• Daniel Bullock

Top 10 beginner prepositions of cause, reason and purpose (and why you need to know them)

Updated: Jul 2

prepostion stuck in traffic, why, use
I was late because of the traffic. Paris!

Have you ever been late and failed to give a proper reason or excuse? It might be because you did not know how to use a preposition of purpose. You could have said “ I’m sorry. I was late because of the traffic”

Learners of English often have difficulty explaining why or how they do something. If you can not use prepositions correctly, you will not sound fluent and also people may have difficulty understanding what you are trying to say. Here we will explore prepositions of reason, purpose and cause to show you how to describe and explain effectively in English.

If we can not use prepositions accurately we will have big problems explaining things clearly. Take this example:

Why were you late to school?

I was late, traffic. OR I was late due to traffic.

The second choice is far better in that it is grammatically correct but also very easy to understand. So, we can see why we need to use prepositions. Prepositions of reason and purpose make us sound more understandable.

Table of contents

1. How do I use prepositions in English grammar?

2. What are some good ways to study prepositions?

3. What are prepositions of reason and purpose?

4. A super prepositions table to help with understanding

5. Examples and definitions

6. What is shadowing?

7. Why do we need to use prepositions?

How do I use prepositions in English grammar?

Prepositions join a verb (an action) and a noun (a thing)

Joan worked late because of a strict deadline. Worked is our verb, and deadline is our noun. The preposition because of connects them.

How should I study prepositions to improve my English?

One of the most effective ways of learning prepositions is to read and say out aloud examples. If you can visualize the examples, this will also help. In this article we will explore lots of prepositions of reason and purpose with examples. Please read them, then repeat with the text covered, until you have remembered them perfectly. On this site we also looked into prepositions of location as well as prepositions of movement. Give them a read, they will help you improve your English vocabulary and grammar.

perfect grammar, preposition, because of work
Joan had to work late beacuse of an important deadline

What are prepositions of reason and purpose?

They are words like due to, because of, by and against which help explain why something happens and also the cause of something. For instance, why my car broke down, how I get to school, why I study English, why I am late. Read on to find a detailed list of prepositions and examples of how to use them.

A table of 10 super prepositions of cause, reason and purpose

This table is quite broad, and shows words that describe about not only why, but also how things happen, the reason and also the purpose.

because of

due to



by way of



with respect to



What are some examples and definitions of prepositions of reason and purpose?

Here you will find a list of the above prepositions along with their definitions and also examples of how to use them in sentences. I recommend reading them out aloud several times in order to remember them. Also, next time you are having a conversation in English, try to find a way to use some of these prepositions. Super hint: You will often find an opportunity to use these prepositions when you are asked a question.

For example:

Why are you late?

I'm very sorry. I am late due to a train delay.

What does the preposition because of mean?

By reason - we tell the reason why.

What is an example of because of in a sentence?

I quit smoking because of the bad health effects

What does the preposition due to mean?

This is another way to say because of.

What is an example of due to in a sentence?

Due to all his hard work, Sanjay's English grammar has improved significantly.

how to improve english skill?
Due to all his hard work, his English skill has improved a lot

What does the preposition against mean?

It means in opposition to.

How do you use against in a sentence?

Manchester United will play against Chelsea soon.

What does the word by mean?

Through or through the medium. Check this dictionary for a full breakdown

What is an example of by in a sentence?

By studying English grammar, vocabulary, listening and pronunciation daily, you will be able to improve quickly

bus, land vehicle, car, tire, wheel, building, automative lighting, telephone booth, motor vehicle
Let's go to London by way of Manchester, I want to watch Manchester United play!

What does the preposition by way of mean?

  1. To pass through or cross.

  2. Also to constitute something.

How do you use by way of in a sentence?

I went to London by way of Birmingham
He gave me flowers by way of an apology

What does the preposition concerning mean?

In connection with, about something

How do you use concerning in a sentence?

Concerning your English, I think improving your grammar is important.

What does the preposition regarding mean?

In respect of, concerning

How do you use regarding in a sentence?

Regarding your English listening skills, one tip is to listen to English music regularly

What is shadowing in English?

I would recommend shadowing English songs to improve your listening, speaking, pronunciation and intonation. This means to listen to short parts of a song or a dialogue, and then try repeating it. Take care to mimic the intonation and pronunciation.

how can i improve my english listening skills? drills, music, shadowing
Regarding your English listening skill, enjoy music and listen to the lyrics

More examples below!

What does the preposition with respect to mean?

With reference to (similar to regarding and concerning. It's good to mix up our English vocabulary as much as possible!)

How do you use with respect to in a sentence?

With respect to learning English, a conversation class is a must

What does the preposition through mean?

Moving in one side and out the other side

How do you use through in a sentence?

To get to France from the UK, one way is to take the train through the Channel Tunnel

What does the preposition for mean?

It indicates purpose

How do you use for in a sentence?

I went to Daniel's English Club for English lessons!

I went to the restaurant for a juicy hamburger. I was starving!

food, tableware, plate, ingredient, recipe, bun, french fries, table, fast food, staple food
I sat down at a table in the restaurant for a burger with fries. I usually don't eat fast food but I was ravenous!

Why do we need prepositions?

As you can see by all these examples, prepositions are very important markers for sentences. They show us crucial information about why and how things happen. If we use them correctly we can avoid misunderstandings and also convey ourselves clearly and concisely. Please try to use prepositions correctly in your English. If you have any questions about prepositions in English, do not hesitate to comment below!