Prepositions: 7th Grade

Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12462

What's your position on prepositions? Do you know what they do and how to use them? If you have the space and time, you can learn to pre-position these words in a phrase to relate words to each other!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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What is your favorite sleeping position? No, that doesn't mean this lesson will put you to sleep! We want you to get on the ball and make it through this lesson on prepositions!

Do you sleep on your side, on your back, or on your stomach?

What position is the best one for you to be able to go to sleep?

Did you notice the small word "on" in the questions above? The word "on" is a preposition. But what is a preposition?

Take out a piece of paper and pencil. Now, try this challenge:

  • Write on the paper your definition of preposition.
  • Then, set a timer for one minute and write as many prepositions that you can think of on the paper.
  • If you do not remember what a preposition is and cannot list any, that is fine; if you do remember, see if you can list at least 10 prepositions.

As you watch "Preposition" by The Bazillions, check to see if your definition is correct. Also, check your list of prepositions. Put a check mark by the ones you have on your paper that they name, and add to your list any you did not include:

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How did you do? Did you remember what a preposition is? Were you able to come up with a list of at least 10 prepositions?

A preposition is a word that shows the position of how one word relates to another. A prepositional phrase begins with a preposition and ends with a noun. For example, "The Smithsonian Museum is located in Washington, D.C." "in Washington, D.C." is a prepositional phrase. The word "in" is a preposition, and "Washington, D.C.," is the object of the preposition. This shows the relationship or position between the verb "located" and the object of the preposition, "Washington, D.C."

Think about a cat or dog that lives in someone's house. What does that dog or cat do in the house? What positions do they get in? Do they go:

  • under the table?
  • on the table?
  • through the door?
  • down the stairs?
  • on top of the refrigerator?
  • over the fireplace?
  • across the carpet?
  • up the curtains?
  • inside the litter box?
  • underneath the couch?

Those are just a few of the prepositions that you can use. The table below lists more prepositions:

aboard before except near since
about behind excepting of through
above below for off throughout
across beneath from on to
after beside in onto toward
against besides inside opposite under
along between inside of out underneath
alongside beyond instead of out of until
amid but into outside unto
among by in place of over up
apart from concerning in regard to past upon
around despite in spite of prior to with
at down like regarding within
  during     without


When you look at the list of words, notice that they are positional words — they express both space and time. It helps when trying to memorize them to think of an object and insert the preposition in a phrase in front of the object (pre-position), like the activity you did with the cat or dog in the house.

Did you notice the word “to” in the list? You have probably learned that the word “to” creates an infinitive. How do you know when it is a preposition and when it is an infinitive? You must read the words after the word “to” in order to discover which it is.

  • If it is followed by a noun or pronoun, it is a preposition.
  • If it is followed by a verb, it is an infinitive.
  • For example: "We are going to eat at the restaurant." The word “eat” is a verb, so “to eat” is an infinitive. However, in “We are going to the restaurant,” "to" is followed by an adjective and a noun; therefore, it is a prepositional phrase.

A preposition never appears alone — it is always a part of a prepositional phrase. This includes the preposition, the object of the preposition, and any adjectives (modifiers) that go with the object of the preposition.

  • A prepositional phrase acts as an adjective if it is showing the position of a noun earlier in the sentence.
  • It functions as an adverb if it is showing the relationship to a verb in the sentence.
  • In the sentence we used earlier, “The Smithsonian Museum is located in Washington, D.C.,” since the prepositional phrase is telling where the Smithsonian is located (verb), then the prepositional phrase is acting as an adverb.

Take a few minutes and read through the list of prepositions a few times; then, without looking at the list, try to say as many of the prepositions as you can.

After you finish, continue to the Got It? section to practice identifying prepositions.

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