Monday, 24 October 2011

On prepositions

"Surely but slowly" I come up with one of the most important and sometimes difficult topic, Prepositions. I have mentioned them before in “Common mistakes (1)”.
Prepositions are difficult to use because there are no rules to follow (as compared to the use of tenses, pronouns, adjectives, the sequence of tenses …).
My approach on prepositions is similar to the one on phrasal verbs, which is to use them in context and to practice them.
Even though, there are some prepositions to which I can attach some rules. The prepositions in question are “to” and “at”. Sometimes students use them in the wrong contexts. Preposition “to” shows motion from one place to another and “at” is static.
We say: “ I go to work” but  “I am at work”, “I go to the airport” but “ I am  at the airport”.
Going to a place implicates movement from a place to another, while being at a place does not.
Prepositions “to” and “at” also may appear in other contexts in which they do not have the same meaning.
There are also some rules related to prepositions “in” and “at”.
We say “I am in Paris”, because Paris is a big city and it shows the location of someone at the moment of speaking.
We say “I have been at Predeal”, because we use “at” in front of small towns or villages or when we talk about a distant place. 
To be continued.

1 comment:

  1. The right phrase is "slowly but surely". I used it the other way around in order to enhance on "surely".