Prepositions: some useful points

Posted by Manjusha Filed in English grammar

Using prepositions correctly presents special problems for people whose first language is not English. That's because so many prepositional phrases are idiomatic: They have evolved through use and do not necessarily make logical sense. Here are some guidelines:

Use in before seasons of the year. Also use in with months and years not followed by specific dates.

in the summer
in January
in 2003

Use on before days of the week, holidays, and months, if the date follows.

on Wednesday
on Thanksgiving
on July 20

Like is a preposition that means 'similar to.' Therefore, it is followed by an object (usually a noun or pronoun).

like Alice
like you

Use the preposition of to show possession.

The preposition of is often used to show possession instead of the possessive form of a pronoun.

I hear a puppy's bark. OR I hear the bark of a puppy.

Never use the preposition of with proper nouns.

I wore the dress of Nina. (Incorrect)
I wore Nina's dress. (Correct)

Sections in this article

Prepositions
Expressions without prepositions
Prepositions at the end of clauses
Prepositions: some useful points
Common prepositions - usage
Common errors with prepositions