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  • 1. PREPOSTIONS
  • 2.
    • I. TIME
    • A. One point in time
    • On  is used with days
    • At  is used with noon, night, midnight, and with the time of day
    • In  is used with other parts of the day, with months, with years, with seasons
    • TRY THIS!
    • I will see you  ____________  Monday.
    • The week begins  ____________  Sunday.
    • My plane leaves  ___________  noon.
    • The movie starts  __________  6 p.m.
    • He likes to read ____________ the afternoon.
    • The days are long ___________ August.
    • The book was published  ___________  1999.
    • The flowers will bloom  ___________  spring.
  • 3.
    • B. Extended time
    • To express extended time, English uses the following prepositions:  since, for, by, from—to, from-until, during,(with)in
    • She has been gone  since  yesterday.  (She left yesterday and has not returned.)
    • I'm going to Paris  for  two weeks.  (I will spend two weeks there.)
    • The movie showed  from  August  to  October.  (Beginning in August and ending in October.)
    • The decorations were up  from  spring  until  fall.  (Beginning in spring and ending in fall.)
    • I watch TV  during  the evening.  (For some period of time in the evening.)
    • We must finish the project  within  a year.  (No longer than a year.)
  • 4.
    • II. PLACE
    • To express notions of place, English uses the following prepositions:
    • IN - to talk about the point itself
    • INSIDE - to express something contained
    • ON - to talk about the surface
    • AT - to talk about a general vicinity
    • TRY THIS!
    • There is a wasp  _________  the room.
    • Put the present  ___________  the box.
    • I left your keys  _________  the table.
    • She was waiting  _________  the corner.
  • 5.
    • A. Higher than a point
    • To express notions of an object being higher than a point, English uses the following prepositions:  over, above .
    • He threw the ball  over  the roof.
    • Hang that picture  above  the couch.
  • 6.
    • B. Lower than a point
    • To express notions of an object being lower than a point, English uses the following prepositions: under, underneath, beneath, below.
    • The rabbit burrowed  under  the ground.
    • The child hid  underneath  the blanket.
    • We relaxed in the shade  beneath  the branches.
    • The valley is  below  sea-level.
  • 7.
    • C. Close to a point
    • To express notions of an object being close to a point, English uses the following prepositions:  near, by, next to, between, among, opposite .
    • She lives  near  the school.
    • There is an ice cream shop  by  the store.
    • An oak tree grows  next to  my house
    • The house is  between  Elm Street and Maple Street.
    • I found my pen lying  among  the books.
    • The bathroom is  opposite  that room.
  • 8.
    • III. To introduce objects of verbs
    • English uses the following prepositions to introduce objects of the following verbs.
    • At: glance, laugh, look, rejoice, smile, stare
    • Of: approve, consist, smell
    • Of (or about): dream, think
    • For: call, hope, look, wait, watch, wish
    • ( exception with mirror:  She glanced in the mirror.)
  • 9.
    • SEATWORK:
    • She glanced ________ her reflection.
    • I'm looking _______ my keys.
    • I don't approve _______ his speech.
    • You didn't laugh _______ his joke.
    • I'm looking ________ the computer monitor.
    • I dream _______ finishing college in four years.
    • Stop staring ________ me.
    • I am thinking ________ this problem.
    • My contribution to the article consists _________ many pages.
    • We rejoiced ________ his safe rescue.
    • That pretty girl smiled _________ you.
    • Can you think _________ a number between one and ten?
    • If you wish ________ an "A" in this class, you must work hard.
    • He hopes _________ a raise in salary next year.
    • Did someone call _________ a taxi?
    • You go buy the tickets and I'll watch ________ the train.
    • We'll wait ________ her here.
    • He came home smelling _________ alcohol.
  • 10.
    • IV. Prepositions of Direction: To, On (to), In (to)
    • TO: signifies orientation toward a goal
    • ON + TO = onto: signifies movement toward a surface
    • IN + TO = into: signifies movement toward the interior of a volume
    • ("To" is part of the directional preposition toward, and the two mean about the same thing.)
  • 11.
    • In other cases, "to" is used as an ordinary preposition.
    • Verbs of communication: listen, speak (but not tell), relate, appeal (in the sense of 'plead,' not 'be attractive')
    • Verbs of movement: move, go, transfer, walk/run/swim/ride/drive/ fly, travel
    • Except for transfer, all the verbs in listed here can take toward as well as to. However, "to" suggests movement toward a specific destination, while "toward" suggests movement in a general direction, without necessarily arriving at a destination:
    • Drive toward the city limits and turn north. (Drive in the direction of the city limits; turnoff may be before arriving there.)
    • Take me to the airport, please. (I actually want to arrive at the airport.)
  • 12.
    • "Onto" can generally be replaced by "on" with verbs of motion.
    • Athena climbed on(to) the back of the truck.
    • Some verbs of motion express the idea that the subject causes itself or some physical object to be situated in a certain place (compare the three example directly above).
    • Of these verbs, some take only "on." Others take both "on" and "onto," with the latter being preferred by some speakers.
    • He placed the package on the table. (not "onto" the table)
  • 13.
    • IV. Dimensions
    • Prepositions differ according to the number of dimensions they refer to. We can group them into three classes using concepts from geometry: point, surface, and area or volume.
  • 14.
    • Point
    • Prepositions in this group indicate that the noun that follows them is treated as a point in relation to which another object is positioned.
    at .... point
  • 15.
    • Surface
    • Prepositions in this group indicate that the position of an object is defined with respect to a surface on which it rests.
    on .... surface
  • 16.
    • Area/Volume
    • Prepositions in this group indicate that an object lies within the boundaries of an area or within the confines of a volume.
    • Notice that although in geometry surface and area go together because both are two-dimensional, in grammar area and volume go together because the same prepositions are used for both.
    in ... area/volume
  • 17.
    • In and on are also used with means of transportation: in is used with a car, on with public or commercial means of transportation:
    • in the car on the bus on the plane on the train on the ship
  • 18.
    • Some speakers of English make a further distinction for public modes of transportation, using  in  when the carrier is stationary and  on  when it is in motion.
    • My wife stayed in/on the bus while I got out at the rest stop. The passengers sat in/on the plane awaiting takeoff.