Prepositions link nouns or pronuns to some other word in a sentence to show a relationship or to give context.

Prepositions can be placed into three groups (a preposition may exist in more than one category):
prepositions of time: IN, ON, AT, after, before, during, past, since, for, until etc.
prepositions of place/location: above, behind, below, beside, by, in, inside, near, over
prepositions of movement: against, along, from, into, on, off, onto, out of, toward, up,

The main prepositions of time are in, on, at.

in the morning
in the evening
in February
in the spring
in 2019
in the 1990s
in the second semester

on Sunday
on Sundays
on Monday morning
on my birthday
on Valentine’s day
on May 5 (US)/ 5 May (UK)
on a weekday
on the weekend (US)

at night
at 11:15
at noon
at midnight
at sunrise
at the weekend (UK)

Two useful prepositions for the present perfect are for and since. Learn them well now and you will be prepared to use them later.

FOR = a duration of time from the beginning until now
I have studied here for two years.

SINCE = a period of time that includes a start date
I have studied here since 2017.

Prepositions of movement are different in English than in Italian. For example, In English, whenever we move in a forward direction we move TO another place, not “in” another place.

I am going to Spain next summer.
I am not going to school tomorrow.
Prepositions of movement e.g., across, through, down, past, away from – are useful for giving and receiving directions when you are traveling or trying to understand an English-speaking GPS.

“In,” “on,” and “at” are not just prepositions of time, but also prepositions of location. In this case, they answer the question, “Where?”

Common Mistakes

The BIGGEST mistake is using “in” instead of “to” for movement between places.

Remember to use “from” after “graduated.”
I have just graduated from the university of Parma.

Remember that when you stay home all day, you say: “I am staying at home all day.”
When you are already home or first walking in the door, you say: Honey, I’m home.
When you are heading or directed towards home, you do not need a preposition. You simply say, “I’m going home.”

Test yourself to see how many of the following prepositions you use correctly:

married to, NOT married with
just in time to catch the train, NOT just on time to catch the train
on time for the meeting, NOT in time for the meeting
look out of the window, NOT look out the window
meet me at the bank, NOT meet me to the bank
away from the city, NOT away of the city
depends on something, NOT depends from something
on the phone, NOT in the phone
going home, NOT going to home
going outside, NOT going to outside
going inside, NOT going to inside
consists of, NOT consists from
the key to my room, NOT the key of my room
look in the mirror, NOT look at the mirror
he insisted on paying, NOT he insisted to pay
they are afraid of bees, NOT they are afraid from bees
we arrived in London, NOT we arrived to London
we are flying to London, NOT we are flying in LondonPrepositional Phrases

Certain verbs in English are paired with certain prepositions. There are so many of these. You may find links to them on Your English with Karen and Fraser.

Here are a few examples:
Agree with
Argue with
Collide with
Cope with
Confuse with
Disagree with
Fight with
Share with
Care about
Complain about
Dream about
Hear about
Forget about
Joke about
Know about
Laugh about
Think about
Worry about
Write about
Warn about

Add to
Adjust to
Appeal to
Belong to
Compare to
Confess to
Get married to
Listen to
React to
Respond to
Subscribe to

Approve of
Accuse of
Conceive of
Consist of
Disapprove of
Get rid of
Get tired of
Suspect of

Annoyed at
Angry at
Astonished at
Good at
Skillful at
Suprised at
Terrible at

Account for
Apply for
Pay for
Prepare for
Provide for
Search for
Wait for

Sometimes the preposition comes first.
for a good cause
for a reason
for a change
for sure
for granted
for the benefit of
for the good of
for the sake of
for want of

by virtue of
by way of
by chance
by accident
by luck
by sea
by land
by air
by all means
by all accounts
by coincidence
by definition
by law
by heart
by oneself

out of work
out of fashion
out of print
out of breath
out of context
out of control
out of date
out of reach
out of pity
out of spite
out of respect for
out of stocky
out of order
out of the question
out of one’s mind