” points out to a specific location / point.


·         My sister lives in Delhi.

·         Our plane stopped at Delhi on our way to Chandigarh.

 “At” is used to talk about group activities or shops or workplaces, specifically


·         I bumped into him at a party.

·         I saw him at the mall.

“In” is used with the names of streets and “at” for the specific House Number.


·         I live in Dumdum area.

·         I live at 85, R.N Guha Road.


“In” is used before a Noun to denote a certain period of time where it is used in sense of “within”


·         I shall be back in a an hour.



“By” means of something or someone and is mostly made use of in Passive sentences.


·         Do you usually travel by train?

·         He was beaten to a pulp by me.

·         The letter was written to him by Raghav.



With means accompanied by someone or something.


·         I will always be with you.

·         I have brought a pie with me.

·         H is playing with his toys.

·         It is an add on with the original product.

“On” is also used to denote on top of a surface.


·         The eggs are kept on the table.

·         I have to climb on the rooftop to reach there.


“Till” and “Until”

Both are used to denote time


·         We waited till 2 p.m. for the show to start.

·         They slogged until the project got completed.



It is used before a Noun / phrase to denote some point of time and is preceded by the verb in the perfect tense.


·         I have not seen him since last summer.

·         It has been three years since we parted.

“Before” / “After”

They are used to denote the time period of an event or an action specifically in relation to another thing.


·         We cannot leave the party before 1 p.m.

·         We left after the show ended at midnight.

(Other prepositions of time are throughout, during, around, about)



Denotes movement from one place to another.


·         We moved across six continents in the last 10 years.

·         He swam across the turbulent river to fetch help.


Denotes moving inside something and out from the other end.


·         The thread goes through the needle.

·         I can look through the glass.

English Grammar and Composition

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