'Behind' is common among native English speakers. Here, we will uncover all about it.

How To Use "Behind" in English

'Behind' is somewhat common in the English language. In this lesson, we will discuss how to learn and use it.

Functions of 'Behind'

'Behind' as a Preposition

As stated above, 'behind' can be a preposition. Below, we are going to learn about the different kinds of prepositions it can be:


'Behind' as a Preposition of Place

'Behind' functions as a preposition of place. Look at the list below to get a glimpse of different meanings of it:

  • When something/someone is at the back of another, mostly hidden by it, we use 'behind':

The ducks went behind their mother.

Until I signal you, you stay behind me, silent.

  • When we want to indicate that we are not going with a particular schedule, we use 'behind':

I'm sorry, but your daughter seems to be too behind the rest of the class in literature.

Unfortunately, we're a bit behind the schedule in physics.

  • When we want to show that we support someone, we use 'behind':

I wish I had parents who were always behind me, no matter what.

People just love having babies; they don't like to be behind them when they're going through tough times.

  • When we want to show the person responsible for something, we use 'behind':

Tell me who's behind that broken vase.

The group have always been behind the construction of most skyscrapers.

  • When we want to show that something is in someone's past:

I know you loved her so much, but it's behind you now.

It's not fair to say 'your friendship is behind you, so forget it' when I'm still devastated.

Position in a Sentence

Since 'behind' is a preposition here, we must put it before nouns or noun phrases. We can have a prepositional phrase at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the sentence. Look at the following examples for more understanding:

Behind the table, Sheila could see the scared cat.

Hannah, behind his mother, stated at me.

The rabbits quickly ran behind the tree.


Please note that whenever we have a prepositional phrase at the beginning of a sentence, we must add a comma after it. Also, when we have a prepositional phrase in the middle of the sentence, we must have commas both before and after it.

'Behind' as an Adverb

'Behind' can also be an adverb. Below, we are going to learn all about it:


'Behind' as an Adverb of Place

'Behind' can function as an adverb of place. Below, there is a list of its different meanings:

  • When someone/something is at the back of the another, we use 'behind':

The spy was stabbed from behind.

I don't see them. I think they're far behind.

  • When we want to show the location of someone/something, we use 'behind':

I saw how Hannah's friends left her behind.

Didn't I tell you to stay behind?

  • When we are late in doing a task, we use 'behind' to refer to it:

Why do you think is Johnny still behind in music?

If you fall behind with the payments, I will throw you out.

Position in a Sentence

Since 'behind' is an adverb here, it mainly modifies other adverbs, adjectives, or verbs, So, it comes after them. Look at the following examples:

The students fell from behind.

I used to hate it when I felt left behind.

'Behind' as a Noun


'Behind' can also be a noun. It means the part of our body that we use to sit. Look below:

I once fell on my behind when I was a child.

If you wanna achieve that, you must get you behind off and take action.

Position in a Sentence

Since 'behind' is a noun here, it can be the subject, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition. There are no limitations as to where we can put nouns in a sentence. Look at the following examples:

The little girl fell on her behind and started crying.

In the past, many parents hit children on their behind as punishment.

Idioms and Expressions with 'Behind'

We have several idioms and expressions with 'behind'. Below, we are going to learn all about them:

  • Put something behind you: When something has happened in the past, and it is time to move on, we use this idiom:

I know that you still feel sad remembering those memories but it's better if you try to put it behind you.

Stop saying 'put it behind you' just because you, yourself, cannot feel anything.

  • Behind bars: When someone is in prison, we use this one to refer to it:

My dad was behind bars for several years.

Anyone can get behind the bars, you know.

  • Behind the scenes: When something happens behind the scenes, not many people know it:

No politician has ever announced what has been going on behind the scenes.

They might act like they're happy together, but they have a lot of conflicts behind the scenes.

  • Behind someone's back: When something is done without the presence of a particular person:

People who talk behind others' back are so pathetic.

I wonder don't you have anything else to do other than sitting and talking behind my back with every person you meet?

  • Behind closed doors: When something goes on privately and without many people knowing it:

Her narcissistic partner has made life like a living hell for her behind closed doors.

Politicians have many meetings behind closed doors.


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