Preposition review in English

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In English, prepositions are invariable parts of the discourse that connect words and phrases and also show us syntactic relationships. In addition, prepositions provide additional information in relation to the time, place, space, or direction of the action taking place. In English specifically, prepositions are an integral part of compound verbs, radically changing the structure and meaning of the verb they accompany.

The difficulty of prepositions in English lies mainly in the fact that they have different rules from other languages and there is not always a close relation between the use of a preposition in English and one in another language. Moreover, there are many prepositions in English and they follow several different rules and exceptions of use.

To use them correctly, we recommend that you learn the prepositions directly with the verbs that they accompany , in order to start using them immediately in context. On top of that, try to memorize them by creating a table that organizes the prepositions according to their function and meaning. Try to memorize some basic rules as well that will be useful for the most widespread uses of the prepositions.

Other effective tricks include listening to music and watching videos. Try to learn some songs in English that have prepositions and compound verbs. Finally, when you read a grammar rule, try to practice it immediately in order to memorize it.

Let’s look at some prepositions, their uses, and their meanings.

From / To

These two prepositions can be used for either time or place. They can often be found together, because “to” generally indicated a point of arrival while “from” indicated a point of departure. To learn them well, study them together and try to create sentences which involve them both. look at them in detail.

From” indicates

  • Origin

I am from Argentina.

From the beginning

  • A point of departure

We are coming from the shop.

To” indicates

  • The point of arrival for a movement or direction

We are going to New York City.

She walks to school every day.

  • “Except” in a statement of time.

It’s 10 to 12.

“From” and “to” show respectively the point of departure and arrival in a temporal or spatial sense.

They drove from Madrid to Lisbon.

He works from 9 to 5.

Prepositions of time with George and Nikki

Of

Of” indicates ownership, relationship, possession, or connection.

The rules of the game

The first day of winter

In / At / On

This group of prepositions can be used in two different functions: time and place. They have differences in use, which makes it useful to examine them in detail.

In” is used to show

  • A non-specific period of time.  

In 2018

In the morning

  • Waiting time

Our train leaves in 30 minutes.

  • A country, a place, or the location of an object.

    I live in London.

    The meat is in the fridge.

    At” is used to indicate

    • A specific time

    I will meet you at 3 o’clock.

    • A specific place

    At home.

    On” is used for

    • Dates

    I was born on the 11th April.

    • Streets and avenues

    She was on Green Lane.

    • The use of devices

    I watched my favourite movie on the tablet.

    • Position on top of something

    Put the bag on the table.

Prepositions of place with George and Delphine

Into / In to

Into” is used to show movement or direction in a physical or figurative sense (movement to a place).

He ran into the garden.

She got into trouble.

In” and “to” are two different particles that are sometimes used together. In these cases “in” is generally used as part of a phrasal verb, in function as a preposition or an adverb, while “to” can represent the particle that introduces the infinitive verb or another preposition that indicates movement.

I came in to tell you.

These are the rules for the main prepositions in English. With a little practice, you can use them correctly. However, if you still have doubts to clear up, you can take a look at Teacher Robin’s class, who will teach you more tips to avoid making mistakes!

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