Simple and Compound Prepositions

Understanding Prepositions

Prepositions are one of the critical parts of grammar. They play a significant role in sentence construction. Essentially, prepositions are words used to link nouns, pronouns, or phrases in a sentence. They show the relationship between different words or clauses. This tutorial aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the different types of prepositions, mainly focusing on simple and compound prepositions.

Introduction to Simple Prepositions

Simple prepositions are standalone words that connect and establish a relationship between different parts of a sentence. These are usually short words with four or fewer letters. Examples include 'at', 'by', 'on', 'in', 'off', and 'up' among others.

Examples of Simple Prepositions

Here are some examples showcasing the use of simple prepositions in sentences:

  1. She lives at Green park area.
  2. He is waiting for his friend.
  3. We traveled on the train.
  4. The cat is sitting in the box.

Rules for Using Simple Prepositions

While using simple prepositions, it's important to keep the following rules in mind:

  • Never use a preposition to end a sentence in formal writing.
  • Pay attention to prepositions with time and place. 'At' is used for a precise time, 'on' for a specific day or date, and 'in' for months, years, or seasons.
  • Ensure that the preposition agrees with the verb in the sentence. For example, we say “She is fond of chocolate,” not “She is fond for chocolate.”

Moving onto Compound Prepositions

Compound prepositions are formed by joining two words together. They are more complex than simple prepositions and are used when single-word prepositions can't convey the meaning of the sentence appropriately. Examples include 'before', 'without', 'about', 'inside', 'along', 'within', and 'upon'.

Examples of Compound Prepositions

Here are some examples showcasing the use of compound prepositions in sentences:

  1. He reached without any delay.
  2. She walked along the river.
  3. The book is inside the bag.
  4. Upon reaching home, he found her waiting.

Rules for Using Compound Prepositions

While using simple prepositions, it's important to keep the following rules in mind:

  • Do not use redundancy with compound prepositions. For example, 'meet up with' is redundant. Simply 'meet with' is correct.
  • Ensure that the preposition fits the context of your sentence. Just because a preposition is longer doesn't mean it's better. Use the right preposition that accurately conveys your intended meaning.
  • Avoid overusing compound prepositions. Remember, clarity and simplicity provide better communication.


Now that you've learned about simple and compound prepositions, it's time to apply and practice what you know.

Exercise 1: Fill in the blanks with appropriate simple prepositions:

  1. We will meet ___ the library.
  2. She walked ___ the house.
  3. He arrived ___ noon.

Exercise 2: Fill in the blanks with suitable compound prepositions:

  1. He worked ___ getting tired.
  2. I found the missing keys ___ the cushions.
  3. Send the letter ___ air mail.


In essence, understanding the usage of simple and compound prepositions is vital to constructing clear and accurate sentences. Learning prepositions and mastering their application will greatly enhance your English grammar skills. Practice regularly and consistently review the rules and you'll gradually see improvements in your sentence construction and overall writing skills.

Remember, the key to learning prepositions is reading and practicing. Write sentences using both simple and compound prepositions, and try to use them in your everyday conversation. You'll soon grasp the intricacies of prepositions and build a solid foundation in English grammar.

Leave a Reply