What Are Not Prepositions?

As you have learned, the test for prepositions is


If you can’t figure out the part of speech for a word, and it can fit in the blank, then it’s probably a preposition.

We worked remotely at the beach.

We worked at that.

My parents were against my attending college out of state.

My parents were against that.

Wash your hands before you eat.

Wash your hands before that.

Ten minus six is four.

Ten minus that is four.

Everything is accounted for except the diamond ring.

Everything is accounted for except that. 


There are several exceptions to the preposition test.  We can group them:

Type of Preposition



Example Sentences


not, never

It’s not that I can’t afford the bike,

I just don’t want to buy it.


everywhere, anywhere, here,

there, somewhere, nowhere

Everywhere that Mary went,

the lamb

went too.


soon, often, always, today,

tomorrow, yesterday

It is not often that we see a man

stand on his hands while waiting

for the bus.



any word that could follow

the word extremely

Even that answer was wrong.

Barton [extremely] slowly ate his


Class Activity

Name the part of speech for each word.  Write X if a word is not a type you have learned yet. Do not try to identify it.

    1. Rinka was nowhere to be found during the demonstration.
    2. Wymera always cleans off Becka’s shoes before putting Becka in the baby carriage.
    3. A huge crowd quickly gathered on the hill to hear Jesus speak.
    4. Jesira has often talked about the trip she took to Brazil.
    5. Our Army unit will not be going to Rome tomorrow.
    6. The hamburger did not even come with mustard.
    7. Today, Jed, the math genius, will announce the college he will attend.
    8. Sintola, from Nazareth, could not be found anywhere.
    9. The proposal to build a dike across the bay has been met with great resistance.
    10. Regarding our schedule, the seniors always go to Disneyland one day in May.

Individual or Small Group Activity

Complete the exercise:   Liechtenstein