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A Preposition List: Ready to Connect?
A list of prepositions contains fewer than 200 words. That’s not many considering English contains at least a couple hundred thousand words. It’s amazing that the list of all prepositions is so short considering they are used to demonstrate how words and phrases connect in nearly every single sentence. In fact, most sentences contain more than one connecting word. That means you’ll use words from a prepositions list more often than you will nouns, verbs, and most parts of speech. Now that you know how important these connecting words are, let’s take a look at a preposition list and all of its functions including a prepositional phrase list.
A Preposition List: Categories of Connecting Words
Instead of creating a single list of prepositions, let’s discuss the different groups that exist. You can organize these words in two ways. First, by words you use to create connectors. Second, by function.
Certain ones help describe different kinds of information in a sentence, therefore it makes sense to organize these words into groups. Let’s go over the words that comprise each group, so you understand how each category is different. It’ll give you a good start to creating you own list of all prepositions.
Prepositions List: Connecting Words by Word Group
1. A Simple Preposition List
Nearly half of the prepositions you use in the English language are “simple” words. Simple words mainly have one or two syllables and connect words in a sentence. Here’s a list of common prepositions:
It’s said that it’s grammatically incorrect to have a preposition end a sentence. This is not always true. Though it does not follow the traditional rules of connecting a subject to a noun or verb, it can be done when you use a casual tone. For your papers and more formal writing, stick to keeping these words away from the end of a sentence.
Though the above is not a complete prepositions list, it does cover many of the more common words you’ll encounter. Reading ahead, you’ll find there are numerous words that fall under a complete list of all prepositions. However, to get there you will have to memorize and be able to differentiate between every single one.
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2. A Double Preposition List
Now that you’ve seen the prepositions list above and know what a single preposition (or connecting word) is, you can move on to double prepositions. Basically, they are a combination of two simple connecting words. For instance, onto, inside, and without are all examples of double connecting words.
These words are very similar to compound prepositions (which will be covered in the next section), and they’re easy to mix up. That’s because compound connecting words also contain two individual words which take on one meaning. But there are some subtle, and more noticeable differences between double and compound prepositions.
The most noticeable difference is that instead of forming their own individual words (like compound connecting words do), double words combine into one. Let’s take a look at some examples:
A List of Prepositions: Double Words
3. A Compound Preposition List
As you can see, double words enjoy being together. Compound words on the other hand, prefer their own space. Words like regardless of, as for, and prior to are examples of compound connecting words.
Compound connecting words are also made up of two words, just like double words. But instead of coming together, they retain their individuality. They are two words with one joint meaning. Here is a list of prepositions for compound words found in English:
List of Prepositions With to:
- According to
- Close to
- Due to
- Near to
- Owing to
- Prior to
- Relative to
- Subsequent to
- Thanks to
List of Prepositions With of:
- Ahead of
- Because of
- Inside of
- Instead of
- Out of
- Outside of
- Right of
List of Prepositions With for or from:
- Apart for
- Apart from
- As for
- Aside from
- Except for
- Out from
- As per
- Rather than
- Where as
The second way you can tell compounds apart from doubles is from the actual words that make up a group of compound connecting words. If only one of the two words in the pair is a simple word, then you’re dealing with a compound phrase. A double word always uses two simple words and never just one.
The prepositional phrases list also has more than one word in each listing, but they differ from compound and double words. We will explore this more in section “5. A Prepositional Phrase List.”
Now that you know the differences, you’ll never mix the two up again. Here’s an informative site that explains this in greater detail.
4. The Participle List of Prepositions
Some gerunds, or -ing forms of verbs, can act as connecting words. There aren’t too many that function this way, so there aren’t too many participle prepositions to remember. Here’s the participle preposition list:
5. A Prepositional Phrase List
A prepositional phrase list includes groups (known as phrases) of different words that together act as a connecting word. The group/phrase can contain verbs, adverbs, and other parts of speech.
Remember, do not confuse these with compound or double words. All of the groups on this list of prepositional phrases have at least three words and are phrases instead of a pairing of words. Here is a list of prepositional phrases you should be aware of:
Prepositional Phrases List
- As far as
- As long as
- As soon as
- As well as
- In addition to
- In regard to
- In spite of
- On top of
- With regard to
- With the exception of
This list of prepositional phrases were sorted based on the words that made up each connecting word or group.
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Connecting Words by Function
1. The Time List of Prepositions
There aren’t many connecting words that describe time, however, the words that do actually play a large role in the English language. With these words, you can describe when something will or did happen. The following prepositions list shows connecting words used to describe time:
List of Common Prepositions for Time
2. Place Prepositions List
The list of place words is very similar to the list of time words. In fact, they share much of the same language.
List of Common Prepositions for Place
So, how can you tell whether a sentence includes a place or a time connecting word? When you can’t determine based on the connecting word alone—you must look at the context. Place words mostly describe physical location, whereas time words describe when something takes place.
- My birthday party is on Monday.
- Drew is currently on a cruise ship.
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3. List of Prepositions for Agent
Connecting words that explain agent, help your audience understand the relationship between a noun or pronoun and another word in a sentence. Each sentence with an agent connecting word will explain how someone affects someone or something else. There are three words that show an agent connection. These words are by, without,and with. Agent words are the same words that you’ll find on a list of prepositions for instruments.
- This painting was designed by Warhol, but painted by his staff.
- You can’t unlock a computer without the password.
- Warhol also worked on this painting with his friend Basquiat.
Review Questions & Exercises
Compared to other parts of speech, a list of all prepositions is a short one, but is important nonetheless. Becoming familiar with each prepositions list above will help you further your understanding of English grammar.
Feel like you’ve absorbed everything above? Do you know what double prepositions are? Do you remember what words are on the list of prepositional phrases ? Flex your knowledge using the questions and exercises below.
- What is the difference between a double and a compound preposition?
- Look at the prepositional phrases list. Create 3 example sentences using the phrases on the prepositional phrases list.
- Find a short online article or post that you like and copy and paste it into a document. Highlight every preposition in the article that is also on the list of common prepositions for time and place.
- Review this guide and make your own preposition list of words you’re not familiar with. Make it your goal to memorize them and make an example sentence using each word.
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