Prepositions of place and direction

(Use of English prepositions that indicate place and direction)

Table of contents – prepositions of place and direction

On this page you will find the following:

  1. Prepositions of place and direction
  2. List of prepositions
  3. Further explanations and exercises

What are the prepositions of place and direction?

Prepositions that indicate the place or direction are a subcategory of prepositions and appear quite diverse in English. The fairly common ones (like ‘in’ or ‘on’ or even ‘at’) can be used in very different ways that makes it almost impossible to define an absolute rule of usage for them.

The following table shows the essential prepositions of place and direction, including example sentences in English:

List of prepositions of place and direction

English prepositions that indicate local and directional aspects with examples
Preposition Example sentence
above “Look! We are flying above the clouds.”
across “Take the bridge across the river and then turn left.”
after “The policeman was running after the thief.”
against “Walter, don’t throw the ball against the wall!”
along “In some areas, homeowners have to plant trees along the street.”
among “It’s some kind of tradition among students.”
around “The teacher is walking around the classroom.”
at “Two friends are waiting at the front door.”
behind “Michelle is standing behind her brother.”
below “Do not write below this line.”
beside “His uncle is standing beside that big tree.”
between “They built a fence between their gardens.”
by “Come with us. We’re going to make a fire by the river.”
down “Have you ever fallen down the stairs?”
from “Her parents came from India.”
in “The vases are in the cupboard below the glasses.”
in front of “Mary is talking to her friend in front of the house.”
inside “Despite the rain everything was dry inside the tents.”
into “Put the photos back into the box when our visitors are gone.”
near “They are living near the border.”
next to “There is a bank next to the post office.”
off “The glass fell off the table.”
on “The dog is lying on the floor.”
onto “Don’t step onto the ice. It may break.”
opposite “There’s a small café opposite the company.”
out of “My parents are coming out of the building.”
outside “I know a very good restaurant just outside town.”
over “There are dark clouds coming over the mountain.”
past “You’re hungry? We’ve just walked past a restaurant.”
round “Oh, my friend lives just round the corner.”
through “The way to the park leads through a long tunnel.”
to “Nelson took the train to London.”
towards “The marathon runners were running towards the city centre.”
under “The paperbin is under the desk.”
up “The visitors have just come up the stairs.”

Further explanations relating to the ‘Prepositions of place and direction’

The following explanations are related to the topic ‘Use of prepositions of place and direction in English’ and could also help you: