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Above, Below & Beside

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Basics on the topic Above, Below & Beside

Above, Below, Beside – Prepositions

If you want to tell somebody where a person, an animal or an object is, you want to tell them about the position of something. For this you need position words (also called prepositions). Let’s learn about directionality and position words (above, below and beside).

Prepositions – Definition

What are prepositions? Above, Below and Beside are all prepositions of place, they tell us where something is in relation to something else. Prepostions are used in sentences to give more detail so that we know where the subject or object is that is being talked about.

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Above, below, beside are called prepositions or position words. These words are used to describe the location of something. They help us understand where someone, or something, is. There are many position words, but this video focuses on three.

Let’s look at examples of the use of position words. Below are three pictures of ice skates in three different positions. We use position words to describe where the ice skates can be found.

Above – Example

Above is used for a place that is higher than something else. We can use the word above to describe where the ice skates are compared to the bench. The ice skates are above the bench because they are higher than it.

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Above – Example

Below is used for a place that is lower than something else. We can use the word below to describe where the ice skates are compared to the bench. The ice skates are below the bench because they are lower than it.

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Above – Example

Beside is used for a place that is next to something. We can use the word beside to describe where the ice skates are compared to the bench.The ice skates are beside the bench because they are next to it.

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Above, Below and Beside – Summary

Prepositions or position words are used to describe where something is when compared to another. This text explained how to use words such as above, below and besides.

Position word Meaning
Above One person, animal or object is in
a higher place than another.
Below One person, animal or object is in
a lower place than another.
Beside One thing is next to another.

Have you practised yet? On this website, you can practise directionality with the position words above, below, beside. There are interactive exercises, worksheets and more activities waiting for you.

Transcript Above, Below & Beside

Nia and Niko are in a pairs ice skating competition. "Our first skaters are Niko and Nia!" "They have a lovely above, beside and below routine planned for us today." But what does that mean?! Let's learn all about their routine with the prepositions, "Above, below and beside." We use special words called prepositions to describe the location of something. Prepositions tell us where someone, or something, is. There are many prepositions, but today we will learn about three. One preposition we will learn about is above, which means a place that is higher than something else. We can use the word above to describe where the ice skates are compared to the bench. The ice skates are above the bench because they are higher than it. Below is another preposition which means a place that is lower than something else. We can use the word below to describe where the ice skates are compared to the bench. The ice skates are below the bench because they are lower than it. Beside is the last preposition we will learn today which means being next to something. We can use the word beside to describe where the ice skates are compared to the bench. The ice skates are beside the bench because they are next to it. When we use these words to describe the ice skates' location, it tells us where they are. Let's practise using these new words while watching Nia and Niko's routine! Here Nia and Niko are doing their first lift. Is Nia above, below or beside Niko? Nia is in a higher place than Niko. So, Nia is above Niko. Here comes Niko and Nia's next move! Is Nia above, below or beside Niko? Nia is at Niko's side now. So, Nia is beside Niko. Wow, Niko spins Nia into the air for their final move! Think carefully, is Niko above, below or beside Nia?" Niko is lower than Nia in this position. So, Niko is below Nia. Wow! What a performance from Niko and Nia! While Nia and Niko take a bow, let's remember. Today we learned about the prepositions above, below and beside. They are used to describe where something is when compared to another. Above means one thing is in a higher place than another. Below means one thing is in a lower place than another. Beside means one thing is next to another. It sounds like they are awarding the medals now! Let's see who got first place. Yay, Nia and Niko, you did it! It looks like they are a step above the rest.

Above, Below & Beside exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Above, Below & Beside.
  • Matching positional language.

    Hints

    Remember, we use special words to describe the location of something. They are called position words and help us to know where someone, or something, is.

    Use the image to help you remember the position words we learned. Nia is in a different position compared to each box! Which box is she above, below and beside? How do you know?

    Here, Nia is behind the box. You can't see all of Nia because the box is in front of her.

    Is there a picture where the trophy is partly hidden behind the ice skate?

    Solution

    Position words describe the location of something. They help us to understand where someone, or something, is.
    Above means one thing is in a higher place than another.
    Below means one thing is in a lower place than another.
    Beside means one thing is next to another.
    Behind means one thing is partly hidden by another because the other is in front of it.

  • Above, below or beside?

    Hints

    What are the three position words we learnt today? How can position words help us to know where someone, or something, is?

    Nico is in a different position compared to each animal or object. What is he above, below and beside? How do you know?

    Remember:
    Above means higher than something.
    Below means lower than something.
    Beside means next to something.

    Solution
    1. Nico is beside the podium with the trophies. Nico is beside the podium because he is next to it.
    2. Nia is above Nico. Nia is above Nico because she is higher than Nico.
    3. Nico is below the competition sign. Nico is below the competition sign because he is lower than it.
  • Is Nia above, below or beside the shape?

    Hints

    This is Nia and the 3 shapes. Do you remember the names for each of these shapes?

    Remember to use the position words we learnt about. What are the 3 position words we learnt?

    Try picking a sentence and finding a picture that matches.

    Solution

    Use the image to check your answers.

  • Where are Nia's belongings?

    Hints

    Ask yourself these questions for each object:
    Is the object higher, lower or next to Nia? Which position word can help us explain where the object is?

    For example, is the trophy higher, lower or next to Nia? Which position word can we use to explain the location of the trophy?

    The trophy is higher than Nia. Which position word tells us that the trophy is higher than Nia?

    Solution

    The gold trophy is above Nia. The gold trophy is above Nia because it is higher than Nia.
    The ice skating leotard and backpack are beside Nia. The ice skating leotard and backpack are beside Nia because they are next to her.
    The ice skates and mittens are below Nia. The ice skates and mittens are below Nia because they are lower than her.

  • Where is each object on the shelf?

    Hints

    Remember the position words we learnt - above, below and beside.

    Which word means in a higher place than another? Which word means in a lower place than another? Finally, which word means next to another?

    • On the left, Nia is above the block.
    • In the middle, Nia is below the block.
    • On the right, Nia is beside the block.
    Solution

    The ice skates are above the backpack. The ice skates are above the backpack because they are on a higher shelf than the backpack.
    The gold trophy is beside the backpack. The gold trophy is beside the backpack because it is next to the backpack on the same shelf.
    The books are below the backpack. The books are below the backpack because they are on a lower shelf than the backpack.

  • Can you use position words?

    Hints

    Do you remember the names for each of these shapes?

    Which position words mean higher, lower or next to? Which position words can we use to explain the location of each shape?

    As an example, the square is below the circle.

    Solution

    The circle is beside the triangle and above the square.
    The rectangle is below the heart.
    The heart is above the rectangle, below the triangle and beside the square.