Prepositions are short words, but it can be challenging to learn how to use them. Following is a list of the most common expressions starting with the prepositions at, by, for, in and on:
at best / worst: At best we’ll be finished by midnight, and at worst we’ll be up all night.
at birth / death: She had blue eyes at birth, but now they’re brown.
at first / last: At first, we thought he was a shy, but he’s not really.
at once: Come here at once! (= immediately)
at present: At present we’ve had 35,000 visitors to our website.
at random: The computer picks a number at random. (= by chance)
at the moment: He’s not home at the moment.
at the peak (of): These grapes are at the peak of ripeness. (= at perfect)
by car / boat / bus / plane / train: He gets to work by car. (= in a car)
by chance: By chance have you seen my keys?
by far: She is by far the best player on the team.
by hand: This hat was made by hand in Peru.
for example: Italian food, for example pizza, is delicious.
for free: The store is giving away key chains for free.
for good: He stopped smoking for good. (= forever)
for instance: I have trouble remembering things, for instance names.
for later: I’m going to save this piece of pie for later tonight.
for now: I’ve had enough food for now, but I may be hungry later.
in a book / a magazine / the newspaper: Did you read that information in a magazine?
in a car: They traveled to Mexico in a car.
in a row: She won three games in a row. (= in sequence)
in charge (of): Who’s in charge of the music for the party? (= has responsibility)
in common (with): I have nothing in common with him.
in danger (of): You’re in danger of becoming addicted to the pills.
in detail: Explain to me in detail what happened.
in existence: The blue whale is the largest animal in existence. (= living now)
in general: In general, the buses in this city are on time.
in practice: In practice this system doesn’t work very well. (= doing it)
in style: She shops at the best stores and is always in style. (= well dressed)
in the front / middle / back: We like to sit in the front of the classroom.
in the past / present / future: In the past it took days and days to do research.
in the world: There are over seven billion people in the world.
in theory: In theory it looks like it would work. (= as an idea)
on a bus / boat / plane / train: They came to Vancouver on a bus.
on earth: I wouldn’t marry you if you were the last man on earth.
on fire: Get out quickly; the house is on fire. (= burning)
on foot: His car broke down, so he had to come home on foot.
on purpose: She stepped on his foot on purpose. (= knowing what she’s doing)
on television / TV: He has the most popular talk show on television.
on the Internet: There are many dating services on the Internet.
on the other hand: He’s very smart, but on the other hand he’s disorganized.
on the radio: I heard that song on the radio.
on the whole: On the whole, people in this city are friendly.
Study these expressions, and when you think you’re ready, do the following exercise.
© 2013 Ambien Malecot