English speakers use prepositions in both formal and everyday communication. Without them, the English language would sound short and choppy. If you have a child starting grammar lessons, read through the list of prepositions and take a quick refresher class on them so you can help them succeed.
Scroll down to go straight to the big list of prepositions.
Prepositions connect nouns, pronouns, and phrases with other words in a sentence. It gives information about location, direction, space, or time. Prepositions are usually part of a phrase because they often have a noun or pronoun after them. Here are two examples of prepositions in sentences:
The dog jumped over the fence.
I will go to the doctor.
The main job of prepositions is to create relationships between words. How is the dog related to the fence? It jumped over the fence. How am I related to the doctor? I am going to the doctor.
Prepositional phrases can also act like adverbs or adjectives. Remember that adverbs describe verbs (actions and being), and adjectives describe nouns and pronouns (ideas, people, places, and things).
As an adverb – The children crossed the street with caution.
The prepositional phrase “with caution” describes the way the children crossed the street.
As an adjective – He lives in the house with the red roof.
The prepositional phrase “with the red roof” describes the house in a specific way.
Children will see prepositions in their early reader books. In Kindergarten and first grade, children are focused on word recognition and reading skills. Basic sentence structure is taught, but it is too early for children that young to learn parts of speech. Below is a list of prepositions new readers can recognize easily.
List of Basic Prepositions
Preposition Starter List
As children develop their reading skills, they will learn the spelling and definitions of more complex words. They are introduced to prepositions and other parts of speech between the second and fourth grade. The following list shows some more advanced prepositions:
List of Advanced Prepositions
More Advanced Preposition List
Older elementary and middle school students are exposed to a variety of prepositions. This includes compound words and single words used in complex sentences.
Examples of Compound Prepositions
Of course, the English language is full of exceptions. Some prepositions seem to break the rules, yet make sense in everyday language. These are called idioms. A few common examples include the following:
List of Idioms
Prepositions are not always easy to identify in spoken and written language. However, they play a big part in making the English language colorful and interesting. Use this list of prepositions as a quick guide to help your student learn about prepositions.
List of the Most Common Prepositions
Common Prepositions Starting with A
Common Prepositions Starting with B
Common Prepositions Starting with C
Common Prepositions Starting with D
Common Prepositions Starting with E
Common Prepositions Starting with F
Common Prepositions Starting with G
Common Prepositions Starting with I
Common Prepositions Starting with L
Common Prepositions Starting with M
Common Prepositions Starting with N
Common Prepositions Starting with O
Common Prepositions Starting with P
Common Prepositions Starting with R
Common Prepositions Starting with S
Common Prepositions Starting with T
Common Prepositions Starting with U
Common Prepositions Starting with V
Common Prepositions Starting with W
Tips for Helping Your Child Learn Prepositions
Some children will learn prepositions without much difficulty. Others will struggle with learning them and using them properly. If your child falls in the latter category, here are some tips to help them out.
Be patient with them. Some children take longer than others to learn certain material. If you rush your child through academic milestones, they may not learn the information as they need to. Take your time when working through academic struggles with your child, and understand that they may take a while to grasp prepositions. Be understanding and calm, and you'll find that your child will end up learning better in the end.
Use online websites to help. A lot of websites offer additional material to help your child learn prepositions. Many of these sites have fun activities or games about prepositions; these can be a great way to get your child used to working with them. Children who are having fun are more likely to learn effectively, since they'll have a good reason to pay attention and to try. Alternatively, some of these sites have video tutorials that may explain prepositions in a way your child can understand.
Quiz them. By frequently quizzing your child on all of the prepositions, you'll help them memorize them. At random times, ask your child for the U prepositions, or for a sentence that uses an A preposition. Don't overwhelm your child, but make sure you quiz them frequently. In addition to helping them learn, quizzing your child will help you identify prepositions that your child is struggling with.
Get them a tutor. If your child is still struggling with prepositions after following the above tips, get them a tutor. A tutor will help guide them to success, and will build their confidence. Find a tutor that specializes in tutoring English. There are both online and in-person tutoring options that you can do for your child. Pick the one that fits your financial ability and your child's needs best.
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