Preposition 6

A preposition is a word placed before a noun or pronoun to show its relation with some other word in the sentence.

  • He works hard in the hope of standing first.
  • We met at night.
  • The book is on the table.
  • We stay at home during the holidays.
  • I will be there by ten O’ clock.
  • It has rained for three hours.
  • He pointed to the tree.

In the above sentences, the italicised words in, at, on, by, for and to are prepositions. The nouns that come after them are called their objects. Thus, ‘hope’ is the object of ‘in’ : home is the object of at; holidays is the object of ‘during’. Ten’ is the object of by ; hours is the object of fof and tree is the object of to.
The Prepositions generally serve three important purposes :
(a) Indication of Time
(b) Indication of Place
(c) As a part of the Verb

The Preposition
(a) Indicating Time
Time is indicated mainly by at, on, in, during, by, and for.
1. At
(i) At is used for a point in time :
We shall meet at 6 O’clock.
He came at midnight.
Similarly, at dawn, at sunset, at the end, at the beginning etc. (uj At it used before festivals :
We have a holiday at Dewali.
Similarly, at Holi, at Christmas, at New year etc.

2. On
(i) On is used for a particular day, whether it is a date (e.g. 5 June, Feb. 14th), a day {e.g. Monday, or a special day in a year (e.g. Dewali Day, Holi Day etc).
I will come on your birthday.
They go to church on Sunday.
(ii) On is used for a particular part of such days as described above.
I will come on the night of 10th July.
We will meet on Friday afternoon.

3. In
(i) In is used before a period of time : in the winter, in July, in the year 2005, in the morning, in the evening.
I first met him in 2005.
Cricket is played in India in winter.
(ii) In is also used to show the total length of time taken to complete an activity or operation.
This train will get you from Delhi to Chandigarh in four hours.

4. During
When an action or a situation continues for sometime, during is used before that specified period.
We enjoyed ourselves during the vacation.
People work during the day.

5. By
(i) By is used to denote the ultimate point by which something was or is to be completed.
I have to complete the work by Monday.
The applications should reach by 14 February.
(ii) By is used with day and night where it means during.
He travelled by day and slept by night.

6. For
For is used before a time phrase to denote that so much time has passed during which an action or a situation continued.
I have not seen him for two years.
We waited for an hour but he didn’t turn up.

Important Points
(i) The prepositions at, on and in are not used if the noun giving time has an adjective with it.
He met me last Sunday.
We will come again next Dewali.
We go for a walk eveiy morning.
I will be twenty next June.

(ii) Yesterday, today and tomorrow do not take a preposition.
I will come again tomorrow.
You met me yesterday.
He is arriving today.

Exercise 1
(Solved)

Fill in the blank spaces in the following sentences :
1. Dewali is …………. 10 November.
2. Gandhiji lived …………. the English rule.
3. They finished work …………. sunset.
4. Gandhiji was born …………. 1869 and died …………. 1948.
5. I will call at your house sometime …………. the evening.
6. Shankar’s birthday is …………. 3 March.
7. The train leaves Delhi …………. 3.00 pm and reaches Chandigarh …………. 7.00 pm.
8. He should be here …………. now.
9. Please come to my office at 11.00 am …………. Tuesday after noon.
10. Parmod will see you …………. Monday …………. 11.00 am.
Answers
1. on
2. during
3. by
4. in, in
5. in
6. on
7. at, at
8. by
9. on
10. on, at

Exercise 2
(For Practice)

1. You must reach there …………. week-end.
2. The robbers entered the house …………. he night.
3. The exhibition will be opened …………. 10 am …………. Friday.
4. The interested candidates should report for interview latest by …………. 3 June 2007.
5. He came to my house …………. my absence.
6. The examinations will commence …………. April 1 …………. 9.00 am.
7. Send your reply …… March 3, the latest.
8. We are having a variety show …………. Holiday.
9. Are you coming to see us …………. Dewali ?
10. A gale got up …………. night and did much damage.

(b) Indicating Place :
1. Residence (Countries, towns etc.)
(i) When the reference is general, use in
Many people live in cities/villages/suburbs/deserts/countries/towns
But
He lives at the seaside.
He lives on an island.
Note. 1. Village, suburb, desert, country and town are imagined as closed entities and hence the preposition in (i.e., inside).
On the other hand seaside means near the sea and hence the preposition at; Island is imagined as something open and so the preposition on.

2. Residence (Houses etc.)
(i) For the general reference use in :
I live in a small house.
She lives in a bungalow.
Do you live in a flat or in a mansion ?
(ii) For a house with a name or address use at:
Mrs Gandhi lives at 10 Janpath.
(iii) For the names of streets and roads use in :
He lives in Mayur Vihar.
I live in Sector-14.

3. Place of Work
(i) If it is a building, use in :
His father works in a bank.
But
In case the place of work is not a building use on :
Ram works on a farm.
(ii) If the name of the place of work is given, use at:
He works at the Public Library.
(iii) For a particular department, use in :
He is a teacher in the Department of English.

Multiple Choice Questions

Read the statements given below and tick the correct option :
I (a) Identify the object of the Preposition :
Question 1.
What are we having for lunch ?
(i) we
(ii) lunch
(iii) having
(iv) what

Question 2.
A breeze was blowing through the house
(i) A breeze
(ii) blowing
(iii) the house
(iv) house

Question 3.
Everybody is certain of passing the exam
(i) everybody
(ii) certain
(iii) passing
(iv) passing the exam

I (b) Identify the Preposition :
Question 4.
(i)I heard shouts from inside
(ii) The robbery was an inside job
(iii) I heard shouts from inside the hut
(iv) Tell the children to come inside

II. Fill in the blanks :
Question 5.
The principal thanked the chief guest ………. the school
(i) because of
(ii) on behalf of
(iii) instead of
(iv) for the sake of

Question 6.
Alka was popular with her friends ………. her good nature
(i) according to
(ii) because of
(iii) instead of
(iv) inspite of

III. Choose the correct option :
Question 7.
(i) will get across the exams
(ii) I will get through the exams
(iii) I will get among the exams
(iv) I will get between the exams

Question 8.
(i) Tears ran under her cheeks
(ii) Tears ran above her cheeks
(iii) Tears ran down her cheeks
(iv) Tears ran on her cheeks

Question 9.
(i) He stayed at Bombay
(ii) He stayed on Bombay
(iii) He stayed by Bombay
(iv) He stayed in Bombay

Question 10.
(i) She sits beside me
(ii) She sits besides me
(iii) She sits across me
(iv) She sits beyond me
Answers
1. (ii)
2. (iii)
3. (iv)
4. (iii)
5. (ii)
6. (ii)
7. (ii)
8. (iii)
9. (iv)
10. (i)

Preposition 6