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English definition of “preposition”


noun [C]     /ˌprep.əˈzɪʃ.ən/
B1 in grammar, a word that is used before a noun, a noun phrase, or a pronoun, connecting it to another word: In the sentences 'We jumped in the lake', and 'She drove slowly down the track', 'in' and 'down' are prepositions.Parts of speech noun phraseGrammar:Nouns and prepositionsMany nouns have particular prepositions which normally follow them. Here are some common examples:See moreGrammar:PrepositionsSee moreGrammar:Prepositions: usesWe commonly use prepositions to show a relationship in space or time or a logical relationship between two or more people, places or things. Prepositions are most commonly followed by a noun phrase or pronoun (underlined):See moreGrammar:Prepositions: position and strandingTraditional grammatical rules say that we should not have a preposition at the end of a clause or sentence. However, we sometimes do separate a preposition from the words which follow it (its complement). This is called preposition stranding, and it is common in informal styles:See moreGrammar:Prepositional phrasesSee moreGrammar:Prepositions and their complementsPrepositional phrases consist of a preposition and the words which follow it (a complement). The complement (underlined below) is most commonly a noun phrase or pronoun, but it can also be, an adverb phrase (usually one of place or time), a verb in the -ing form or, less commonly, a prepositional phrase or a wh-clause:See moreGrammar:Prepositional phrases after verbsPrepositional phrases can be complements of verbs. If we need a special preposition to introduce the complement of the verb, we call such verbs ‘prepositional verbs’:See more prepositional     /-əl/ adjective [before noun] a prepositional phraseParts of speech
(Definition of preposition noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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