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Prepositions & their uses (Explained in Hindi & English)

Preposition और उसके प्रयोग (Explained in Hindi)

1. Preposition ऐसा शब्द होता है जो किसी noun अथवा pronoun के पहले उस noun अथवा pronoun का वाक्य के किसी दूसरे शब्द के साथ सम्बन्ध बताने के लिए use किया जाता है; जैसे

a) Your shoes are under the table.
b) The child jumped off the bed.
c) I do not agree with you.
d) She is fond of coffee. 

[पहले वाक्य में शब्द ‘under’ एक preposition है क्योंकि यह ‘table’ का सम्बन्ध  ‘shoes’ से बता रहा है. दूसरे वाक्य में शब्द ‘with’ एक preposition है क्योंकि यह ‘bed’ का सम्बन्ध  ‘jumped’ से बता रहा है.

तीसरे वाक्य में शब्द ‘under’ एक preposition है क्योंकि यह ‘you’ का सम्बन्ध  ‘agree’ से बता रहा है. अंतिम वाक्य में शब्द ‘of’ एक preposition है क्योंकि यह ‘coffee’ का सम्बन्ध  ‘fond’ से बता रहा है.]

जैसा कि हम देख रहे हैं किसी preposition के साथ use किये जाने वाला शब्द या तो कोई noun होती है या फिर कोई pronoun. ऊपर दिए गये वाक्यों में शब्द ‘table’, ‘bed’ और ‘coffee’ noun हैं जबकि ‘you’ एक pronoun है.

2. किसी preposition के साथ use की जाने वाली noun अथवा Pronoun को उस preposition का object कहा जाता है. ऊपर दिए पहले वाक्य में noun ‘table’ preposition ‘under’ का Object है.

NOTE-I: एक preposition के Objects की संख्या दो या दो से अधिक भी हो सकती है; जैसे

Panchkula is situated between plains and hills.

[इस वाक्य में preposition ‘between’ के दो object हैं; एक तो noun ‘plains’ और दूसरा noun ‘hills’.]

NOTE-II: कभी-कभी किसी preposition का Object एक phrase भी होता है; जैसे

a) The noise is coming from across the river. (Here ‘across the river’ is a phrase)
b) I sold my motor cycle for ‘under its half cost’.
c) Each article was sold at ‘over a dollar’.
d) I did not see him till ‘a few days ago’
e) She was thinking about ‘how to avoid him’.

NOTE-III: और कभी-कभी किसी preposition का Object एक clause भी होता है; जैसे

I have no interest in what you say. (‘what you say’ is a clause)

NOTE-IV: यदि किसी preposition का Object कोई pronoun हो तो वह कर्म कारक (objective case) में होती है; जैसे

a) I’m going to buy a ring for her.
b) My brother does live with us.

3. दो या दो से अधिक preposition की आवश्यकता 

कभी-कभी किसी noun को describe करने के लिए दो या दो से अधिक adjectives की आवश्यकता होती है. उन adjectives को यदि अलग-अलग prepositions की आवश्यकता होती है तो उनमें से हर adjective के साथ preposition का use आवश्यक होता है; जैसे 

My teacher is surprised at as well as happy with my work.

INCORRECT: Himanshu is younger and taller than his other brother.
CORRECT: Himanshu is younger to and taller than his other brother.

4. Today, Tomorrow, Yesterday, The following day, The next day, Yesterday evening, Yesterday afternoon, Last night, This morning, से पहले किसी preposition का use नहीं किया जाता; जैसे 

INCORRECT: I’m leaving for Kolkata on tomorrow.
CORRECT: I’m leaving for Kolkata tomorrow.

INCORRECT: She will arrive here in yesterday evening
CORRECT: She will arrive here yesterday evening.

5. Noun ‘home’ के साथ preposition use करने के नियम 

Noun ‘home’ के लिए यदि गति को व्यक्त करने वाली कोई verb (verb of motion) जैसे कि get, go, come, arrive, reach, travel, drive, bring, आदि दी गयी हो तो ‘home’ से पहले किसी preposition का use नहीं होता; परन्तु यदि किसी अवस्था (state) को बताने वाली verb दी गयी हो तो ‘home’ के पहले किसी उपयुक्त preposition का use किया जाता है; जैसे

INCORRECT: She went to home on foot yesterday.
CORRECT: She went home on foot yesterday.

INCORRECT: Ankit drives me to home daily?
CORRECT: Ankit drives me home daily.

INCORRECT: Bring him at home in the evening.
CORRECT: Bring him home in the evening.

INCORRECT: Mohan is home. [Verb ‘is’ अवस्था को बताने वाली verb है, motion को नहीं.]
CORRECT: Mohan is at home.

NOTE: परन्तु यदि noun ‘home’ के पहले यदि किसी possessive adjective (my, our, your, आदि) का use हुआ हो तो ‘home’ के पहले preposition ‘to’ का use किया जाता है; जैसे

INCORRECT: I went his home in the morning.
CORRECT: I went to his home in the morning.

INCORRECT: I decided to go Ram’s home.
CORRECT: I decided to go to Ram’s home.

6. Use of preposition after the verb ‘spend’

जब हम time, money, आदि spend करते हैं तो preposition ‘on’ का use किया जाता है; ‘for’ का नहीं; जैसे  

INCORRECT: I don’t have any money to spend for luxuries.
CORRECT: I don’t have any money to spend on luxuries.

INCORRECT: Whatever she earns she spends for her children.
CORRECT: Whatever she earns she spends on her children.

7. कैसे पता लगायें कि ‘to’ के साथ ‘infinitive (V1)’ का use करना है या ‘gerund (ing form)’ का  

ये ध्यान रखने योग्य बात है कि ‘to’ का प्रयोग एक preposition के रूप में भी किया जा सकता है, और किसी infinitive के part के रूप में भी; अर्थात किसी V1 के पहले भी. तो ‘to’ का प्रयोग  यदि एक preposition के रूप में किया गया हो तो उसके साथ gerund आती है; और यदि ‘to’ का प्रयोग एक preposition के रूप में नहीं हुआ है तो उसके साथ infinitive (to + V1) आती है. इसलिए ये जानने के लिए कि ‘to’ के साथ gerund का use होना है या infinitive का; यह आवश्यक है की पहले हम ये जानें कि वाक्य में ‘to’ एक preposition है अथवा नहीं.

ये हम जानते ही हैं कि किसी preposition के साथ हमेशा कोई noun या pronoun ही आती है; अतः पहले हम ये देखें की वाक्य में ‘to’ के साथ किसी noun या pronoun का use संभव है या नहीं. हम ये भी जानते हैं कि gerund भी एक noun ही होती है. अतः ‘to’ के साथ अगर किसी noun या pronoun का use संभव है तो gerund का use होगा न कि infinitive का. और ‘to’ के साथ किसी noun या pronoun का use संभव नहीं है तो infinitive का use होना है.

इस बात को चलो नीचे दिए गये उदहारण से समझते हैं.

I’m accustomed to ———— .

Accustomed = किसी से परिचित होना; अथवा किसी बात का अभ्यस्त होना

शब्द ‘accustomed’ के अर्थ से ही पता लग रहा है कि यहाँ ‘to’ के साथ कोई noun आएगी; उदाहरण के तौर पर: ‘She is accustomed to noise’. हम जानते हैं कि शब्द ‘noise’ एक noun है; अतः स्पष्ट है कि ‘to’ यहाँ preposition है. इसलिए यदि यहाँ हमें कोई action word use करना है तो gerund का use होगा; जैसे

She is now accustomed to working in noise.

कुछ अभिव्यक्तियाँ (expressions) जिनके साथ कोई noun या gerund आती है:

accustomed to habituated to owing to
addicted to in addition to with a view to
averse to look forward to prone to
devoted to object to taken to
be/become/get used to

a-i) I am looking forward to your reply. (‘Reply’ एक noun हैं; ‘to’ preposition है.)
ii) I am looking forward to receiving my payment soon. (‘Receiving’ gerund है; ‘to’ preposition है.)

b-i) I am used to noise. (‘Noise’ एक noun हैं; ‘to’ preposition है.)
ii) I am used to working in a noisy environment. (‘Working’ gerund है; ‘to’ preposition है.)

c-i) This road is prone to accidents. (‘Accident’ एक noun हैं; ‘to’ preposition है.)
ii) In his youth he was prone to gambling. (‘Gambling’ gerund है; ‘to’ preposition है.)

d) He comes to me with a view to getting some help.

e) My father is addicted to smoking.

NOTE: ‘Used to’ के पहले यदि verb ‘be/become/get’ का प्रयोग न हुआ हो तो इसके साथ infinitive आती है; gerund नहीं; जैसे

I used to smoke earlier.

8. वाक्यों में prepositions का स्थान 

A)  आमतौर पर prepositions का use उनकी nouns अथवा pronouns के पहले किया जाता है. लेकिन निम्नलिखित संरचना में कभी-कभी prepositions का use हम वाक्य के अंत में कर देते हैं; ये बोलचाल की भाषा में तो चलता है परन्तु standard English में ऐसा करना अशुद्ध होता है.

In questions beginning with a ‘preposition + whom +/what/whose/which/where’

INCORRECT: Who have you bought this dress for?
CORRECT: For whom have you bought this dress?

INCORRECT: Which table are your books on?
CORRECT: On which table are your books?

B)  Relative Pronouns ‘whom/which’ के लिए प्रयुक्त होने prepositions को इन relative pronouns के पहले रखा जाता है; वाक्य के अंत में नहीं; जैसे

INCORRECT: He is the person whom I had lunch with. OR He is the person with who I had lunch with.
CORRECT: He is the person with whom I had lunch.

INCORRECT: This is the shop which I bought my books from.
CORRECT: This is the shop from which I bought my books.

NOTE-I: लेकिन यदि Relative Pronoun को ही वाक्य से हटा दिया जाये तो preposition का use वाक्य के अंत में किया जाता है. अतः उपरोक्त दोनों वाक्यों को ऐसे भी लिखा जा सकता है:  

i) He is the person I had lunch with.
ii) This is the shop I bought my books from.

NOTE-II: लेकिन यदि Relative Pronoun ‘that’ हो तो हम चाहे ‘that’ को हटायें या न हटायें preposition को वाक्य के अंत में ही use किया जाता है; जैसे

INCORRECT: Here is the book for that you were looking.
CORRECT: Here is the book that you were looking for. or Here is the book you were looking for.

INCORRECT: This is the man with that I lived.
CORRECT: This is the man that I lived with. OR This is the man I lived with.

NOTE-III: Passive Voice में prepositions को वाक्य के अंत में use किया जाता है; जैसे

i) I have been operated on.
ii) That theft case has been enquired into.

C)  वाक्य में यदि किसी noun के साथ कोई preposition आना हो, और उस noun के लिए किसी infinitive का use हुआ हो तो preposition को वाक्य के अंत में use किया जाता है; जैसे

i) She does not have a nice dress to put on.
ii) I don’t have a pen to write with.

9. Preposition ‘to’ को कब use किया जाता है कब नहीं 

A)  Object जब कोई व्यक्ति हो  

a) जब preposition ‘to’ का use नहीं किया जाता
Command, request, advice और invitation की verbs का object यदि कोई व्यक्ति हो तो ‘to का use नहीं किया जाता. ऐसी कुछ verb ये हैं: 

advise ask beg command urge
compliment congratulate encourage forbid warn
implore inform invite order welcome
recommend remind request tell

i) She advised me to wait for an hour.
ii) She urged her to try again.
iii) They warned him to stay away from those wires.

NOTE: Verb ‘recommend’ का object व्यक्ति के अतिरिक्त यदि कुछ और  हो तो preposition ‘to’ का use उस object के बाद दिए गये व्यक्ति के पहले किया जाता है; जैसे

She recommended it to me.

b) जब preposition ‘to’ का use किया जाता है
We use the preposition ‘to’ after the following verbs if the object is a person:

complain describe explain listen pray
propose reply report say speak
suggest talk write

i) I cannot reply to you before next week.
ii) I said to him that I was not well.
iii) She suggested to me that I should consult the doctor first.

c) When एक स्थिति में तो preposition ‘to’ का use आवश्यक होता है; और दूसरी स्थिति  में इसका use होता ही नहीं

नीचे दी गयी verbs का object जब कोई व्यक्ति होता है तो इनके साथ preposition ‘to’ का use आवश्यक होता है; परन्तु जब उस object को हटा दिया जाये तो इसका use नहीं होता:

call ( =shout) complain describe explain grumble
murmur mutter say shout speak
suggest talk whisper

i) Rahul complained to her about the food.
= Rahul complained about the food.

ii) He said nothing to his teachers.
= He said nothing.

iii) He said to me that he was ill.
= He said that he was ill.

NOTE: जब कोई आदमी किसी पर गुस्सा झाड़ता है या भड़कता है तो verb ‘shout’ के साथ preposition ‘at’ का use किया जाता है; और यदि कोई आदमी किसी से कुछ दूरी पर होता है तो verb ‘shout’ के साथ preposition ‘to’ का use किया जाता है; जैसे

i) My mother shouted at me when I did not return in time. (अर्थात मेरी माँ मुझसे नाराज थीं.)
ii) My mother shouted to me from the roof. (अर्थात मेरी माँ मुझसे कुछ दूरी पर थीं.)

10. Verb के जब दो object होते हैं तो preposition के use के नियम 

एक verb के object दो भी हो सकते हैं. अगर ऐसा हो तो उन दोनों objects में एक object तो कोई person होता है और दूसरा object कोई thing. Thing वाले object को Direct Object कहते हैं; और person वाले object को Indirect Object कहते हैं. ये समझने के लिए ये वाक्य देखिये:

Mohan gave me a pen.

[इस वाक्य में verb ‘gave’ के दो object हैं; एक तो ‘me’ और दूसरा ‘pen’. स्पष्ट है Object ‘me’ एक person को इंगित (denote) कर रहा है; और object ‘pen’ एक thing को. अतः इस वाक्य में object ‘pen’ Direct Object है और object ‘me’ Indirect Object है.]

यदि verb के तुरंत साथ में Indirect Object दिया हुआ है तो कोई preposition use नहीं होता; परन्तु यदि verb के तुरंत साथ में Direct Object दिया हुआ है तो Indirect Object के पहले ‘to’ और ‘for’ में से जो उपयुक्त हो वो वाला preposition आवश्यक है; जैसे

a) Mohan gave me a pen.
= Mohan gave a pen to me.

b) Will you do me a favour?
= Will you do a favour to me?

c) I bought my daughter a doll.
= I bought a doll for my daughter.

d) Fetch her a pencil.
= Fetch a pencil for her.

NOTE-I: लेकिन कुछ verb ऐसी भी हैं जो अपने साथ कोई न कोई preposition लेती ही हैं बेशक उनका वाक्य में कोई Direct Object ही क्यों न दिया हुआ हो. ऐसी verbs में से कुछ verb ये हैं:

entrust furnish present provide
supply

INCORRECT: Cows provide us milk.
CORRECT: Cows provide us with milk. OR Cows provide milk to us.

INCORRECT: The Principal presented me the trophy.
CORRECT: The Principal presented me with the trophy.

NOTE-II: Direct Object जब कोई थोडा बड़ा phrase हो; अथवा वो object कोई clause हो तो Indirect Object को हमेशा verb के साथ ही रखा जाता है; और इसलिए कोई preposition use नहीं होता; जैसे

a) Tell me the whole story.

(इस वाक्य में verb ‘tell’ का Direct Object ‘the whole story’ थोडा बड़ा phrase है, अतः आप ये नहीं कह सकते: ‘Tell the whole story to me’.)

b) She showed me what she had in her

(इस वाक्य में verb ‘showed’ का Direct Object ‘what she had in her bag’ एक clause है; अतः आप ये नहीं कह सकते: ‘She showed what she had in her bag to me’.)

11. Preposition ‘but’

‘But’ का use एक conjunction के रूप में भी किया जा सकता है और एक preposition के रूप में भी. यहाँ हम ये जानेंगे कि ‘but’ कब conjunction होता है और कब preposition.

A) जब ‘but’ conjunction होता है

‘But’ जब conjunction होता है तो यह दो विरोधाभास लिए हुए दो वाक्यों को जोड़ने का काम करता है; लेकिन preposition के रूप में ये ऐसा नहीं करता; जैसे

i) They had very little money, but they always bought their children expensive presents.
ii) They were poor, but hardworking.
iii) Her car is fifteen years old, but still drives beautifully.

B) When ‘but’ works as a preposition

‘But’ का preposition के रूप में use उस noun अथवा pronoun के पहले किया जाता है जो वाक्य के main subject में सम्मिलित नहीं होती; अर्थात preposition के रूप में इसका अर्थ ‘except’ होता है. इसका use मुख्यता Everyone, Nobody, Nothing, Anything, Anywhere, All, No, None, Any, Every, आदि के बाद किया जाता है; जैसे

i) I’ll go anywhere for my holiday but Ajmer. I really hate it there.
ii) On holiday he eats nothing but fried food.
iii) She took everything on holiday with her but water bottle.
iv) Everybody but the very young must carry their own tracking kit.
v) I’ve read all the chapters but two.
vi) Nobody but Madhu would wear a mini-dress at a formal dinner.

निम्लिखित अभिव्यक्तियों (expressions) में ‘but’ एक preposition होता है:

next but one last but one

i) They live in the house next but one to Renu. (अर्थात रेनू के घर से दो घर आगे वाला घर)
ii) Is this the final candidate? – No, it’s the last but one. (अर्थात उसके अतरिक्त एक और candidate भी है.)

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Prepositions & their uses (Explained in English)

1. A Preposition is a word that comes before a noun or a pronoun to show its relationship to another word in the sentence; e.g. 

a) Your shoes are under the table.
b) The child jumped off the bed.
c) I do not agree with you.
d) She is fond of coffee. 

[In the first sentence the word ‘under’ is a preposition telling the relation between two nouns ‘shoes’ and ‘table’. In the second sentence the word ‘off’ is a preposition telling the relation between the verb ‘jumped’ and the noun ‘bed’.

In the third sentence ‘with’ is a preposition telling the relation between the verb ‘agree’ and the pronoun ‘you’. And in the last sentence the word ‘of’ is a preposition telling the relation between the adjective ‘fond’ and the noun ‘coffee’.]

If we see the above sentences the word after the preposition is either a noun or a pronoun. ‘table’, ‘bed’ and ‘coffee’ are nouns whereas ‘you’ is a pronoun.

2. The noun or Pronoun used after the preposition is called its Object. In the first sentence above ‘table’ is the Object of the preposition ‘under’.

NOTE-I: A preposition may also have two or more objects; e.g.

Panchkula is situated between plains and hills.

[In this sentence the preposition ‘between’ has two objects ‘plains’ and ‘hills’.]

NOTE-II: Sometimes the object of a preposition is a ‘phrase’; e.g.

a) The noise is coming from across the river. (Here ‘across the river’ is a phrase)
b) I sold my motor cycle for ‘under its half cost’.
c) Each article was sold at ‘over a dollar’.
d) I did not see him till ‘a few days ago’
e) She was thinking about ‘how to avoid him’.

NOTE-III: Sometimes the object of a preposition is a clause; e.g.

I have no interest in what you say. (‘what you say’ is a clause)

NOTE-IV: If the object of a preposition is a pronoun it’s always in the objective case; e.g.

a) I’m going to buy a ring for her.
b) My brother does live with us.

3. Two or more words requiring a preposition

If two or more words requiring different prepositions are joined by a conjunctions like ‘and’, ‘or’, etc. we must mention all those prepositions; e.g.

My teacher is surprised at as well as happy with my work.

INCORRECT: Himanshu is younger and taller than his other brother.
CORRECT: Himanshu is younger to and taller than his other brother.

4. We do not use a preposition before Today, Tomorrow, Yesterday, The following day, The next day, Yesterday evening, Yesterday afternoon, Last night, This morning, etc.; e.g.

INCORRECT: I’m leaving for Kolkata on tomorrow.
CORRECT: I’m leaving for Kolkata tomorrow.

INCORRECT: She will arrive here in yesterday evening
CORRECT: She will arrive here yesterday evening.

5. Use of preposition with ‘home’

If there is a verb of motion such as get, go, come, arrive, reach, travel, drive, bring, etc. we do not use any preposition with ‘home’, but if the verb is indicating a state (not motion) we use a suitable preposition with ‘home’, e.g.

INCORRECT: She went to home on foot yesterday.
CORRECT: She went home on foot yesterday.

INCORRECT: Ankit drives me to home daily?
CORRECT: Ankit drives me home daily.

INCORRECT: Bring him at home in the evening.
CORRECT: Bring him home in the evening.

INCORRECT: Mohan is home. [Verb BE (is) a verb of state (not motion)]
CORRECT: Mohan is at home.

NOTE: But if ‘home’ is preceded by a possessive adjective (my, our, your, etc.) or a possessive noun, we use the preposition ‘to’ before ‘home’; e.g.

INCORRECT: I went his home in the morning.
CORRECT: I went to his home in the morning.

INCORRECT: I decided to go Ram’s home.
CORRECT: I decided to go to Ram’s home.

6. Use of preposition after the verb ‘spend’

We use ‘on’ when we say ‘spend your time/money, etc.’ (not ‘for’) e.g. 

INCORRECT: I don’t have any money to spend for luxuries.
CORRECT: I don’t have any money to spend on luxuries.

INCORRECT: Whatever she earns she spends for her children.
CORRECT: Whatever she earns she spends on her children.

7. How to decide whether we should use ‘infinitive’ or ‘gerund’ after ‘TO 

It’s a must to keep in mind that the word ‘to’ can be a preposition or part of an infinitive. If ‘to’ is a preposition we use gerund (ing form) after ‘to’, if it’s not a preposition we use infinitive (V1) after ‘to’. So, to decide whether the gerund is needed or the infinitive, it’s important to determine whether ‘to’ is a preposition or part of an infinitive.

A good way of finding this out is to see whether it’s possible to put a noun or pronoun after it. You already know that a preposition always takes a noun or pronoun after it, and also a gerund is a noun. So if ‘to’ is a preposition, it’ll take the gerund; otherwise ‘to’ will be part of the infinitive. Let’s understand this by the following example.

I’m accustomed to ———— .

Accustomed = familiar with something or used to

Meaning of ‘accustomed’ suggests that it must be a noun after ‘to’. For example ‘She is accustomed to noise’. We see that the word ‘noise’ is a noun. So it’s clear now that ‘to’ is a preposition here; hence if an action word is to be used here it will be the ‘gerund’; e.g.

She is now accustomed to working in noise.

Some of the expressions after which we use a noun or gerund:

accustomed to habituated to owing to
addicted to in addition to with a view to
averse to look forward to prone to
devoted to object to taken to
be/become/get used to

a-i) I am looking forward to your reply. (‘Reply’ is a noun; ‘to’ is a preposition.)
ii) I am looking forward to receiving my payment soon. (‘Receiving’ is a gerund; ‘to’ is a preposition.)

b-i) I am used to noise. (‘Noise’ is a noun; ‘to’ is a preposition)
ii) I am used to working in a noisy environment. (‘Working’ is a gerund; ‘to’ is a preposition.)

c-i) This road is prone to accidents. (‘Accident’ is a noun; ‘to’ is a preposition )
ii) In his youth he was prone to gambling. (‘Gambling’ is a gerund; ‘to’ is a preposition.)

[Prone =  likely to suffer from an illness or show a particular negative characteristic]

d) He comes to me with a view to getting some help.

e) My father is addicted to smoking.

NOTE: ‘Used to’ without ‘be/become/get’ takes infinitive, not gerund; e.g.

I used to smoke earlier.

8. Position of prepositions in a sentence 

A)  We normally use prepositions in front of their nouns or pronouns. We, in the following constructions sometimes, do use a preposition at the end of the sentence, but it’s incorrect in standard English.

In questions beginning with a ‘preposition + whom +/what/whose/which/where’

INCORRECT: Who have you bought this dress for?
CORRECT: For whom have you bought this dress?

INCORRECT: Which table are your books on?
CORRECT: On which table are your books?

B)  In relative clauses, a preposition placed before ‘whom/which’ cannot be moved to the end of the clause.

INCORRECT: He is the person whom I had lunch with. OR He is the person with who I had lunch with.
CORRECT: He is the person with whom I had lunch.

INCORRECT: This is the shop which I bought my books from.
CORRECT: This is the shop from which I bought my books.

NOTE-I: But if the relative pronoun is removed from the sentence, the preposition moves at the end of the clause. Therefore the above two sentences can be written like this: 

i) He is the person I had lunch with.
ii) This is the shop I bought my books from.

NOTE-II: But when the object of the preposition is the relative pronoun ‘that’, whether or not we remove it the preposition is always placed at the end of the clause; e.g.

INCORRECT: Here is the book for that you were looking.
CORRECT: Here is the book that you were looking for. OR Here is the book you were looking for.

INCORRECT: This is the man with that I lived.
CORRECT: This is the man that I lived with. OR This is the man I lived with.

NOTE-III: In passive voice we use the preposition at the end; e.g.

i) I have been operated on.
ii) That theft case has been enquired into.

C)  If  a noun needs a preposition; and an infinitive is used for that noun in the sentence; we use the preposition at the end; e.g.

i) She does not have a nice dress to put on.
ii) I don’t have a pen to write with.

9. Use and omission of the preposition ‘to’ 

A)  When object is a person 

a) When we do not use the preposition ‘to’
We do not use ‘to’ after verbs of command, request, advice and invitation if there is a person as an object. Some of these verbs are:

advise ask beg command urge
compliment congratulate encourage forbid warn
implore inform invite order welcome
recommend remind request tell

i) She advised me to wait for an hour.
ii) She urged her to try again.
iii) They warned him to stay away from those wires.

NOTE: If the verb ‘recommend’ is followed by an object other than a person we use the preposition ‘to’ before the person appearing after; e.g.

She recommended it to me.

b) When we use the preposition ‘to’
We use the preposition ‘to’ after the following verbs if the object is a person:

complain describe explain listen pray
propose reply report say speak
suggest talk write

i) I cannot reply to you before next week.
ii) I said to him that I was not well.
iii) She suggested to me that I should consult the doctor first.

c) When use of the preposition ‘to’ in some cases is necessary; and in some cases it’s not used at all
Verbs that take the preposition ‘to’ when a person is the object, but if that object is removed they do not take ‘to’:

call ( =shout) complain describe explain grumble
murmur mutter say shout speak
suggest talk whisper

i) Rahul complained to her about the food.
= Rahul complained about the food.

ii) He said nothing to his teachers.
= He said nothing.

iii) He said to me that he was ill.
= He said that he was ill.

NOTE: ‘Shout at’ is used when the subject is angry, but ‘shout to’ is used when the subject raises his voice because someone is at a distance; e.g.

i) My mother shouted at me when I did not return in time. (Means she was angry with me.)
ii) My mother shouted to me from the roof. (Means she shouted because I was at some distance.)

10. Use of prepositions when there are two objects of a verb 

A verb can also have two objects. If it’s so one of them denotes a person and the other denotes a thing. The object denoting the thing is called the Direct Object, and the object denoting the person is called the Indirect Object. See the following sentence to understand it well.

Mohan gave me a pen.

[In the above sentence verb ‘gave’ has two objects namely ‘me’ and ‘pen’. The object ‘me’ is denoting a person, hence it’s the Indirect Object. The object ‘pen’ is denoting a thing, hence it’s the Direct Object.]

If the direct Indirect Object is immediately after the verb we do not use a preposition, but if the direct object is with the verb we must insert a suitable preposition from ‘to’ or ‘for’ before the indirect object; e.g.

a) Mohan gave me a pen.
= Mohan gave a pen to me.

b) Will you do me a favour?
= Will you do a favour to me?

c) I bought my daughter a doll.
= I bought a doll for my daughter.

d) Fetch her a pencil.
= Fetch a pencil for her.

NOTE-I: However some of the verbs take a preposition even if they are attached with a Direct Object immediately after. Some of these verbs are:

entrust furnish present provide
supply

INCORRECT: Cows provide us milk.
CORRECT: Cows provide us with milk. OR Cows provide milk to us.

INCORRECT: The Principal presented me the trophy.
CORRECT: The Principal presented me with the trophy.

NOTE-II: When the Direct Object is somewhat a longer phrase or a clause we put the indirect object with the verb itself and no preposition is used; e.g.

a) Tell me the whole story.

(Here you see that the direct object ‘the whole story’ is a phrase, so you can’t say ‘Tell the whole story to me’.)

b) She showed me what she had in her

(Here you see that the direct object ‘what she had in her bag’ is a clause, so you can’t say ‘She showed what she had in her bag to me’.)

11. Preposition ‘but’

‘But’ can be a conjunction or a preposition. Now we’ll learn to know  whether it’s a conjunction or a preposition in a sentence.

A) When ‘but’ works as a conjunction
When ‘but’ is a conjunction it adds two contrasting sentences or clauses; e.g.

i) They had very little money, but they always bought their children expensive presents.
ii) They were poor, but hardworking.
iii) Her car is fifteen years old, but still drives beautifully.

B) When ‘but’ works as a preposition 
When ‘but’ is a preposition it means ‘except’. ‘But’ as a preposition is used to introduce the only thing or person that the main part of the sentence does not include; and is chiefly (though not always) used after words such as Everyone, Nobody, Anything, Anywhere, All, No, None, Any, Every, etc.; e.g.

i) I’ll go anywhere for my holiday but Ajmer. I really hate it there.
ii) On holiday he eats nothing but fried food.
iii) She took everything on holiday with her but water bottle.
iv) Everybody but the very young must carry their own tracking kit.
v) I’ve read all the chapters but two.
vi) Nobody but Madhu would wear a mini-dress at a formal dinner.

In the following expressions also ‘but’ is a preposition:

next but one last but one

i) They live in the house next but one to Renu. (i.e. two houses away from Renu)
ii) Is this the final candidate? – No, it’s the last but one. (i.e. there is one more candidate except him.)

For more chapters/topics on English Grammar read the following book authored by me.

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Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of www.examscomp.com and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

1. Maha English Grammar (for Competitive Exams)
2. Maha English Practice Sets (for Competitive Exams)