ESL Teaching Activities – Using Prepositions with Printable Handouts

ESL EFL Students from many different cultures find prepositions difficult because their meaning is expressed in a very different way in their own language. The preposition word doesn’t always express its meaning clearly. This is particularly true when referring to dates. This article will discuss some areas that cause confusion and provide some activities that will make your classes or interesting. Includes are teaching activities and handouts


Some prepositions are easily understood.

Preposition Game – Print this page.


Under – The dog is under the table.

Beside – Beth is beside her friend.

Behind – The house is behind him.

With – The boy is with his friend.

Between – She sits between her mother and father.

In front of – The children are in front of their parents.


They ride on their bicycles. 


Others have more than one use.


On indicates that something is placed on top of something else.      

The book is on the shelf.

On also indicates a specific day.

His birthday is on May 12th.


At indicates a specific place:

She meets her friends at the Chinese restaurant.

At also indicates a specific time:

They meet at 8:00 o’clock.



Click for larger image

Oral Questions – Print this page. 


In indicates that something is inside another thing.

The gift is in a box.

In is also used to talk about when something happened.

Her birthday is in June. (No date is given)


Of is often used in a phrase to show a relationship between two things.

Her dress is made of cotton.

Her dress is made of cotton.


Over means that something is covering something else. 

Above means that something is higher than something else.

This is all very boring and confusing to students. They can’t consider these rules as they speak. Let’s give them the samples for reference. Then the best way to help them is to provide activities where they are using prepositions to interact with each other.

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Modified: June 7th, 2018 June 7th, 2018
: June 6th, 2011

Comments (1)

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  1. Eara77 says:

    I like the suggested activities

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