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a part of speech that is used before a noun, pronoun, or gerund to show place, time, direction, and so on. It indicates the relationship between different parts of the sentence, e.g. The book is on the table. The book is beneath/under the table. The book is leaning against the table. The book is beside the table. She held the book over the table. She read the book during class. The word following the preposition is called the object of the preposition.