Prepositions of direction are prepositions that help us express in which direction an object is moving or action is taking place.
Take a look at the list of the most popular prepositions of direction:
- out of
- up and down
Prepositions of direction In / Into
These two prepositions help us express that the action is directed inward, into another object or space.
Put it in where you found it!
The thought’s been put into my head.
The preposition Over indicates a direction over (above, through) an obstacle or space.
The girl scrambled over the wall.
Crumble the cheese over the salad.
He played the beam of his torch over the wall of the cave.
From is another very popular preposition in English. The preposition from denotes a direction from some point or some place. The preposition from denotes the opposite direction when compared with the preposition to.
Fish always stink from the head down.
They aim to redistribute income from the rich to the poor.
With the preposition from, we can point to the source of action. This way we can indicate where the action comes from.
The bread is hot from the oven.
I thank you from my heart.
Towards has a meaning similar to the preposition to. Towards also denotes the direction to some goal or some object.
The land inclines towards the shore.
The pass gets quite narrow towards the east.
He took her arm and steered her towards the door.
As we drove towards the desert, the vegetation became sparse.
Prepositios of direction On / Onto
We use the prepositions on and onto to indicate that an action is taking place in the direction of the surface of another object or space.
I jumped on the tube.
He jumped onto the table.
Prepositions of direction Off and Out / Out of
Off and out (out of) have the opposite meaning than the prepositions in/into.
These two prepositions help us express that action is directed from within of another object or space.
We use off to indicate movement from the surface of another object.
We use out (out of) to indicate movement from another object.
It is best to see the meaning of these prepositions of direction with examples:
Let me take that off you.
I want him out of Tuscany fast.
You need to block him out of your mind.
We use off with public transport. We use out of with cars.
Driver said two of them got off the bus.
Come on, get her out of the car.
Prepositions of direction Up and Down
Up is a preposition of direction that describes an upward direction.
Down has the opposite meaning. The preposition down indicates a downward direction.
We went up and down in the elevator.
I think wisdom always goes up.
Sun goes down in 63 minutes, boss.
We use the preposition across to express direction through some space. Often from one end of this space to the other end.
I followed you across an ocean and across a continent.
The hotel’s private beach is just across the promenade.
Values connect us across our cultures and religions.
We use the preposition through to indicate a direction through some place, space, or obstacle.
That kid could sleep through the apocalypse.
A missile would burn its way through the crust.
I saw her through the kitchen window.
Now let’s look at the preposition of direction Via. This preposition is used less frequently than other prepositions of direction. Personally, though, I really like using the preposition Via. I like how it looks and sounds.
Via can indicate a direction through some kind of obstacle or space.
You can access our homepage via the Internet.
We exited into a back alley via the fire door.
The mills of Lancashire were supplied via the canal network.
By far the preposition of direction to is one of the most popular prepositions in the English language. We hear and use the preposition to every day. The preposition to is one of the first prepositions that English learners begin to use.
The preposition to indicates movement to some point, some place, or goal.
The boys go to school in groups.
How many times have you been to France?
We can use the preposition for as a preposition of direction in a construction:
verb + for
They left for Spain early this morning.
We should have enough money left for the occasional trip.
We’d better go for a doctor.
Let’s go for a walk in the park.
We use At as a preposition of direction in construction:
Verb + AT
The president arrived at California in a helicopter yesterday.
The preposition of direction Round means a direction in a circle, around an object or place.
His ambition is to sail round the world.
The Earth rotates round the sun.
The preposition past denotes that the movement of an object is near another object or place.
We drove slowly past the gutted buildings.
A small bird fluttered past the window.
The express train whizzed past the station.
The preposition along denotes a direction along (lengthways) some space.
Fold the paper along the dotted line.
The big car purred along the road.
His soldiers were arrayed along the river bank.
The old man bumble along the road.
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