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While adverbs basically express the way actions manifest themselves, prepositions mostly (but not exclusively) give information about the place and time in which a particular action takes place.
There are many prepositions in English, and some of them may almost act as if they were adverbs at times, but unlike adverbs, prepositions always need an object.
Prepositions connect different parts of the sentence adding information about time, place, direction, etc.
The majority of prepositions consist of a single word, but there are also prepositions which are the result of two or more words joined together to form sorts of idiomatic expressions like “apart from”, “according to”, “instead of”, etc.
Now, given that English prepositions are so many, for the moment, we are just going to see some of them, and give a couple of examples in order to observe how they actually work:
Prepositions of Time:
IN – “I’m going to take the exam in June.” – “She was born in 1985.”
ON – “I’ll see you on Sunday.” – “The earthquake happened on 15th June 2014.”
AT – “At Christmas, I will meet my uncles.” – “At New Year’s Day we are going to have a gorgeous party. Do you want to join us?”
UNTIL – “I will stay here until midnight.” – “Until now, our relationship has been pretty pleasurable.”
TO – “It’s twenty to midnight.”
FROM – “Today I’m going to work from 8a.m. to 13p.m.”
FOR – “I’ve known her for a very long time.”
BY – “By Friday, we must be able to begin.”
DURING – “He was suspended from school for persistently using his phone during a lesson.”
WITHIN – “She is going to give birth within a month.”
WHILE – “While I was waiting for the bus, something strange happened..”
SINCE – “I’ve known her since she was a child.”
ABOUT – “I’ll be there in about half an hour.”
Prepositions of Place
IN – “There was a fire in the room.”
ON – “I saw her on the bus yesterday.” – “Look, your glass is on the table.”
AT – “So, you are going to study at University, aren’t you?”
TO – “She was driving to the airport when the police stopped her.”
INTO – “She walked into the room and asked for John, she was so angry.”
FROM – “I’m from England.”
ABOUT – “Sheep were grazing about in the field.”
BY – “Look, there is a chair by the window.”
WITHIN – “Suddenly, we heard many gunshots from within the building. Everybody began to run—we immediately called the police.”
NEAR – “There is a bar near the beach.”
BESIDE – “There is an old watermill beside the river.”
ACROSS – “We walked across the village but there was no post office.”
UNDERNEATH – “There was a cozy loft underneath the sloping slated roof.”
BETWEEN – “Between the two houses there was a beautiful garden.”
AMONG – “There was a white dog among sheep.”
BENEATH – “We suddenly felt the ground moving beneath our feet, it took us a couple of seconds to realize it was an earthquake.”