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Sound Smart By Using The Correct Prepositions In Emails

Your guide to using common prepositions.

It’s time for another English lesson, because we could always use a refresher. So what exactly are prepositions? These are words used to describe or define direction, time, location, and spatial relationships.

Some common prepositions include: about, above, across, after, against, along, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, but, by, despite, down, during, except, for, from, in, inside, into, like, near, of, off, on, onto, out, outside, over, past, since, through, throughout, to, toward, under, underneath, until, up, upon, with, within, without.

These are what we use to link words together in a sentence. For example,

Direction: I’m going to his parents’ house for dinner.
Time: We’ve been working on this relationship since last year.
Location: We had our first kiss at the movie theater.
Spatial: My vibrator is inside the drawer beside my bed.


Generally speaking, there are two rules for using prepositions:

Rule 1: Preposition Choice

This is when specific prepositions follow certain words no matter what. It’s the only way for the sentence to actually make sense. And really, you just have to commit to memorizing them. Here are some examples: able to, capable of, preoccupied with, concerned by, prohibited from.

When you use these words and they sound weird, it’s probably because you’ve used the wrong preposition.

Rule 2: Preposition In A Sentence

Remember the term object of the preposition? Prepositions are almost always followed by a noun or a pronoun. A verb or an adjective can’t be the object of a preposition.

“I’ll see you at 9:00 p.m.
“I have a present for you.”
“She worked in marketing.”
“I didn’t think of that.”
“She went to the mall.”

Still confused? Here's a cheat sheet just for you! 


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