Sentence structure – prepositions

Identifying and using prepositions

There are approximately 150 prepositions in English. The prepositions of, to and in are among the ten most frequent words in English.

The name “preposition” (pre + position) means “place before”. Prepositions usually come before another word, such as a:

  • noun
  • pronoun
  • noun phrase
  • gerund (participle of verb – ends in –ing – but used as a noun, e.g., The dancing was enjoyed by all).

Activities to support the strategy

Activity: outside prepositional play

Download and print the cards. In a group outside and around the fixed equipment (playground equipment) students follow the picture directions:


Australian curriculum

ACELA1493: Text structure and organisation: Understand that the meaning of sentences can be enriched through the use of noun groups/phrases and verb groups/phrases and prepositional phrases.

NSW syllabus

EN2-9B: Outcome 9: uses effective and accurate sentence structure, grammatical features, punctuation conventions and vocabulary relevant to the type of text when responding to and composing texts (EN2-9B) - Understand and apply knowledge of language forms and features: understand how to elaborate on ideas in texts through the use of prepositional phrases.

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