Prepositions in English – Shortcut Rules
Rule 1 : Across
Across – On teh opposite side of
My Cousin lives across the river.✔
Across – From one side to another
The boy swam across the river ✔
Across – both sides
He threw the luggage across his shoulders ✔
Come Across – means meet accidentally / suddenly
When I was going to market, I came across an old friend. ✔
I suddenly came across him ☓
I came across him. ✔
Rule 2 : Between Used for two persons / things.
Eg. She is sitting between munni and sheela. ✔
Among Used with more than two persons / things
Eg. The principal distributed prizes among the winners ✔
Amid or Amidst Used for more than two persons / things (groups) Amid his friends ✔
It was hard to hear amid all the cheering. ✔
Rule 3 : During – denotes duration.
During the war, many people suffered hardship. ✔
We go to Darjeeling during summer every year. ✔
Rule 4 : From – is used with past / future tenses.
I stayed there from Monday to Wednesday. ✔
I will start my preparation from Monday next. ✔
Rule 5 : Of – denotes origin / cause
She comes of a rich family (origin) ✔
He died of Malaria (cause) but she died in an accident. ✔
Off – denotes ‘separation’ A button has come off. ✔ He is off duty today. ✔
Rule 6 : After a preposition, a pronoun under objective case should be used.
He depends on I. ☓
He depends on me. ✔
Rule 7 : When two words are connected by ‘and / or’ etc., the prepositions should be mentioned clearly to be used with them.
He was surprised at as well as pleased with her performance. ✔ She is conscious and engaged in her work. ☓
She is conscious of and engaged in her work ✔
Rule 8 : No preposition should be used with the noun ‘Home’ except when it is followed by an adjective in the possessive case, say go to home / arrive home / reach home / get home.
I went to his home / He went home. ✔
He decided to go to Krishna’s home. ✔
Rule 9 : After transitive verbs such as ‘Discuss/Describe/reach/order/tell/demand/attach/resemble/ridicule etc. no preposition is used. The verbs directly take an object.
The poet describes about the beauty of nature. ☓
The poet describes the beauty of nature. ✔
He ordered for two cups of tea. ☓
He ordered two cups of tea. ✔
Rule 10 : After the verbs “Say / suggest / propose / speak / explain / reply / complain / talk / listen / write” the proposition “to” should be used if any object is used.
He did not reply me. ☓
He did not reply to me. ✔
You never wrote me. ☓
You never wrote to me. ✔
He suggested her that she should eat less. ☓
He suggested to her that she should eat less. ✔
Rule 11 : Since – Denotes point of time For – denotes period of time.
They should be used with present tense or the present perfect continuous tense / past perfect tense / past perfect continuous tenses.
I know her since 2011. ☓
I have known her since 2011. ✔
He is working in the bank for the past 3 years. ☓
He has been working in the bank for the past 3 years. ✔
Rule 12 : After the verb “Enter” the preposition “into” should not be used except when it is used with reference to agreement or conversation.
He entered into the premises without any permission. ☓
He entered the premises without any permission. ✔
They entered a hot discussion. ☓
They entered into a hot discussion. ✔
Rule 13 : Wait for – Await.
He is awaiting for the reply. ☓
He is awaiting the reply. ✔
Despite – inspite of.
Despite of his hard work, he failed in the examination. ☓
Despite his hard work he failed in the examination. ✔
This book comprises of 5 chapters. ✔
This book consists of 5 chapters. ✔
Rule 14 : Dispose of – Sell away.
He disposed off his scooter. ☓
He disposed of his scooter. ✔