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Grammar: Using PrepositionsPrepositions: The BasicsA preposition is a word or group of words used to link nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words in a sentence.Some examples of prepositions are single words like in, at, on, of, to, by and with or phrases such as in front of,next to, instead of.Prepositions in English are most frequently dictated by fixed expressions. While there are some general guidelinesto follow, many prepositions are used idiomatically with certain verbs. In these cases, it is best to memorize thephrase instead of the individual preposition.A Few Rules for UsageAlthough there are hardly any rules as to when to use which preposition, most commonly prepositions definerelationships between nouns and locate words, actions or ideas in a particular time or place. To remember therole of prepositions, notice that ''position'' appears in the word ''preposition''!The following tables contain rules for some of the most frequently used prepositions in English:Prepositions – TimeEnglishUsageExamplein months/seasonsyearstime of daycenturies and historical periodsafter a certain period of time in August/in the summerin 1985in the eveningin the 19th centuryMystic Market closes in two hours.at time of daysnoon, night, and midnightnames of mealtimeage at 2:30at nightat breakfastI learned how to use a computer at 12.on days of the week on Friday from a period of time up to the present(when it started) I have been a student since 2004. how long a period of time has been I have been a student here for 2 years. the beginning and end of a period oftime My appointment is from 13:30 to 14:00. a period of time up to a specific point intime I cannot go dancing until I finish reading this chapter. in the sense of ''at the latest''due date You must return your book by April 21st.My essay is due by the end of the week.sinceforfrom.to.untilby1 Adapted in part from George Yule’s Oxford Practice Grammar. Advanced, Oxford, 2006, pp. 124-137 /grammar/prepositions by Guillaume Filion 2017, the CAC,University of Victoria. This copy is solely for the use by a student, staff, or faculty member. Any other use may beinfringement of copyright if done without securing the permission of copyright owners.

Grammar: Using PrepositionsPrepositions – Place (Location and Direction)EnglishinatUsage in class/in Victoriain the bookin the car/in a taxiYou look serious in this photo. when something is in a place, it is inside it(enclosed within limits) located at a specific place (a point)for eventsplace where you are to do somethingtypical (watch a movie, study, work) at the libraryat a concert/at a partyat the cinema/at school/at work being on a surface (not enclosed)for a certain side (left, right) for a floor in a buildingfor public transportfor television, radio I left the keys on the table.Go down this hall to the end, turn right, and it'sthe third door on your left.My apartment is on the fourth floor.I forgot my phone on the bus.You can hear my brother on the radio. onExample moving toward a specific place (the goal orend point of movement) Every morning, I take the bus to campus.from for the origin or starting point I used carrots from my garden.I received a suspicious email from my bank.I will be on vacation from July 31 for a week.towards movement in direction of something I suddenly saw a dog running towards me.across movement from one side to another There is a coffee shop across the street.I swam across the lake. movement from one side to another but''in something'' I entered the room through an open window.You have to go through the kitchen to get to thebathroom. a place ''in the middle'' of two or moreseparate people or things I was standing between my friend and his parents.The gap between the rich and poor keeps growing. a place ''surrounded'' by more than twopeople or things together as a group (in thesense of ''included in'') France is among the countries of Western Europe.Among the advantages of exercising regularly arelower risks of depression and a better quality oflife.tothroughbetweenamong2Adapted in part from George Yule’s Oxford Practice Grammar. Advanced, Oxford, 2006, pp. 124-137 /grammar/prepositions by Guillaume Filion 2017, the CAC,University of Victoria. This copy is solely for the use by a student, staff, or faculty member. Any other use may beinfringement of copyright if done without securing the permission of copyright owners.

Grammar: Using PrepositionsPrepositions - ConnectionsEnglishUsage ofbetween two noun phrases to show that thefirst belongs to or is part of the secondto say how people are related The keyboard of my computer is pink. Richard is the son of Audrey/He is a good friend ofmine. Between two noun phrases when the second isa particular feature of the firstto say that people or things are together I spilled coffee on the computer with a pink keyboard.I think Sarah is studying with Tara/I went to a workshopwith my friend.My roommate killed a spider with a book.for the specific thing used to perform an action when we want to describe an action in a moregeneral way My roommate saved my live by killing the spider. withbyExamplePrepositions in Academic WritingHere are the prepositions most frequently used in academic writing, with some explanations for their use:EnglishaboutUsage For topics (in the sense of ''with regardto/concerned with'') She was the author of many books about the history ofancient Egypt. with a purpose/giving a reason (associated withan action; shortened form of ''for the purposeof'') The concept of class is important for understandinghow society works.Theories about strategies for linking nouns and verbsforfrominonExample The meaning is often hard to guess from the individualwords. You can see this in works by contemporary authors. Many engineers proceed on the assumption that thedigital age is unique.belonging to, relating to, or connected withdescribe a relation/causation the origin, cause, motive or reason ofsomething The results of the investigation are still relevant.The root of the problem is the absence of any evidencesupporting our thesis.Henderson discovered that the king died of poisoningby analyzing blood samples. describe a direct cause or agent the origin, cause or agent of something inclusion, location or position within a timeperiod or limits the basis for something ofby3 According to folklore, he was killed by strangulation bythe Mad King when he protested the new tax.Adapted in part from George Yule’s Oxford Practice Grammar. Advanced, Oxford, 2006, pp. 124-137 /grammar/prepositions by Guillaume Filion 2017, the CAC,University of Victoria. This copy is solely for the use by a student, staff, or faculty member. Any other use may beinfringement of copyright if done without securing the permission of copyright owners.

Grammar: Using Prepositions connected to something and near something with using something between marking a connection Respondents were asked to indicate levels ofagreement with statements regarding immigration.It is difficult to infer any definitive conclusion with theavailable data.In this study, they investigated the relationshipbetween education, diet and health.Tips for Learning PrepositionsThe above rules for prepositions of time, location (place and direction) and connection can only work for theseinstances, and more often than not there are exceptions to the rules. As mentioned previously, much prepositionusage just has to be memorized in conjunction with fixed phrases and expressions. Learning prepositions inisolation can be challenging, but it is the only way to make fewer mistakes!1) English learners should not directly translate prepositions from their first language, as one prepositionmay correspond to several different prepositions in English. A good way to learn which preposition to useis to consult an English learner's dictionary. Here are some links: Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary: dictionary.cambridge.org;Macmillan English Dictionary: macmillandictionary.com;Merriam Webster's Learner's Dictionary: learnersdictionary.com;and Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary: oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com.You can also use Google Books Ngram Viewer. This tool enables you to see the frequency of phrases inbooks that Google had scanned, which means they are more representative of standard English.2) Reading texts in English is also helpful to learn prepositional phrases and their usage in context. Chooseany text that interests you and identify all prepositions, with a specific emphasis on the noun or verb thatgoes together with a particular preposition.In order to memorize them, you can create your own ''flashcard'': on each card, write down theprepositional phrases with a drawing that depicts their usage and/or meaning. (Remember that you youare making these cards for you; it doesn't matter if the associations between picture and words makesense to other people.) Then, review your list of prepositional phrases by pulling out flashcards randomlyfor 10 or 15 minutes every day to commit them to memory.3) Listening attentively to speakers' use of prepositions in conversations, movies, songs and presentationswill help you to extend your preposition vocabulary. In turn, practice using prepositions in everydayconversations with classmates and friends. At first, you can focus on five prepositional phrases and thenprogressively integrate new ones in your conversations as you get more comfortable. Practice makesbetter!4Adapted in part from George Yule’s Oxford Practice Grammar. Advanced, Oxford, 2006, pp. 124-137 /grammar/prepositions by Guillaume Filion 2017, the CAC,University of Victoria. This copy is solely for the use by a student, staff, or faculty member. Any other use may beinfringement of copyright if done without securing the permission of copyright owners.

Grammar: Using PrepositionsPractice Makes Better!1. Complete this text using these prepositions: InonatforofwithbetweenbeforeaboutStudent: Excuse me, when are your office hours?Instructor: I am available to meet you Thursday 13:30 and 15:30.Student: I have class that time. Can we meet lunch?Instructor: Is it urgent?Student: Yes, I have some questions to ask you the mid-term exam.Instructor: You can come my office 11:00. Does that work you?Student: Yes, thank you. Can you remind me where is your office?Instructor: My office is the third floor room A321 the David Turpin Building.Student : Thank you very much! See you then.2. Add the appropriate prepositions where necessary to these sentences.Student: Hi Pr. Smith. I am Amanda Liu your Introduction to Postmodernist LiteratureClass 204. I missed class the past two weeks. I had a family emergency that I needed to attend. Iwonder if you might be able to give me notes the lectures that I missed.Instructor: I am sorry to hear that you had a family emergency to deal. Unfortunately, Icannot give you my notes fairness other students. Do you have any friends who could sharetheir notes you?Student: Yes, but they are a total mess. What did you discuss class my absence?Instructor: the last two weeks, we looked narrative techniques such as fragmentation andtemporal distortion, a specific emphasis the work David Foster Wallace. You will find informationthese techniques the textbook page 208 page 252.Student: Thank you, I will review these pages.3. Correct the mistakes in these sentences.Dear Dr. Smith,This is Amanda Liu from your Introduction to Postmodernist Literature Class. After reading excerpts ofWallace's Infinite Jest, there was something that seemed odd for me. In my notes, I wrote that the heavy useof endnotes is meant to disrupt the linear narrative. Given Wallace’s perception on reality as contingent, Ican understand the latter interpretation. I’m having difficulty understanding how the conclusion can be saidto be open-ended, though. I understand that it has something to do from the story eschewing chronologicalplot development and straightforward resolution, which support a wide range of readings, but the relianceof endnotes does seem to maintain some sense of narrative cohesion. I’ve talked to a few others in class,and none of them have been able to provide me much insight. Would you be able to explain this to me? Ifyou do not have time to do so via email, would you be willing to discuss it on the beginning of next class?Sincerely,Amanda Liu5Adapted in part from George Yule’s Oxford Practice Grammar. Advanced, Oxford, 2006, pp. 124-137 /grammar/prepositions by Guillaume Filion 2017, the CAC,University of Victoria. This copy is solely for the use by a student, staff, or faculty member. Any other use may beinfringement of copyright if done without securing the permission of copyright owners.

A preposition is a word or group of words used to link nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words in a sentence. Some examples of prepositions are single words like in, at, on, of, to, by and with or phrases such as in front of, next to, instead of. Prepositions in English are most frequently dictated by fixed expressions.