Prepositions of movement show movement from one place to another place. These prepositions always describe movement and we usually use them with verbs of motion.

The most common preposition of movement is the preposition to, which describes movement in the direction of something, for example:

  • How do you go¬†to¬†work?
  • He drove¬†to¬†London in five hours.
  • Nobody came¬†to¬†the party :(
Prepositions of movement are also called prepositions of direction.

Prepositions of Movement graphic



Prepositions of Movement list

Here is a list of the most common prepositions of movement, with example sentences for each one:

across : movement from one side to the other side of something

  • It took us three days to drive across the desert.
  • The dog ran across the road and nearly got hit by a car.

around : movement passing something in a curved route, not going through it

  • A big dog was sleeping on the floor so she had to walk around it.
  • They walked around the town for an hour.

away from: indicating the point where a movement begins

  • The mouse ran¬†away from¬†the cat and escaped.

down : movement from a higher point to a lower point of something

  • They ran down the hill to the stream below.
  • He climbed down the ladder to the bottom of the well.

from : indicating the point where a movement begins

  • We flew from Bangkok to London.
  • The police took my driving licence from me.

into : movement to an enclosed space; movement resulting in physical contact

  • He got into the car and closed the door.
  • The car crashed into the wall.

off : movement away from (and often down from) something

  • Please take your papers off my desk.
  • The wineglass fell off the table and shattered on the floor.

on to, onto : movement to the top surface of something

  • They went up on to the stage.
  • Move the kettle onto the counter.

out of: indicating the enclosed space where a movement begins

  • Take your hands out of your pockets and help me!
  • He went out of the room to smoke a cigarette.

over : movement above and across the top or top surface of something

  • We are flying over the mountains.
  • The cat jumped over the wall.

past : movement from one side to the other side of something

  • We could see children in the playground as we drove past the school.
  • We gave the marathoners water as they ran past us.

to : movement in the direction of something

  • Could you give this to Kob please?
  • Does this train go to London?

through | thru  (AmE): movement in one side and out of the other side of something

  • The train goes through a tunnel under the hill.
  • Hey! You just went thru a red light!

towards | toward  (mostly AmE): movement in the direction of something

  • The night sky got brighter as they drove¬†toward¬†the city.
  • At last she could recognize the person coming towards her.

under : movement directly below something

  • The mouse ran under the chair.
  • Submarines can travel under water.

up : movement from a lower point to a higher point of something

  • Jack and Jill ran up the hill.
  • The boat takes two hours going up the river and one hour coming down.

Example sentences with Prepositions of Movement

Here are some more example sentences showing prepositions of movement in context:

  • James Bond came¬†into¬†the room and took his gun¬†out of¬†his pocket.
  • He walked¬†around¬†the table and moved¬†toward¬†the window.
  • They saw someone running¬†away from¬†the school,¬†past¬†a car and¬†towards¬†the road.
  • They went up¬†on to¬†the roof.
  • He jumped¬†off¬†the platform and ran¬†over¬†the rails just before the train arrived.
  • The prisoners squeezed¬†through¬†the window, ran¬†across¬†the grass and escaped¬†under¬†the fence.
  • Jack and Jill walked¬†up¬†the hill. Pretty soon they were tumbling¬†down¬†the hill.
  • Did you walk here¬†from¬†home?
  • They didn't go¬†to¬†school yesterday.

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