Preposition and postposition

prepositionpostpositionprepositionspostpositionsadpositionprepositionaladpositionsthroughcircumpositionadpositional
Prepositions and postpositions, together called adpositions (or broadly, in English, simply prepositions), are a class of words used to express spatial or temporal relations (in, under, towards, before) or mark various semantic roles (of, for).wikipedia
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Noun

nounssubstantiveabstract noun
A preposition or postposition typically combines with a noun or pronoun, or more generally a noun phrase, this being called its complement, or sometimes object.
Linguistically, a noun is a member of a large, open part of speech whose members can occur as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition.

English grammar

Englishgrammarthere
This refers to the situation in Latin and Greek (and in English), where such words are placed before their complement (except sometimes in Ancient Greek), and are hence "pre-positioned".
For other pronouns, and all nouns, adjectives, and articles, grammatical function is indicated only by word order, by prepositions, and by the "Saxon genitive or English possessive" (-'s).

Noun phrase

noun phrasesNPnominal phrase
A preposition or postposition typically combines with a noun or pronoun, or more generally a noun phrase, this being called its complement, or sometimes object.
Noun phrases often function as verb subjects and objects, as predicative expressions, and as the complements of prepositions.

Pronoun

pronounspronominalpronominal system
A preposition or postposition typically combines with a noun or pronoun, or more generally a noun phrase, this being called its complement, or sometimes object. Some languages have cases that are used exclusively after prepositions (prepositional case), or special forms of pronouns for use after prepositions (prepositional pronoun).
Subject pronouns are used in subject position (I like to eat chips, but she does not). Object pronouns are used for the object of a verb or preposition (John likes me but not her).

Adpositional phrase

prepositional phraseprepositional phrasespreposition phrase
The phrase formed by a preposition or postposition together with its complement is called a prepositional phrase (or postpositional phrase, adpositional phrase, etc.) – such phrases usually play an adverbial role in a sentence.
Ad-positional phrases contain an ad-position (preposition, postposition, or circumposition) as head and usually a complement such as a noun phrase.

Oblique case

obliqueobjectiveobjective case
In English, the complements of prepositions take the objective case where available (from him, not *from he). In Koine Greek, for example, certain prepositions always take their objects in a certain case (e.g., ἐν always takes its object in the dative), while other prepositions may take their object in one of two or more cases, depending on the meaning of the preposition (e.g., διά takes its object in the genitive or in the accusative, depending on the meaning).
) is a nominal case that is used when a noun phrase is the object of either a verb or a preposition.

Inflected preposition

inflectedprepositional pronounsconjugated prepositions
There are exceptions, though, such as prepositions that have fused with a pronominal object to form inflected prepositions.
In linguistics, an inflected preposition is a type of word that occurs in some languages, that corresponds to the combination of a preposition and a personal pronoun.

Prepositional pronoun

object of a prepositionprepositionalprepositional form
Some languages have cases that are used exclusively after prepositions (prepositional case), or special forms of pronouns for use after prepositions (prepositional pronoun).
A prepositional pronoun is a special form of a personal pronoun that is used as the object of a preposition.

Prepositional case

prepositionaldative or prepositionalpost-positional
Some languages have cases that are used exclusively after prepositions (prepositional case), or special forms of pronouns for use after prepositions (prepositional pronoun).
The prepositional case (abbreviated ) and the postpositional case (abbreviated ) are grammatical cases that respectively mark the object of a preposition and a postposition.

Ancient Greek grammar

Ancient GreekGreekgrammar
This refers to the situation in Latin and Greek (and in English), where such words are placed before their complement (except sometimes in Ancient Greek), and are hence "pre-positioned".
The accusative, genitive, and dative cases are also used after prepositions, for example:

Preposition stranding

strandedstranded prepositionpreposition-stranding
This may be referred to as preposition stranding (see also below), as in "Whom did you go with?"
Preposition stranding, sometimes called P-stranding, is the syntactic construction in which a preposition with an object occurs somewhere other than immediately adjacent to its object; for example, at the end of a sentence.

Grammatical case

casecasescase marking
An adposition may determine the grammatical case of its complement.
A role that one of those languages marks by case is often marked in English with a preposition.

Head-directionality parameter

head-finalhead-initialhead final
Whether a language has primarily prepositions or postpositions is seen as an aspect of its typological classification, and tends to correlate with other properties related to head directionality.
4) Adpositional phrase (PP). Such phrases are called prepositional phrases if they are head-initial (i.e. headed by a preposition), or postpositional phrases if they are head-final (i.e. headed by a postposition). For more on these, see Preposition and postposition. The complement is a determiner phrase (or noun phrase, depending on analytical scheme followed).

Uninflected word

uninflectedindeclinablebase
Adpositions themselves are usually non-inflecting ("invariant"): they do not have paradigms of form (such as tense, case, gender, etc.) the same way that verbs, adjectives, and nouns can.
In English and many other languages, uninflected words include prepositions, interjections, and conjunctions, often called invariable words. These cannot be inflected under any circumstances (unless they are used as different parts of speech, as in "ifs and buts").

Chinese grammar

ChineseChinese aspect markersChinese aspects
Chinese: 桌子上 zhuōzi shàng (lit. "table on"); this is a nominal form which usually requires an additional preposition to form an adverbial phrase (see Chinese locative phrases)
Chinese prepositions behave similarly to serialized verbs in some respects, and they are often referred to as coverbs.

Japanese language

JapaneseJapanese-languageJp
In some languages, including Sindhi, Urdu, Turkish, Hindi, Korean, and Japanese, the same kind of words typically come after their complement.
The grammatical function of nouns is indicated by postpositions, also called particles.

Adjective

adjectivesadjectivalattributive adjective
In English, this is generally a noun (or something functioning as a noun, e.g., a gerund), together with its specifier and modifiers such as articles, adjectives, etc. The complement is sometimes called the object of the adposition.
Other constructs that often modify nouns include prepositional phrases (as in "a rebel without a cause"), relative clauses (as in "the man who wasn't there"), and infinitive phrases (as in "a cake to die for"). Some nouns can also take complements such as content clauses (as in "the idea that I would do that"), but these are not commonly considered modifiers.

French grammar

FrenchgrammarFrench plural marker
French: sur la table ("on the table")
Case is primarily marked using word order and prepositions, while certain verb features are marked using auxiliary verbs.

Morpheme

morphemesmorphemicmonomorphemic
The most common adpositions are single, monomorphemic words. According to the ranking cited above, for example, the most common English prepositions are on, in, to, by, for, with, at, of, from, as, all of which are single-syllable words and cannot be broken down into smaller units of meaning.
Examples of an ambiguous situation are the preposition over and the determiner your, which seem to have a concrete meaning, but are considered function morphemes because their role is to connect ideas grammatically.

Russian grammar

RussiangrammarRussian basic (unprefixed) verbs of motion
Russian: у меня ("in the possession of me" [I have])
prepositional

Grammaticalization

grammaticalizedgrammaticalisationgrammaticalised
Many simple adpositions are derived from complex forms (e.g., with + in → within, by + side → beside) through grammaticalisation.
In historical linguistics and language change, grammaticalization (also known as grammatization or grammaticization) is a process of language change by which words representing objects and actions (i.e. nouns and verbs) become grammatical markers (affixes, prepositions, etc.).

Common English usage misconceptions

common misconceptioncommon English usage misconceptionno rule
Some prescriptive English grammars teach that prepositions cannot end a sentence, although there is no rule prohibiting that use.
Misconception: A sentence must not end in a preposition.

Khmer grammar

Khmer
Khmer: លើក្តារខៀន [ləː kdaːkʰiən] ("on (the) blackboard")
Like in English, prepositions are used rather than postpositions (words meaning "in", "on", etc. precede the noun that they govern).

Gerund

gerundsfused participlegerund suffix
In English, this is generally a noun (or something functioning as a noun, e.g., a gerund), together with its specifier and modifiers such as articles, adjectives, etc. The complement is sometimes called the object of the adposition.
On being elected president, he moved with his family to the capital. (gerund phrase as complement of a preposition)

Latin grammar

Latinablative absolutegrammar
This is only a tendency, however; an example of a language that behaves differently is Latin, which employs mostly prepositions, even though it typically places verbs after their objects.
Prepositions, such as in ("in" or "into") or ex ("from" or "out of"), usually precede the noun, except sometimes in poetry.