The Correct Use of Some Prepositions

At, in. Note their following two uses:

  1. With reference to the time it is used for a point of time; in for a period of time in which something happens; as,

He came at daybreak (or at sunset).

At an early hour this morning, the Hall was full of noise.

In this month (year, season) many famous men died

He was born in 1950.

He will start at five o’clock in the morning.

  1. With reference to space, at is used for small and less important places, villages and small towns, it is used for large places, countries and large towns as,

He lives at Lakheri.

He lives at Nadbai.

He lives in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai.

He lives at Maulasar in Rajasthan.

I met him at Moga in Punjab.

  • By, with. By used after Verb in the passive to express the agent or doer of the action expressed by the Verb. With is used the instrument with which the action is done.

The farmer was killed by a robber with a knife.

The essay was written by me with a fountain pen.

The tree was cut by the man with an axe.

  • On, upon. On is often used in speaking of things at rest. Upon is generally used in speaking of things in motion-, as,

We sat on the ground.

The cat sprang upon the table.

  • In, into. In implies a state of rest or position inside anything; while into denotes motion towards the inside of anything; as,

He is in his room (Rest)                          He is in the class. (Rest)

He fell into the river (Motion)               He jumped into the river : (Motion)

  • In, within. In denotes ‘at the end of some future period within means before the end of; as,

He will return in [= at the close of] a week.

He will return within [= in less than] a week.

  • After, in. After is used to denote at the end of a period of time in the

past while it is used to denote at the end of a period of time in the future; as,

She came after a week [= when the week was over]                               (Past)

She will come in a week [= when the week is over]                           (Future)

  • Since, for. Since is used to denote a point of time in the past, for is used to denote a period of time in the present, past or future as’
    He has been sleeping since 6 o’clock.              (Point)
    He has been sleeping for the last four hours.           (Period)

Note: We cannot say — ‘He has been sleeping since four hours.’

  • Since, from. Since is used to denote a point of time and comes after a \jerb in the Present Perfect Tense while from may be used with any form of tense. Another difference is that since can be used only in reference to past time whereas from can be used also for present and future

I have not met her since last week.

He has been ill since Friday last.

I have been unwell since Monday.

He began learning Sanskrit from the age of five.

He begins school today.                  (Present)

He will become a regular student from tomorrow. (Future)

  • Before, for Before, is used in Negative and Affirmative sentences alike to denote a point of future time. For is used in Negative sentences to denote a period of future time.

I shall not be there for (not before) an hour.                       (Negative)

I shall be there before 6 o’clock.                                           (Affirmative)

I shall not be there before 6 o’clock.                                    (Negative)

  • Between, among. Between is used in speaking of two persons or things: among refers to more than two persons or things; as,

He stood between two girls.

A quarrel arose between the two sisters.

Slavery still exists among certain tribes.

The brave soldiers quarrelled among themselves.

There is said to be honour among thieves.

  • Beside, besides. Beside means by the side of; besides means in addition to as,

She sat beside me [= by my side].

His answer is beside [= outside of] the point.

Besides [= in addition to] advising her, he helped her with money. Besides being fined, he has imprisoned.

Exercise 1: Correct the following sentences, giving reasons for the corrections:

  1. He cut his throat by a knife.
  2. I am suffering from fever from Monday last.
  3. My brother is ill from the second of March.
  4. He walked in the hall.
  5. These three soldiers quarrelled between themselves.
  6. He lives in Rishikesh in Uttarakhand.
  7. She sat besides me.
  8. It has been raining since three hours. .
  9. Beside being fined, he was sent to prison.
  10. At about what time will you come?
  11. This book is quite different than that.
  12. We met her on the station.
  13. It rained since early morning.
  14. It is no use to make.excuses.

Exercise 2: Fill up the following blanks with appropriate Prepositions :

  1. ___________ giving him advice, he gave him some money.
  2. She worked and sang from morning______________
  3. He is quite a different man____________ what I expected.
  4. I prefer being thought an idiot____________ being thought a rogue.
  5. I have a Preference ___________ mangos ___________ apples.
  6. They waited ___________ the bus stop ___________ the next bus.
  7. I Prefer walking ___________ cycling.
  8. She supplied the poor ___________ food.
  9. She was very fond ___________ reading novels.
  10. She died ___________ grief ___________ her lost son,
  11. I have been here ___________ a long time
  12. I left mumbai three weeks ___________ and have live in delhi ___________ then.
  13. ___________ last month the weather has immproved.
  14. It has been raining ___________ yesterday.
  15. He was born ___________ a small village ___________ Uttar Pradesh.
  16. The Flying Mall Departs ___________ 1 P.M. for Amritsar.
  17. I have been working hard ___________ athematics.
  18. The letter was written ___________ me ___________ a ball -pen.
  19. He was praised ___________ all ___________ good behaviour.
  20. It is impossible to agree ___________ him ___________this point.
  21. I am sorry to differ ___________ you ___________that question.
  22. He was killed ___________ a highway man ___________ a dagger.
  23. I received a letter ___________ ten ‘o’ clock ___________ the morning.
  24. Divide this apple ___________ two persons it is two small to be divided ___________ forty parts.
  25. I have not seen your brother ___________ his marriage.
  26. He was beside himself ___________ joy.
  27. Blessed are the pure ___________ heart.
  28. Eye ___________ an eye and a tooth ___________ a tooth.
  29. I took him ___________ his word.
  30. Matters appear to be ___________a Stand still.

Exercise 3: Use appropriate Prepositions, given in brackets, in the following sentences

  1. What is the time (in, by) your watch?
  2. Your method is different (than, from) mine.
  3. I have no use (of, for) it.
  4. They are very proud (of, about) their success.
  5. The train is (in, on) time. ,
  6. We had to write the paper (in, with) ink.
  7. Open your book (at, on) page twelve.
  8. We must inquire (into, about) the matter.
  9. Someone is knocking (at, on) the door.
  10. H§ is married (to, with) his cousin.
  11. He was placed (between, among) two girls.
  12. She comes (of, from) a noble family.
  13. The soldiers marched (in, into) the courtyard.
  14. He was standing (among, between) his subordinates.
  15. He is true (to, with) his friend.
  16. He was struck (with, by) a stone.
  17. I differ (with, from) you on that point.
  18. The edition is very different (to, from) the other.
  19. He is not suitable (to, for) this post.
  20. She was struck (with, by) lightning.
  21. lam sick (with, of) idleness.
  22. He congratulated me (for, on) my success.
  23. His path was beset (by, with) difficulties.
  24. Your statement does not correspond (with, to) his.
  25. (Beside, Besides) advising us, he gave us money.
  26. The train is (behind, after) time.
  27. He is not (at, in) home just now.
  28. Distribute the mangoes (among, between) the students.
  29. Do not translate word (by, for) word.
  30. (From, Of) what family is she sprung?

Exercise 4: Insert suitable Prepositions in the following sentences

  1. I pray you not to be angry ____________ me.
  2. I do not agree____________ your proposal.
  3. I agreed_________ him ____________ all points.
  4. Abstain_________ evil and do good.
  5. We walted ____________ anxiety ____________ news ____________ her safe arrival.
  6. They arrived ____________ the raiway station just ____________ time.
  7. The culprit is charged ____________ murder.
  8. She has a passion ____________ reading novels.
  9. I felt the necessity ____________ doing it.
  10. Is it necessary ____________ you to answer all the questions?
  11. I have reconclied myself ____________ my lot.
  12. He was relived ____________ his post.
  13. He has no cause ____________ complaint.
  14. One star differs ____________ another is glory.
  15. That young gentleman is engaged ____________ miss brown.
  16. The purse was full ____________ money.
  17. He was indifferent ____________ charms of beauty.
  18. She is now married ____________ a rich merchant.
  19. They did not care ____________the concert.
  20. He deals ____________ Japanese silk.
  21. His style was deficient ____________ ease and variety.
  22. He Could not convince me ____________ the truth of his statement.
  23. You must deal fairly ____________ your fellowmen.
  24. Criminals are deprived ____________ their liberty.
  25. I Correspond ____________ her regulary.
  26. Depend ____________ the word of your true friend.
  27. Can pleasure be derived ____________ an action that gives pain to others?
  28. Temperance consists ____________ avoidance of excess.
  29. He is confined ____________ bed.

Exercise 5: Fill in the blanks with suitable Prepositions

  1. I prefer a book of travels_______________ one of adventures.
  2. Can you cure me______________ this disease?
  3. More things are wrought______________ prayer than this world dreams.
  4. We furnished her______________ a copy of that letter.
  5. My relations_____________ her are quite friendly.
  6. I am now_____________ good terms with her.
  7. We must sympathise_____________ others ____________ their distress.
  8. You will have to answer___________ your master__________ that mistake.
  9. He made a living___________ begging____________ door___________ door.
  10. Do not complain____your hard lot.
  11. I congratulated her ____________her recovery ____________ a serious illness.
  12. She was vain ____________ her beauty.
  13. You must apologise ____________ her ____________ What you have done.
  14. I was annoyed ____________ her ____________ saying that.
  15. We must inquire ____________ the matter.
  16. She rejoiced not only ____________ her own sucess, but also ____________ mine.
  17. You must provide ____________ your children ____________ the evil day.
  18. Aim ____________ doing your duty ____________ all risks.
  19. He is vexed ____________ her ____________ what she was done.
  20. I depend ____________ her coming ____________ five ‘o’ Clock.
  21. She has not replied ____________ my letter.
  22. What do you make ____________ all this?
  23. There is no execption ____________ the rule.
  24. He is too miserly to part ____________ money.
  25. I shall not act ____________ compulsion.
  26. I am not blind ____________ my faults.
  27. He did not come ____________ to my expectations.
  28. He takes ____________ his father in good looks.
  29. The boys put ____________ a good fight, but their opponents were too strong.
  30. He has lately come ____________ a lot of money, so he can spend it freely.

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