Although I’ve blogged about prepositions and conjunctions before, this blog is to clear up any confusions between the two.
Preposition: the Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus defines preposition as a “word marking relation between noun or pronoun and other words”. Bernard C Lamb in The Queen’s English explains that prepositions “usually occur before the noun or pronoun to which they apply, relating that word to some other part of the sentence”. The Oxford A-Z of Grammar & Punctuation by John Seely adds that prepositions also occur before a verbal noun (e.g. without sitting) and a noun phrase (e.g. on the final day) with ‘without’ and ‘on’ being the preposition words.
Other examples of preposition words: at, of, to, beside, with, until, after, over, up etc.
Conjunction: The Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus defines conjunction as a “part of speech joining words, phrases etc”. Examples: and, or, but etc.
So, what does that all mean and how would they look in sentences?
Focusing on prepositions
- I am going to London
- They pond was full of water
In the above, the words ‘to’ and ‘of’ are both prepositions relating to the nouns ‘London’ and ‘water’.
Focusing on conjunctions
- Sammy’s favourite colour is red and Ben’s is blue
- I know that you are going to make sandwiches but I don’t like cheese
- Apples and pears
In the above, the words ‘and’ and ‘but’ are conjunctions joining the two phrases or words together.
An example of prepositions and conjunctions together
Jo is looking at him and Jack is looking at her
In this sentence, ‘at’ is a preposition (relating to the pronouns ‘him’ and ‘her’) and ‘and’ is a conjunction joining the two phrases together.
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The Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus
Bernard C. Lamb The Queen’s English (2010), UK
Oxford A-Z of Grammar & Punctuation by John Seely