Preposition List

Basic Location

up, down, beside, above, at, behind, below, beside, by, in, in front of, off, on, out, outside, over, to, under

Later Developing Location

aboard, across, against, ahead of, along, among, around, beneath, between, beyond, into, near, onto, past, through, throughout, toward, underneath, upon, within


about, as, but, by, from, despite, except, for, like, of, to, with, without


after, at, before, during, since, throughout, till, until, while


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Free Stuff:

Comprehension Pages – Location Concepts/ Prepositions

There are many, many location concepts and/or prepositions on these pages…generally the ones on the left are easier, and they get more difficult toward the right.  Feel free to laminate them, use them as worksheets, or they could be cut up into small cards. (The thumbnails are of larger picture files, or download in pdf form).

comp page pos concepts 1Pdf  comp page pos concepts 2Pdf  comp page pos concepts 3Pdf  comp page pos concepts 4Pdf  comp page pos concepts 5Pdf

comp page later dev preps 1Pdf  comp page later dev preps 2Pdf

Basic Preposition Worksheets and Activities

Click on picture to view a small preview of each activity. Click on Doc or PDF to download worksheets in preferred format.

(1) (2)  (3) (4)(5) prepositions-pix-act-11 (6) prepos-ssearch-3 (7)(8)(9) words that work prep 1(10) words that work prep 2

(1) Choose the Correct Prep Sentence 1 Doc PDF;     (2) Choose the Correct Prep Sentence 2 Doc PDF;     (3) Basic Preposition Worksheet 1 Doc PDF;     (4) Basic Preposition Worksheet 2 Doc PDF ;     (5) Preposition Pictures DocPDF;     (6) Sentence Search 1 Doc PDF;     (7) Sentence Search 2 Doc PDF; (8)Preposition Sentence Drop 1  Doc PDF; (9) Words That Work 1 PDF Doc;    (10) Words That Work 2 PDF Doc

Contrast Cards

Click on picture to view a small preview of each activity.   Click on Doc or PDF to download worksheets in preferred format.


(1) Prepositions Above Below Doc PDF;     (2) Prepositions Around To Between From Doc PDF;     (3) Prepositions Behind In Front Doc PDF;     (4) Prepositions In On Doc

Prepositions Cards

Click on picture to view a small preview of each activity.   Click on Doc or PDF to download worksheets in preferred format.


(1) Cards 1 Doc PDF;     (2) Cards 2 Doc PDF;     (3) Sentences 1 Doc PDF;     (4) Sentences 2 Doc PDF;     (5) Sentences 3 Doc PDF;     (6) Backs Doc PDF

Comprehension Strips

Click on picture to view a small preview of each activity.   Click on Doc or PDF to download worksheets in preferred format.

(1)  (2) (3) (4) 

(1) Comprehension Strips – Basic Prepositions 1 Doc PDF;     (2) Comprehension Strips  – Basic Prepositions 2 Doc PDF;     (3) Comprehension Strips – Later Developing Prepositions 1 Doc PDF ;     (4) Comprehension Strips – Later Developing Prepositions 2 Doc PDF

Preposition “War” Cards

These combine the traditional “War” card game with plenty of practice opportunities – these are specifically for later developing prepositions, such as around, through, toward, etc.  This game is super easy to learn, yet fun, and can be modified in many ways.  The basic gist is that the cards are divided up between each participant, and then for each turn one card is turned over, with the highest card keeping all of the cards, and whoever gets the most, or them all, wins.  In the case of ties, each player plays two cards face down before playing the third card face up, with the victor claiming all of the cards for that round.

preview images:

1) war cards preps 1 pic.png war cards preps 1b pic.png  2) war cards preps 2 pic.png war cards preps 2b pic.png   3) war cards preps 3 pic.png war cards preps 3b pic.png

pdf files:  1) war cards later dev prepositions 1;  2) war cards later dev prepositions 2;  3) war cards later dev prepositions 3

Functional and other Preposition Activities

Click on picture to view a small preview of each activity.   Click on Doc or PDF to download worksheets in preferred format.

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)(6) (7) (8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13)

(1) Battleshapes/Choices (2 pages) Doc PDF;     (2) Preposition Pictures/ Simon Says Doc PDF;     (3) Following Directions Doc PDF;      (4) Functional/Misc Activities Doc PDF;     (5) Scripts /Drill Doc PDF;     (6) Sentence Search Doc PDF; (7) Sentence Maze 1 Doc PDF;     (8) Sentence Maze 2 Doc PDF; (9) Sentence Maze 3 Doc PDF;      (10) Preposition Bullseye 1 Doc PDF; (11) Preposition Bullseye 2 Doc PDF; (12) Preposition Sentence Drop Doc PDF; (13) United States Prepositions Doc PDF



Background Information

Prepositions express relationships between two parts of a sentence. Some prepositions consist of more than one word. The words in these prepositions are typically inflexible, for example in spite of can’t be changed to “out spite of” (Crystal, 1995) Much of what is currently categorized under “basic concepts,” such as on the Bracken and CASL tests, actually are prepositions and adjectives.

Prepositions, and location prepositions in particular, have been studied somewhat extensively (Owens, 1996). From these studies, many presumptions about acquisition have been made. These include:

  • Children often respond to the objects mentioned before the preposition used
  • Interpretation of more difficult prepositions requires being able to adopt the perspective of the speaker.
  • Terms that signal movement toward the speaker should be easier than their opposites.

Certain prepositions can be used to achieve similar, yet distinct, functions. At can be used for time (“Meet me at 3 o’clock.”), or location (“Meet me at the store.”). Studies with brain injured patients have indicated that these functions are performed in different areas of the brain (Kemmerer, 2005).

Much of the difficulty in learning any new word or linguistic concept is determined by two factors: 1) complexity of the relationship the word symbolizes, and 2) frequency of exposure. Prepositions provide a perfect example of how this is true. Between usually develops later than under, because it describes relationships among three items rather than two. Through develops later than above because it occurs less frequently in typical language.

Tests that assess prepositions include the SPELT-3, CELF-P2, TACL, Bracken, CASL, and the OWLS.

Elicitation Ideas

Preposition Goal Suggestions

George will identify objects and pictures upon hearing basic location prepositions; for example, “What is behind the tree?”

John will answer questions requiring varied location, relation, or time prepositions; for example, “Where is the rope?” or “When do you eat dessert?”

Thomas will use varied location, relation, or time prepositions in sentences; for example, “Use the word ‘without’ in a sentence.”

13 thoughts on “Prepositions

  1. Anonymous

    i need prepositions that are catagorized into when, where, and who lists!:(


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  3. Patti

    On your sentence worksheet 1, there is an error. The word “it’s” should be “its”…”The snake is in its aquarium.”


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