Eclectic Scion - This seems to have popped up a few times recently. The quote, as taken from the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations is:

"This is the sort of English, up with which I will not put"

The story goes that Churchill wrote this in the margin of a report given to him by a civil servant, which contained a mis-used preposition.

ODQ source: Ernest Gowers Plain Words (1948) 'Troubles with prepositions'

Complete (I think) list of English prepositions:

{aboard, above, about, according to, across, across from, after, against, ahead of, along, along with, alongside, amid, amidst, among, amongst, anti, apart from, around, as, as for, as to, aside, aside from, astride, at, away from, bar, barring, because of, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, besides, between, beyond, but, by, circa, close to, concerning, considering, contrary to, depending on, despite, down, due to, during,. except, except for, excepting, excluding, following, for, forward of, from, in, in addition to, in back of, in between, in case of, in favor of, in front of, in lieu of, in place of, in spite of, including, instead of, inside, inside of, into, irrespective of, like, near, near to, next, next to, notwithstanding, of, off, on, on account of, on board, on top of, onto, opposite, opposite to, other than, out, out of, outside, outside of, over, owing to, past, pending, per, plus, preparatory to, prior to, regarding, regardless of, round, save, save for, since, than, thanks to, through, throughout, till, to, to the left of, to the right of, to the north of, to the south of, to the east of, to the west of, together with, toward, towards, under, underneath, unless, unlike, until, up, up against, up to, up until, upwards, upon, versus, via, vis-à-vis, with, within, without, worth;}

Semantic properties of prepositions

Prepositions describe the temporal, spatial, or logical relationship between the object of the preposition and the rest of the sentence. Examples include the following: "After lunch, we will sing," (temporal: describes time relationship), "I like the building next to the tree," (spatial: describes positional relationship), "We will survive despite the earthquake," (logical: describes conceptual relationship).

Formal properties of prepositions

Prepositions consist of one word or group of words (both "next" and "next to" qualify as prepositions). Prepositions are indeclinable: they only have one possible form (forms such as nexts, next’s, nexted, nexting, etc. are not possible, only "next".). Prepositions are followed by a noun phrase, sometimes modified by adjectives (e.g. "next to the bed", "next to the big old red bed"), or they are followed by a pronoun (e.g. "next to me"). The noun phrase or pronoun following the preposition is known as the object of the preposition, and pronouns do take the objective case after a preposition (e.g. "next to him", not "next to he"). Often in English, the object of the preposition will not immediately follow the preposition, as in, "What is this machine for?" (In this case, "what" is the object of the preposition "for".)

A preposition and its object together form a prepositional phrase. A prepositional phrase can act in three different manners. First, it can act as an adjective modifying a noun, as in "Look at the telephone next to the pitcher," and "I like the boat with the green flag." Second, a prepositional phrase can act as an adverb modifying a verb, as in "The acrobat usually performs after the clowns," and "The car reeks despite the air freshener." Third, prepositions can act as a nominal in a sentence using the verb "to be", as in "The cat is under the table," "The violin solo is after the first movement," and "The bird is smarter than the fish."

Some words that function as prepositions can also function as a conjunction followed by a subordinate clause, as in "The boat leaves after he arrives," "I will not walk until my foot heals," and "The bird is smarter than the fish is." In these sentences, "after" and "until" are not functioning as prepositions, as they do not take an object, but rather are followed by the subordinate clause.

Prep`o*si"tion (?), n. [L. praepositio, fr. praeponere to place before; prae before + ponere to put, place: cf. F. pr'eposition. See Position, and cf. Provost.]

1. Gram.

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.


A proposition; an exposition; a discourse.


He made a long preposition and oration. Fabyan.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.