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List of English prepositions

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This is a list of English prepositions. In English, some prepositions are short, mostly containing six letters or fewer. There are, however, many multi-word prepositions. Throughout the history of the English language, new prepositions have come into use, old ones have fallen out of use, and the meanings of existing prepositions have changed. The prepositions generally remain a closed class.

Single words[edit]

Multiple words[edit]

Two words[edit]

Three words[edit]

Preposition + (article) + noun + preposition[edit]

English has many idiomatic expressions that act as prepositions that can be analyzed as a preposition followed by a noun (sometimes preceded by the definite or, occasionally, indefinite article) followed by another preposition.[2] Common examples include:

Archaic or infrequently used[edit]

Not fully grammaticized[edit]

Preposition-like modifiers of quantified noun phrases[edit]


  • ago as in "three years ago", sometimes considered an adverb rather than a postposition
  • apart as in "this apart", also used prepositionally ("apart from this")
  • aside as in "such examples aside", also used prepositionally ("aside from such examples")
  • away as in "three light years away", sometimes considered an adverb or an adjective rather than a postposition
  • hence as in "three years hence", sometimes considered an adverb rather than a postposition
  • notwithstanding also used prepositionally
  • on as in "three years on", also used prepositionally (some other prepositions can also be used in the same constructs, such as "in")
  • through as in "the whole night through", also used prepositionally
  • withal archaic as a postposition meaning with


  1. ^ "Vice | Define Vice at". Retrieved 2015-09-22.  – See definition 3
  2. ^ Rodney Huddleston, Geoffrey K. Pullum; et al. (2002). "chapter 7 §3.1". The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 618–620. ISBN 0-521-43146-8. 
  3. ^ anent definition
  4. ^ ayond definition
  5. ^ ayont definition
  6. ^ behither definition
  7. ^ betwixt definition
  8. ^ biforn definition
  9. ^ ere definition
  10. ^ forby definition
  11. ^ a b fornenst definition
  12. ^ fromward definition
  13. ^ outwith definition
  14. ^ sans definition
  15. ^ a b tofore definition
  16. ^ 'twixt definition
  17. ^ unto definition
  18. ^ worth definition

External links[edit]