Prepositions are short words (on, in, to) that usually stand in front of nouns (sometimes also in front of gerund verbs). Even advanced learners of English find prepositions difficult, as a 1:1 translation is usually not possible. One preposition in your native language might have several translations depending on the situation. There are hardly any rules as to when to use which preposition. The only way to learn prepositions is looking them up in a dictionary, reading a lot in English (literature) and learning useful phrases off by heart (study tips).

There are about 150 prepositions in English. Yet this is a very small number when you think of the thousands of other words (nouns, verbs etc). Prepositions are important words. We use individual prepositions more frequently than other individual words. In fact, the prepositions of, to and in are among the ten most frequent words in English. Here is a short list of 70 of the more common one-word prepositions. Many of these prepositions have more than one meaning. Please refer to a dictionary for precise meaning and usage.

Prepositions "Of", "To", and "For"

Used for belonging to, relating to, or connected with:

Used to indicate reference:

Used to indicate an amount or number:

Used to indicate the place, person, or thing that someone or something moves toward, or the direction of something:

Used to indicate a limit or an ending point:

Used to indicate relationship:

Used to indicate a time or a period:

Used to indicate the use of something:

Used to mean because of:

Used to indicate time or duration: