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Prepositions are words that express location; in most cases. But aside from location, Prepositions can also talk about:
- comparison, and
They’re a bit tricky for non-native speakers to learn because, for instance, in the Korean language, Hangungmal, there are no Prepositions*.
(*Seth Lindstromberg, English Prepositions Explained, 2nd ed. John Benjamins, 2010)
Meanwhile, in the Japanese language, there are Post-positions instead of Prepositions.
Postpositions are words that limit Nouns. In some languages like Japanese, Urdu, Turkish, and Hindi, these words (similar to Prepositions) come after the Complement; not before it.
For example, in Chinese:
(zhuō zi shàng)
This translates to “table on.”
But in English, we normally arrange it as: “on the table.”
This why they are called Postpositions, not Prepositions.
Going back to our topic, the total number of Prepositions in the English language is more or less 150. If you think this is a lot, no. This is a very small number compared to the other kinds of words (Nouns, Adjectives etc).
The most familiar kind of Prepositions to English learners is the Simple Prepositions: short words consisting of only five letters or fewer. But what every student should know is that there are other kinds of Prepositions that are more complex and multi-word. This means they consist of more than one word (!)
Did you know this?
Here is a large list of Prepositions (around 100). The purpose is not to teach every one of them, but to make you familiar with the different kinds. Some of the Prepositions below you will recognize, but others you will see for the first time.
Like I said, please remember from today that there are different kinds of Prepositions in English: (1) simple, and (2) multi-word.
A List of 108 Prepositions in English
Hope you learned something!