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Preposition vs. Conjunction: Know the Difference

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By Shumaila Saeed || Published on January 13, 2024
A preposition links nouns, pronouns, or phrases to other words, showing direction, time, or location, while a conjunction connects clauses, sentences, words, or phrases.
Preposition vs. Conjunction

Key Differences

Prepositions are words that establish relationships between different elements within a sentence, typically indicating direction, location, or time, such as "in," "at," "on," and "by." Conversely, conjunctions are used to link words, phrases, or clauses, functioning as connectors. Examples include "and," "but," "or," and "because." Both prepositions and conjunctions are essential for constructing coherent and complex sentences in English.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 13, 2024
While prepositions typically precede a noun or pronoun to form a phrase providing additional context about time, place, or manner, conjunctions serve a different purpose. They primarily connect thoughts or ideas, either within a single sentence or between multiple sentences, enhancing the flow of language. Prepositions create spatial or temporal relationships, whereas conjunctions create logical connections.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 13, 2024
In terms of grammatical structure, prepositions often lead to the creation of prepositional phrases, which include the preposition and its object, adding detail to the sentence. On the other hand, conjunctions may not necessarily form distinct phrases but rather seamlessly join various components of a sentence. The role of prepositions is largely locational or directional, while conjunctions aim to unify ideas or propositions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 13, 2024
Prepositions can indicate various types of relationships including cause, means, possession, and opposition, further diversifying their use in language. In contrast, conjunctions are classified into different types, such as coordinating, subordinating, and correlative, each serving to link ideas in different manners. This classification shows the diverse ways conjunctions can be used to enhance sentence structure and coherence.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 13, 2024
Understanding the correct usage of prepositions and conjunctions is crucial for effective communication. Misusing prepositions can lead to confusion about spatial or temporal references. Similarly, incorrect use of conjunctions can result in fragmented or disjointed ideas. Mastery of both these parts of speech is essential for clarity and precision in both written and spoken English.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 13, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Function

Connects nouns/pronouns to elements, indicating direction, location, time
Connects words, phrases, clauses, or sentences
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Examples

In, at, on, under
And, but, or, because
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Phrase Formation

Forms prepositional phrases
Does not form distinct phrases
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Types

Simple, compound, phrase
Coordinating, subordinating, correlative
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Primary Role

Indicates spatial/temporal relationships
Links ideas or arguments
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Preposition and Conjunction Definitions

Preposition

Shows temporal relationships.
We will meet after the movie.
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Dec 16, 2023

Conjunction

Introduces dependent clauses.
I will leave if it rains.
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Preposition

Establishes spatial relationships.
She stood in front of the mirror.
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Conjunction

Indicates reason or cause.
He is sad because he lost.
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Preposition

A word indicating the relationship of a noun/pronoun to other elements.
The cat is on the table.
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Conjunction

The act of joining.
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Preposition

Indicates direction or movement.
He walked toward the park.
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Conjunction

The state of being joined.
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Preposition

Can show cause or means.
She succeeded through hard work.
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Conjunction

A joint or simultaneous occurrence; concurrence
The conjunction of historical and economic forces that created a depression.
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Preposition

A word or phrase placed typically before a substantive and indicating the relation of that substantive to a verb, an adjective, or another substantive, as English at, by, with, from, and in regard to.
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Conjunction

One resulting from or embodying a union; a combination
"He is, in fact, a remarkable conjunction of talents" (Jerry Adler).
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Preposition

To position or place in position in advance
Artillery that was prepositioned at strategic points in the desert.
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Conjunction

The part of speech that serves to connect words, phrases, clauses, or sentences.
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Preposition

Any of a class of non-inflecting words typically employed to connect a following noun or a pronoun, in an adjectival or adverbial sense, with some other word: a particle used with a noun or pronoun (in English always in the objective case) to make a phrase limiting some other word.
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Conjunction

Any of the words belonging to this part of speech, such as and, but, as, and because.
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Preposition

An adposition.
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Conjunction

(Astronomy) The position of two celestial objects when they have the same celestial longitude. As viewed from Earth, two objects in conjunction will appear to be close to each other in the sky.
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Preposition

(obsolete) A proposition; an exposition; a discourse.
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Conjunction

A compound proposition that has components joined by the word and or its symbol and is true only if both or all the components are true.
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Preposition

To place in a location before some other event occurs.
It is important to preposition the material before turning on the machine.
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Conjunction

The relationship between the components of a conjunction.
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Preposition

A word employed to connect a noun or a pronoun, in an adjectival or adverbial sense, with some other word; a particle used with a noun or pronoun (in English always in the objective case) to make a phrase limiting some other word; - so called because usually placed before the word with which it is phrased; as, a bridge of iron; he comes from town; it is good for food; he escaped by running.
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Conjunction

The act of joining, or condition of being joined.
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Preposition

A proposition; an exposition; a discourse.
He made a long preposition and oration.
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Conjunction

(grammar) A word used to join other words or phrases together into sentences. The specific conjunction used shows how the two joined parts are related.
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Preposition

A function word that combines with a noun or pronoun or noun phrase to form a prepositional phrase that can have an adverbial or adjectival relation to some other word
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Conjunction

Cooccurrence; coincidence.
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Preposition

(linguistics) the placing of one linguistic element before another (as placing a modifier before the word it modifies in a sentence or placing an affix before the base to which it is attached)
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Conjunction

(astronomy) The alignment of two bodies in the solar system such that they have the same longitude when seen from Earth.
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Conjunction

(astrology) An aspect in which planets are in close proximity to one another.
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Conjunction

(logic) The proposition resulting from the combination of two or more propositions using the ∧ (\and) operator.
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Conjunction

A place where multiple things meet
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Conjunction

(obsolete) Sexual intercourse.
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Conjunction

The act of conjoining, or the state of being conjoined, united, or associated; union; association; league.
He will unite the white rose and the red:Smille heaven upon his fair conjunction.
Man can effect no great matter by his personal strength but as he acts in society and conjunction with others.
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Conjunction

A connective or connecting word; an indeclinable word which serves to join together sentences, clauses of a sentence, or words; as, and, but, if.
Though all conjunctions conjoin sentences, yet, with respect to the sense, some are conjunctive and some disjunctive.
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Conjunction

The temporal property of two things happening at the same time;
The interval determining the coincidence gate is adjustable
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Conjunction

The state of being joined together
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Conjunction

An uninflected function word that serves to conjoin words or phrases or clauses or sentences
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Conjunction

The grammatical relation between linguistic units (words or phrases or clauses) that are connected by a conjunction
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Conjunction

(astronomy) apparent meeting or passing of two or more celestial bodies in the same degree of the zodiac
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Conjunction

Something that joins or connects
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Conjunction

Connects words, phrases, or clauses.
She bought apples and oranges.
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Conjunction

Coordinates equal parts of a sentence.
He is smart but lazy.
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Conjunction

Connects contrasting ideas.
She is poor yet happy.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

How do prepositions function in sentences?

They form prepositional phrases providing contextual details.
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Jan 13, 2024

What are prepositions?

Words showing relationships between nouns/pronouns and other sentence elements.
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What are some common prepositions?

In, on, at, by, with.
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Can prepositions end sentences?

Yes, especially in spoken English or questions.
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Can prepositions be used in questions?

Yes, often in question phrases.
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Do prepositions have multiple meanings?

Yes, their meaning can vary based on context.
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Are conjunctions necessary for complex sentences?

Yes, especially for compound and complex sentence structures.
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Do prepositions always indicate location?

No, they can also show time, direction, or method.
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What are conjunctions?

Words that connect clauses, sentences, or words.
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What are subordinating conjunctions?

Conjunctions introducing dependent clauses (e.g., because, although).
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Are there different types of conjunctions?

Yes, including coordinating, subordinating, and correlative.
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Can prepositions change the meaning of a phrase?

Yes, depending on their placement and usage.
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Can conjunctions start sentences?

Yes, particularly in informal writing or speech.
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What are coordinating conjunctions?

Conjunctions connecting grammatically equal elements (e.g., and, but).
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How do conjunctions affect the flow of a sentence?

They provide seamless transitions between ideas.
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Is it possible to have a sentence without a preposition?

Yes, though prepositions are common in descriptive sentences.
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What role do conjunctions play in sentence structure?

They link ideas and add coherence to text.
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Are there any rules for using conjunctions?

Yes, such as maintaining parallel structure in conjunction pairs.
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Can conjunctions be used in lists?

Yes, often to connect the final items.
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Do prepositions and conjunctions have exceptions in usage?

Yes, English has many idiomatic expressions involving both.
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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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