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Prepositions represent relationships, either spatial or abstract, between objects.  There are only about 50 prepositions and you already know them all.  Here is a fairly complete list: aboard, about, above, across, after, against, along, amid, among, anti, around, as, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, besides, between, beyond, by, despite, down, during, except, excepting, excluding, following, for, from, in, inside, into, like, near, of, off, on, onto, opposite, outside, over, past, per, plus, round, save, since, than, through, to, toward, towards, under, underneath, unlike, until, up, upon, versus, via, with, within, without.


Prepositions may take objects just as verbs may have objects. 


The tie hung on him much as a comatose basilisk would.  


One cannot say the tie hung on he. 




over I

 over me

from she

from her

for who

for whom

of they

of them


As we learn verbs and nouns however, we must also note which prepositions are used with them and how they affect the meaning of the word.  Let us examine, for example, the verb "take" and consider the differences in meaning conveyed by:


take on                  undertake or confront

take off                  to remove an article of clothing or an aircraft launching

take over               to capture, overrun

take out                 to go on a date (with someone)

take in                   to provide accommodation (for someone), to observe

take after               to emulate or resemble (someone)

take back              to retract

take apart             disassemble

take down             to record (in writing), to subdue (someone)

take for                 to misidentify (someone as someone else)


Some of the terms in these chapters must be used with the correct prepositions. Without knowing the correct preposition to use with a noun or verb, knowing its definition is of little use.  For example, the noun aversion and its synonyms use a number of different prepositions:

It is aversion to but dislike of/for, loathing of, distaste for and hatred of.  When a term is associated predominantly with one or two specific prepositions, chapter glossaries will indicate those prepositions in square brackets ([]) with the more commonly used one given first based on web usage frequency.   



  Excerpted with permission from SAT Practice: The New Verbal Section.