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1.2.2. Prepositions

Prepositions precede their complements. Some examples, given in (64), also show that prepositional phrases may perform various semantic functions.

Example 64
a. Jan zwemt in de sloot.
  Jan swims  in the ditch
  'Jan is swimming in the ditch.'
b. Jan kletste tijdens de voorstelling.
  Jan chattered  during  the performance
  'Jan was chattering during the performance.'
c. De winkel werd tijdelijk gesloten vanwege de brand.
  the shop  was  `temporarily  closed  because-of  the fire

Table 5 provides an alphabetical list of simple prepositions that occur frequently in everyday speech and also indicates what semantic functions the PPs headed by these prepositions may perform; these three semantic functions will be the topic of Section 1.3. Note that the set of functional prepositions, that is, “semantically vacuous” uses of the prepositions heading PP-complements like op zijn vader in Jan wacht op zijn vader'Jan is waiting for his father', are not subsumed under the three semantic functions distinguished in Table 5.

Table 5: List of simple prepositions (colloquial language)
preposition spatial temporal other remarks
aan'on' +      
achter'behind' +      
alvorens'before'   +   introduces infinitival clauses
beneden'below' +     see remark below the table
bij'near/close to' + +    
binnen'inside/within' + +    
boven'above' +      
buiten'outside' +      
dankzij'thanks to'     +  
door'through/by' + + + causative/passive by-phrase
gedurende'during'   +    
gezien'in view of'     +  
halverwege'halfway' + +    
in'in(to)/within' + +    
langs'along' +      
met'during/with'   + + instrumental/comitative
na'after'   +    
naar'towards' +      
naast'next to' +      
namens'in name of'     +  
om'around/at' + + + purpose
omstreeks'around'   +    
ondanks'despite'     +  
onder'under' +      
ongeacht'regardless of'     +  
op'on(to)/at' + +    
over'across/in' + +    
per'as of/by'   + + see remark below the table
rond'around' + +    
sinds'since'   +    
tegen'against/towards' + +    
tegenover'across' +      
tijdens'during'   +    
tot (en met)'until' + +    
tussen'between' + +    
uit'out (of)' +      
van'from' +      
vanaf'from' + +    
vanuit'from out of' +      
vanwege'because of'     +  
via'via' +      
volgens'according to'     +  
voor'in front of/before' + +    
voorbij'past' +      
wegens'because of'     +  
zonder'without'     +  

Note that the preposition beneden has more or lesss the same meaning as onder but seems restricted to idiomatic expressions such as beneden de grote rivieren'below the big rivers' (the southern part of the Netherlands), beneden de zes jaar'under six years of age', beneden de vereisten/verwachting blijven'to fall short of requirements/expectations' and beneden mijn waardigheid'beneath my dignity'. In addition, it is used in nautical jargon as in, e.g., beneden de wind'leeward'. The temporal use of the preposition per is formal; the more colloquial form that corresponds to this preposition is vanaf. The preposition per is common, however, in the more or lesss fixed combinations in (62). The complement of per generally refers to a means of transport like post/auto in (62b), or a measure noun phrase like kilo or dozijn in (62c).

Example 65
a. Hij verstuurde het manuscript per post.
  he  sent  the manuscript  by mail
b. Hij vertrok per auto.
  he  left  by car
c. Hij verkoopt zijn appels alleen per kilo/dozijn.
  he  sells  his apples  only  by kilo/dozen
  'He sells his apples only by the kilo/dozen.'

      Unlike the prepositions in Table 5, the prepositions in Table 6 are restricted to official and written language. Because these prepositions will not play an important role in what follows, we will give an example of each of them. Observe that many of these prepositions have developed from a verbal source.

Table 6: List of simple prepositions (official language/writing)
preposition examples
aangaande aangaande deze zaak'regarding this case'
behoudens behoudens goedkeuring door ...'subject to ...ʼs approval'
benevens benevens een vergoeding voor'besides an allowance for'
betreffende betreffende deze zaak'regarding this affair'
bezijden bezijden de waarheid'far from the truth'
blijkens blijkens zijn rapport'according to his report'
gehoord gehoord de commissie'after hearing the commission'
getuige getuige het feit dat ...'witness the fact that ...'
hangende hangende het onderzoek'pending the inquiry'
ingevolge ingevolge artikel 16'in accordance with article 16'
inzake inzake uw opmerking'concerning your remark'
jegens jegens uw naaste'towards your fellow human being'
krachtens krachtens artikel 16'under article 16'
niettegenstaande niettegenstaande het feit dat ...'in spite of the fact that ...'
middels middels deze brief'by means of this letter'
omtrent omtrent deze tijd'by this time'
onverminderd onverminderd het bepaalde in ...
'without prejudice to what is said in ...'
overeenkomstig overeenkomstig de afspraak'in accordance with the agreement'
sedert sedert haar overlijden'since her decease'
staande staande de vergadering'during the meeting'
te te Amsterdam'in/at Amsterdam'; te negen uur'at 9 oʼclock'
teneinde teneinde + infinitival clause'in order to ...'
trots trots de regen'despite the rain'

Other prepositions that are mainly restricted to official and juridical language are Latin loan words like the following: à, ad, conform, contra, circa, cum, de, ex, pro, qua and versus. The only Latin preposition that really made its way into colloquial speech is the spatial preposition via in Table 5. Borrowings from French are inclusief'including/with' and exclusief'excluding/without': observe that these formations are classified as adverbs in the Van Dale dictionary, which is probably due to their adjective-like morphological makeup. However, the fact that they precede their nominal complement btw/verzendkosten in (66) shows, however, shows that they behave like prepositions in these examples, given that Section A2.2 has shown that adjectives always follow their nominal complement. The fact that the phrases inclusief btw/exclusief verzendkosten must follow the noun they modify also suggests that they are prepositional, given that attributively used adjectives normally precede the noun: cf. een redelijke prijs'a reasonable price'.

Example 66
a. De prijs inclusief btw is 15 euro.
  the price  including VAT  is 15 euro
  'The price including VAT is 15 euros.'
b. De prijs exclusief verzendkosten is 20 euro.
  the price  excluding  shipping  is 20 euro
  'The price without shipping is 20 euros.'

Further, the archaic prepositions lastens'on the account of', luidens'according to', nevens'on the side of', nopens'about' should be mentioned. Although normally used as a temporal preposition, omtrent can occasionally also be used as a spatial preposition meaning “near” or be used in other functions: cf. omtrent de vijftig euro'about 50 Euros' and omtrent de moord'concerning the murder'.

    This topic is the result of an automatic conversion from Word and may therefore contain errors.
    A free Open Access publication of the corresponding volumes of the Syntax of Dutch is available at OAPEN.org.