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11+ & KS2 English: What are prepositions?

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

What are prepositions?

direction sign

Prepositions are descriptive words that give information about the relationship that nouns, noun phrases or pronouns have with other words in a sentence.

We can also say that the role of prepositions is to describe the relationship between objects.

Prepositions may give information about things like location, direction or time.

They answer questions about ‘where‘, ‘when‘ and ‘how‘ things are related in time and space.

Prepositions always introduce a phrase.

Prepositions of location - examples

Trevor the rabbit lives in Daisy’s garden.

‘In’ is a preposition that describes the relationship between the noun ‘rabbit’ and the noun phrase ‘Daisy’s garden’.

I keep all my favourite books under my bed.

‘Under’ is a preposition that describes the relationship between ‘books’ and ‘my bed’.

rabbit 1

More examples of prepositions of location


Next to
We live next to a famous singer.

I always keep a glass of water beside my bed.

“Please take out your books and put them on the desk!”

Roland loves to fly above the clouds in his plane.

Prepositions of direction - examples

Clive is driving slowly around the roundabout.

Once you go down the escalator, you’ll find the station.

The sailors sailed across the English Channel.

Eric is climbing up the tree.

We were travelling towards America.


Prepositions of time - examples

table tennis

The boy woke up at 7 o’clock.

We will begin in 5 minutes.

We can play table tennis on Thursday.

Other prepositions of time include ‘before‘ and ‘after‘.

Do you need to know about prepositions for the 11+ exams?

Questions on prepositions can often come up in 11+ English exams.

It is also important for students to understand how to spot prepositions and how to use them in writing tasks.

Knowledge of prepositions is useful for English and Verbal Reasoning exams at 11 Plus.

Try our expert 11+ English practice papers for questions on prepositions and for excellent testing of the 11+ English syllabus!

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