Download our 100% free app

Find everything you need to learn English

Practice with the exercises:
Exercise 1

1. Nouns and prepositions

In English it can be complicated to know which preposition is placed before or after a noun.
You will receive the order by post.
We'll soon come up with a solution to this problem.

2. Noun + preposition

There is no rule that tells us which preposition we have to use after a noun, so they should be learned by heart. In many cases the same noun can use different prepositions depending on the context. Here are some of the most common ones:

Noun + preposition Examples
Answer to What is the answer to the first question?
Reason for You will soon know the reason for my visit.
Effect of...on Have you studied the effects of this drug on humans?
Tax on What is the tax on lottery winnings?
Smell of I hate the smell of nail polish.
Advice on / about I need some advice on how to be successful in a job interview.
Delay in There is a delay in the delivery of the shoes I bought on the internet.
Delay of (duration) The people are impatient. There is a delay of about two hours.
Taste in My taste in clothes has changed over the last years.
Taste of I hate the taste of this medicine.
Increase in We've had a sharp increase in tourism in the town.
Advantage of What are the advantages of having a pet at home?

3. Preposition + noun

Many nouns are preceded by a specific preposition. Some of them are:

Preposition + noun Examples
By post The items I buy on the internet arrive by post.
By mistake Sorry, I've deleted a file by mistake.
By chance We met by chance at the cinema while we were queuing.
On a trip Laura is not at home. She's away on a trip.
On a diet Don't show me those chocolates. I'm on a diet.
On strike The workers have been on strike for the whole week.
On purpose I know you did it on purpose.
On the market The new car model will be on the market next month.
On fire Is the factory still on fire?
In advance If we book the tickets in advance they might be cheaper.
In danger As a firefighter, I've been in danger many times.
For sale Our neighbours’ house is for sale.


In English it can be difficult to know which preposition is placed before or after nouns. They have to be learned by heart.
Noun + preposition Preposition + noun
Answer to Delay in By post On purpose
Reason for Delay of (duration) By mistake On the market
Effect of...on Taste in By chance On fire
Tax on Taste of On a trip In advance
Smell of Increase in On a diet In danger
Advice on / about Advantage of On strike For sale