Prepositions of Direction and Movement for intermediate learners

As their names suggest, prepositions of direction and movement show a movement from one place to another or show a particular direction.

"Prepositions of Direction and Movement" in English Grammar

What Are Prepositions of Direction and Movement?

As their name suggests, we mainly use prepositions of direction and movement to indicate movement from one place towards another. So, they are mostly used with action verbs.

Prepositions of Direction and Movement: Types

These prepositions can be classified into two groups as follows:

  • Prepositions that indicate destination
  • Prepositions that indicate movement

Now, take a quick look at some examples:

She walked through the supermarket angrily.

As you can see, the preposition indicates a movement in a place.

Eliot went straight into his room and closed the door shut.

Here, the preposition signifies that Eliot reached a destination.

Now, take a look at the following list to get to know some of the most common prepositions of direction and movement:

Let us analyze each one in more details:

Around/Round

When we want to move around all sides of a place, we mainly use these two prepositions 'around/round'. So, they are used to indicate the movement, not the destination. Let us take a look at the examples below:

Stop running around the table, George!

She's walking hopelessly round the faculty buildings.

Into/Out of

When we want to indicate moving inside a place or coming out of it, we use 'into and out of'. Let us take a look at the following examples:

Harry Potter just ran straight into a column and disappeared.

He ordered me to go out of his office.

Tip!

'Into' and 'in' have slightly different meanings. 'Into' indicates a process of moving inside a place, which makes it a preposition of movement, while 'in' is used to show that the person or object is inside a place which makes it a preposition of destination.

Through

We can use 'through' when we want to show that a person is moving from one side to another or that they are passing along a place. Check out the following examples:

Go through that door and you will see all the lords of Hell.

He is fearlessly walking through the jungle in the middle of the night.

Over/Under

'Over' is normally used synonymously with 'through'. However, 'under' refers to the location of an item or a person and means that it is in a lower position. So, it is a preposition that shows destination. Study the following examples carefully:

Can we take a walk over the roof?

The little puppy is sitting right under the bench.

Up/Down

When we want to indicate the direction of something or someone, we use 'up and down'. 'Up' shows that something is above another, while 'down' shows that something is below another. Take a look at the following examples:

Her room is up there.

If you want to go to the beach, you should drive down this road.

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