Pin Me

Tricks for Memorizing Prepositions

written by: Janelle Martel • edited by: Wendy Finn • updated: 8/2/2012

Many effective techniques for memorizing prepositions, as well as understanding techniques are introduced to make learning fun but understandable. A list of common prepositions is included, as well as teaching you what a preposition is.

  • slide 1 of 4

    Introduction to Prepositions

    What do prepositions and prepositional phrases do? Prepositions are funny little words that are often defined as "linking nouns, pronouns, and phrases to other words in a sentence". More simply, prepositions are words that indicate a place or time. However, there are other parts of speech that indicate place and time as well. Therefore, it's often easier to recognize a preposition when you have all of the prepositions memorized. Below is a list of the seventy most common prepositions used in the English language:

    • aboard
    • about
    • above
    • across
    • after
    • against
    • along
    • amid
    • among
    • anti
    • around
    • as
    • at
    • before
    • behind
    • below
    • beneath
    • beside
    • besides
    • between
    • beyond
    • but
    • by
    • concerning
    • considering
    • despite
    • down
    • during
    • except
    • excepting
    • excluding
    • following
    • for
    • from
    • in
    • inside
    • into
    • like
    • minus
    • near
    • of
    • off
    • on
    • onto
    • opposite
    • outside
    • over
    • past
    • per
    • plus
    • regarding
    • round
    • save
    • since
    • than
    • through
    • to
    • toward
    • towards
    • under
    • underneath
    • unlike
    • until
    • up
    • upon
    • versus
    • via
    • with
    • within
    • without

    As there are so many prepositions, it can be daunting to memorize a list of this length. However, there are tricks for memorizing prepositions that can help you!

  • slide 2 of 4

    Memorize Through Grouping

    You will notice that the list of prepositions above are grouped alphabetically. Splitting a large list of items into smaller groups gives you many new ways to memorize! You can concentrate on each letter, by testing yourself on the "A" words first by writing them down until you have them, and then moving onto the B's. Once you have the A's and B's memorized separately, you can try quizzing yourself on them together.

    A lot of teachers also introduce a song to help memorize prepositions. You can use this method by singing the list of prepositions alphabetically. Popular tunes include "Yankee Doodle" or "Farmer and the Dell" but you can also try one of your favorite songs, as the familiar tune will "catch" in your mind. You could also come up with actions to do along to the song.

    You can also make groups for the words according to what they tell you in a sentence. For example, "above" and "aboard" might be places you could be on a train, and "after" and "before" could be when you arrived in relation to the train. Coming up will your own classifications will help you memorize the prepositions easier!

  • slide 3 of 4

    Repetition

    Write out your list of prepositions many times, and then try to not look at your list of prepositions! This will help you to memorize the words as you will be thinking of the word in your head at the same time you are looking at it.

    Another version of this is to say the words out loud as you are looking at the word on the paper. Repetition may be a boring technique, but it does work!

  • slide 4 of 4

    Increase your Understanding of Prepositions

    You can write a story using as many prepositions as possible, or play charades with the preposition words. This will help to increase your understanding of what a preposition is, which also helps you in memorization!

    There are many other memorizing techniques that you can use to help you to memorize prepositions, as well as other facts you may need to recall, so choose one that works for you.

    I hope you found these tricks for memorizing prepositions helpful!