Prepositions in English – Shortcut Rules

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. ✔

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