English Language and Grammar - Prepositions | Derek Smith | Skillshare

English Language and Grammar - Prepositions

Derek Smith, Experienced and qualified teacher

English Language and Grammar - Prepositions

Derek Smith, Experienced and qualified teacher

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10 Lessons (49m)
    • 1. English prepositions - introduction

    • 2. Prepositions of time

    • 3. Prepositions of place

    • 4. Prepositions of direction

    • 5. Prepositions of reason

    • 6. Prepositions of connection

    • 7. Prepositions of device

    • 8. Prepositions of agency

    • 9. Prepositions of origin

    • 10. Preposition or adverb

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About This Class

Learn about prepositions. The prepositions are divided into functional groups, with explanations and examples of each group.

There are around 70 commonly used prepositions in English. Rather than list them all, I have split them into functional groups to make them easier to learn.

The groups are prepositions of:

  • time
  • place
  • direction
  • reason
  • connection
  • device
  • agency
  • origin

The last lesson shows how to tell the difference between prepositions and adverbs.

Meet Your Teacher

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Derek Smith

Experienced and qualified teacher


Hello, I'm Derek - a qualified and experienced English trainer.

I have an IT background and have been teaching English to adults for over 10 years.

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1. English prepositions - introduction: hello and welcome to this short skill share course on English propositions. Propositions of these sort of often don't little words that are found me announce and show the relationship between the now owns and the rest of the sentence, which is often other now owns. So we have various categories off propositions. So rather than just throwing up, say, 70 propositions and saying hazing, the propositions they go what I've split it into categories. So we have propositions off time, place, direction, reason, connection, device agency and origin on for each lesson. There's, um, similar sort of format, so we'll look at the most common propositions off this particular type. I would also show lots of examples of it being used. You could really see how it should be used. Now. One of the things that makes propositions potentially confusing for English language learners is the fact that the three most common propositions of time are in on at and the three most common propositions of space are in on on at. But don't worry, this will all be clear when we look at the individual lessons. At the very end. Would also find that the same words that are propositions also come up as adverbs on the last lesson will look at the difference between the two and how you can tell the difference . Whether it's an adverb or a proposition. Please don't forget the project area. There are some questions about this at the end, so if you upload your answers, I'll check them all through and give you feedback. Let's get on with the first lesson. 2. Prepositions of time: this lesson is all about propositions of time. The most common propositions of time are at on and in the others it will look at during this lesson are four during since by until before, after to and past. There are, of course, other ones that don't come up as often. We won't be looking at those here, so use at for specific times of the day. Let's meet at noon tomorrow. Could we meet at one o'clock Instead? The film starts at seven o'clock in the evening. Julie usually gets up at six oclock in the morning. Peter usually starts work at nine and finishes at six. Most people put the cat out at night. Oh, use on for days and dates. I have an appointment on Friday. Shall we go out for a meal on your birthday? I can't make it on Saturday. Could we go on Sunday instead? New Year's Eve is on December 31st. Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day, 16 43. We use in for months, years and seasons, and strange enough specific times of the day. School starts in September this year. We were on holiday in March last year. There will be an election in 2020. Winston Churchill was born in 18 74. Could I book an appointment in the afternoon on that Christmas Carol? In the bleak midwinter, the Proposition four is used when referring to durations of time. My grandparents usually sleep for 15 minutes. After lunch. We worked in the garden for six hours without taking a break. John has lived in France for 12 years. Simon has lived in the same house for over 50 years. Oh, used during together with a noun. We use this for when we want to say that something happened within a specific period of time. The fire alarm went off during lunch. On here. Lunch is the not the thing you eat is the time of the lunch break. Students are not allowed to eat or drink during class. It is annoying when people talk during films. Please switch off all phones during the exam and again and all of the's we're not talking about the films or the exams are talking about the time that the film is running or the time that the exam is being taken. You since for describing events that start or will start from a specific time. The Peter and John have known each other since they were Children. James has lived in London since 2005. But Mary, has it been room 4 12 years. So you since I'm a specific time and four for the duration. Common mistake. What have you been up to since we last met? I'd be working here since August. Will it take much longer? I've been waiting since 10 o'clock and here in propositions of time, we used by to me no later than the report must be finished by Friday. We're not later than Friday. No worries. I will make short it done by then. Paula has to be home by six o'clock. Or else there's trouble. Tim said he would be back by midnight and we use until to describe in action or event that stops or has stopped as a specific time. But the examples are making clear if we're talking informally off, rather writing informally, still have using until we can use till the concert went on until midnight. I will wait for you until seven o'clock. Sandy is staying with her mother until Sunday. G stay here until October then they fly south for the winter. The lads stayed in the pub until it closed and before is used for things that happened before or prior to a defined time or event. The police tidy up your desk before you leave. Then it always goes to bed before midnight. Conrad always eats a good breakfast before going toe work. Most people are nervous before exams. You must visit us before you go back. And conversely, after similar to before. But when is following a defined time? What event? Ben always has a shower after his workout, the students celebrated after the last exam. Please keep the noise down after 10 at night. Why don't you come around after work tomorrow? After you talk to him? Come and see me. The last two. Ah, referring to telling the time we used to. When we're talking about how long it is until the next full hour it is 20 minutes to seven . Now I 6 40 five minutes. It will be 1/4 to 7 by 6 45 in 10 minutes it will be 10 to 7 by 6 50 I set the alarm for exactly 12 minutes to eight by 7 48 If the meeting starts at 10 get there no later than 5 to 10. And, conversely, we use past when we talk about how many minutes or how long has expired since the last full hour of the day. But there's 10 minutes past eight now or 8 10 in five minutes. It will be 1/4 past eight by 8 15 in 10 minutes, it will be 20 past eight or a 20. I set the alarm for exactly 12 minutes past eight. There's 8 12 A 10 o'clock meeting should start no later than five past 10. 3. Prepositions of place: this lesson is on propositions, off place, propositions of place referred to the location of objects, people or places. The most common propositions of place are at on and in the others that will look at also in this lesson are by neo close to next to beside between behind in front, off Hoover Above, below and under we use at for a specific location or event. I will wait for you at the cinema entrance. Paul is sitting at the bar. We met the customers at the head office since houses at the end of the street. Everyone had a great time at the party yesterday. Steve is studying maths at university, we on for surfaces. Or if something is on top of something else, the mug is on the table. Don't sit on the grass. If it's wet, please leave the drinks on the tray. Jack hung a picture on the wall. Don't sit on that share. Its just being painted. I mean in when we're talking about in closed spaces or even geographical locations. The plates are in the cupboard. There are thousands of books in the library. Most people cook in the kitchen. London is in England. We have a meeting in Toronto next week. In your opinion, what is the best band in the world were used by near and close to When the distance between two things is small. Andi. It is worth noting that close to is the only one that uses the word to you wouldn't have by two or near to the Peter prefer to sit by the window when Flying Jane like to sit near the entrance of the cinema we have. Jane likes to sit near to the entrance of the cinema. You wouldn't that the two is is wrong there. We don't need that. The first version Jane likes to sit near the entrance of the cinema is correct, however, don't stand so close to me and next to and beside often two things air adjacent, and besides, it's slightly more formal than next to the bus was empty. Why did he have to sit down next to me? Jenny's sits beside Mary at school. My uncle is standing next to my sister in the photo John's houses beside the restaurant we used between when one thing is in the middle of two other things, put a slice of cheese between two slices of bread. Voila! You now have a cheese sandwich. Would you like to sit between Tony and Peter? Donnie is an idiot. Nothing between his ears at all. His house is between the Browns and the bulls. Old joke time, Mr Mrs Brown. One side, Mr Mrs Ball the other side. And this is how we say their houses between the Browns and the Bulls on this is the punch line of the old joke is. And when this house caught fire, it was very happy to be pulled out by the Browns there, used behind when one thing is to the rear of the back of something else and it's the opposite of in front off. Paul got behind the wheel of the car and drove away. Peter is standing behind Paula in the queue. Sadie hung her coat behind the door. The car park is behind the supermarket and then we have in front off. But we mean one thing is situated before another thing. And as we heard, it's the opposite of behind what you've just seen. The teacher stood in front of the class. Let's not put the cupboard in front of the television. Bad idea. The man in front of Jim looks a bit like Churchill. English people are usually too polite to push in front of you. That's in a queue. Of course, I will use over and above when one thing is higher than something else on. These are very similar, but we use over when one thing is in direct contact or were one thing covers another. We'll see the examples to pull the blanket over her head so that the blanket was touching her. Hannah held the umbrella over both of us, so in this case, the umbrella isn't actually touching us, but it does cover both of us. I like jelly with cream poured over it. Put the towel over the radiator to dry to sit on the previous slide. We use over and above when one thing is higher than something else. Although they are very similar in use, we use above when something is higher, but not necessarily directly over something else. We walked along the path above the lake, but the path was higher than the lake, but around it, in this case, he hung the picture above her bed. Not much of Holland is above sea level. The pupil raised her hand above her head to ask a question. Now, below and under are the opposites of over and above, and we use thes. And something is lower than something else we use under when one object covers another. And underneath is another word for under that the dog is hiding under the bed. The boy put the tooth under his pillow. I found your earing under the sofa. There is a troll under the bridge, Donald. These cases, the thing that is under something else is completely under. It is covered by it, and then below is again used when something is lower than something else. But it's really just when this In a lower position not necessarily covered by it, we can also use beneath as another word for below. But much of Holland is below sea level. Her flat is below mine. The ship is just below the horizon. I saw a big fish below the surface of the water 4. Prepositions of direction: this lesson is all about propositions of direction, propositions of direction tell us where something or someone moves and also tells us where to put something and commonly followed verbs of motion. Common propositions of direction are two onto and into, and these a related to the propositions of place, namely at on on in, respectively. Other propositions of direction include at from over above, under a long around across through, out, off, towards away from off, up and down and we'll see examples of all of the's. I would like to point out that you have to be careful with propositions of direction and not confused him with propositions of place. Propositions of place tell us where something is, but the propositions of direction really have to have an element of movement in it. 32 To indicate movement towards a location or person, we need to get Bob to the hospital. Now. Something's wrong with Bob. Last weekend we went to London. Could you give this letter to Peter, please? The boy threw the ball to his friend. We use onto the movement that ends on top of something on on two. Proposition of direction corresponds with on its proposition of place. Two wreckage from the ship washed up onto the shore. Bob moved the coffee table onto the carpet. The builder lowered the roof onto the house. Laura climbed onto the table to reach the lamp. On all of these cases, there's a sense of movement, and if we swapped onto with on and just stated a position that would then be a proposition off place, we just take the last example. Laura climbed onto the table to reach the lamp Laura Waas, on the table into the movement that ends up in something, and as previously with onto and on into corresponds with the proposition of place in the Children dived into the swimming pool. The porter carried the bags into the hotel room. Junk mail was phone unready into the paper bin. Best place for it. Mechanic lowered the engine into the car, and they're as previously with onto and on. We just take the example with the mechanic, lowering the engine into the car. That's the movement, and when he's finished, the engine is in the car. That then is a proposition of place, amused at to indicate movement towards a location or person the boy through the stone at the girl. Now we compare this for the previous example. The boy threw the ball to his friend and two, and at are not the same in the case for the boy throwing a ball to his friend. The friend was supposed to catch it. Where is the boy throwing a stone at the girl? He's trying to hit her with the stone. I'm not a nice little boy. The enemy came at me from all directions, Doomed, threw a dart at the board and hit the bull's eye. And we use from the movement with a specific origin. There's a bit like the opposite of to it is about 874 miles from land's end to John O. Groats. Just to explain that land's end is a very southern tip of United Kingdom. And John A groats in Scotland's very northern tip of not United Kingdom. On land's end to John O Groats generally is the the longest distance throughout the United Kingdom. My hamster escaped from its cage. There's a birthday present from me to you. I cycled from home to work today, so we use over for movement but that is higher than something and across something. The boy threw the ball over the house. There's on one side of the house and the foreseeable up over that across the house that Dan's on the other side. Those birds are flying over the trees. The burglar jumped over the fence and ran away. But he's on one side of the fence. He jumps up over the fence and he's gone. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog, but those haven't seen this sentence before. This is the shortest sentence in English that has every letter of the alphabet we use above well, moving up to somewhere that is higher than something else. Please put the picture above the bed. Now. This is higher than the bed on the wall, but it's not over the bed. It was over the bed. It would be horizontal on here is all above the bed, so it's higher than the bed. Put your hands above your head. Get your hands higher than your head. The waterfall above the lake is beautiful. The weather improved when we flew above the clouds. I will use under as I can, opposite of over for movement that takes is lower than something or that is lower than something. The puppy crawled under the fence. The cat ran under the bed to hide. We put the presents under the tree on Christmas Eve. It's fun to swim in the lake under the waterfall. We used the proposition along for movement along the edge of something, or or in a straight line. But there is a picturesque path along the river. Picturesque. Is this another word for beautiful Pretty? The people followed the teacher along the corridor. The couple went for a romantic walk along the beach at sunset. The coastal road runs along the beach, and we use around for circular movement. Offer movement along a curved path. We walked around the church to get more photographs. The road is blocked. Will have to drive around the obstacle. This door is locked. We'll have to go around and use the other door around the house or the building. Shall we go for a walk around the park? Tomorrow we use across for for movement that goes from one end to another or from one side to the opposite side. We had to walk across the bridge to get home. A silly boy ran across the road without looking. That boat will take you across the river. Sam's friend lives across the street from him, and he's seeing all these examples is a case of something on the opposite side of where we are. I'm use through to describe movement. It goes from one side of an enclosed space to the other side. We grow through the tunnel under the river. Water runs through the pipes to the house The girls were playing in jumping through the hoops. The kitten crawled through a gap in the fence and we out off four movement that finishes outside of something. The player hit the ball out of the park. Water is getting cold. You should get out of the bath now. Take the ingredients out of the packet and follow the instructions and you have nice cake. We've arrived. You can all get out of the car now. I'm used towards for motions or movement that bring us closer to something. We took our bread and walked towards the ducks to feed them. The defender kicked the ball towards the opposition goal. The girl laughed and ran towards her sister. When it started raining, I ran towards the bus shelter. In all these cases, we started off further away from something. At the end of the movement. We're now closer to that thing we were talking about. On the opposite of Towards is away from which is movement. It takes us further away from something The father told the boys to stay away from his daughter. Cat ran away from the dog the true and ran away from school true into someone who should go to school but doesn't get away from me. Come back when you've had a bath. Obviously, someone's a bit smelly. I'm used off four movement, which is down or away from something. But the wind blew the hat off his head. Please take your feet off the table. We get off the bus at the next stop. Remember to take all your banks with you. When you get off the train, we up to describe movement that takes us higher than something. Or to the north. Running up that hill was tiring. Allen climbed up the ladder to fix the roof. Time for bed up says you go. But those three are all the examples where you end up going higher than you were before. In this last example, why don't you come up and visit his next week? The people who are asking live further to the North than the people who were visiting. So you would say Come up and visit us. Competitive up is down on this describes movement that takes his lower or to the south, the ball rolled down the slope. Riding down a steep hill is great fun. The dog shouldn't be on the sofa making get down and again those three ah movement and takes a lower than something. And this last one you want to come down next weekend. This is being asked by someone who lives mortar, the South and the people they want to visit. 5. Prepositions of reason: this lesson is on propositions, off reason, propositions of reason. Tell us why something happened. I can also tell us why something will happen. The common propositions of reason are four through and because off, but there are many others. As we'll see, the Proposition four usually joins a phrase with another noun. Everything happens for a reason. I bought you flowers for your birthday. If we use four to join a noun with a verb, and the verb will usually take its German form, which then means he gets treated as a noun. Many thanks for helping me yesterday. You have anything for getting rid of weeds in the garden. I used through to explain how something happened. The Andes succeeded through sheer hard work and determination. The the hard work and determination was the reason how he managed to succeed. Our sales increased through effective marketing, ineffective marketing, being how we manage to increase sales to her courage, the team escaped unharmed. We also use because off to show the reason for something on this usually follows the main clause. I was late for work because off the bus strike, the moon only shines because of the sun was The sun shines on the moon. It reflects tow us. It looks like the moon is shining. But it's not only because of the light from the sun. The football player was on the bench for a month because of his injury on the bench. Here is an expression, meaning that he wasn't actively playing but sitting on the side during matches. The barbecue was canceled because of the heavy rain. Now there are many other propositions of reason. I won't go into lots of examples because they're generally synonymous with the ones we've already seen. And in many cases you can just swap out one of the ones we've seen. One of these other examples on the sentence will be just as good. So these others would include do to, on account off, by courtesy, off by reason off by virtue off in the light off. And thanks to 6. Prepositions of connection: this lesson is on propositions off connection, propositions off connection described, possession relationships or accompaniment. And these propositions off connection off two. And with he's off to describe relationships and possession. Are you the sister off? In other words, are you Ian's sister? London is the capital city off England, Remember? Use off for possession. We often use a possessive pronoun. Tim is a good friend off mine. No, off maybe off mine. Bill is on the same team as Peter. Oh, Bill is a teammate off his. We also used to to describe relationships and possessions. Stephen was like a brother to me. That old house used to belong to my aunt. That is Paul's bike. It belongs to him. This is Lizzie stole. It belongs to her, as we can see when we used to, we don't use possessive pronouns se It belongs to him, but it is a bite off his, as we saw in the previous slide we use with for accompaniment. Really go to the theater with me. What would you like with your fish? I would like chips with the fish, please. And Judy is the girl with the ponytail 7. Prepositions of device: this lesson is on propositions off device. We use propositions of device to describe technologies, machines and, of course, devices, and you may also see these refer to as propositions off instrument. And the propositions in this lesson are by with on on too often use by. When referring to Transportacion, methods are usually traveled to work by car. Bill traveled from one end of the country to the other by train. He completed the last part by foot. Now we could have said he walked the last part, and that would have been equally is easy to understand and equally as valid. But if we look at this next example, Sally finds traveling by plane to be very stressful now freed of be phrased it as Sally finds flying to be very stressful. It's not clear whether shoes the pilot or the passenger, so by freezing it this way, we make it very clear that she is the passenger we often use with Jennifer into machines and other devices. Paul cut the grass with a lawn mower. The lock can be opened with the proper key. The manager can open any door with the master key. It's easy to whipped cream with a whisk we're after news on when referring to machines and other devices, I wrote the letter on the computer. Penny likes riding on her motorbike. Now you're probably saying, Hang on a minute, he said By is used for transportation devices and you would be right. In this case, though, the riding implies some sort of bicycle or motorbike, also a horse or something, and we would use and on her motorbike to be clear exactly what we're referring to. I would say she likes traveling by motorbike, but nice riding on a motorbike. You can call me on my mobile phone at any time and sell is in brackets here because mobile phone is what the UK English people would say in cell phone is the U. S. The American English version. Don't cut the wood to size on the band saw 8. Prepositions of agency: this lesson deals with propositions off agency propositions of agency describes something that causes or caused in the past something toe happen, and they usually written in the passive voice, as we'll see in the examples in the propositions of agency are by on with we tend to use by for people or animals. The house was designed by an architect passive voice. The active voice version on architect designed the house. I was bitten by my neighbor's dog. Passive the active. My neighbor's dog bit me. The boy's room was tided by his mother in another passive voice. Example, the actor voice version would be the boy's mother Tidied his room are used with four things that aren't people or animals. The bread was cut with a knife, a knife cut. The bread is the active version. The bucket is filled with dirty water. Dirty water fills the bucket. The Nats were upheld with insects. Berry again, all passive voice examples. The active version of this is in sex. Berry repelled the Nats 9. Prepositions of origin: this short lesson is on propositions off origin. The propositions of origin are from and off, and we use them to describe some things origin. This can include nationality, hometown on ethnicity. It also includes where something was designed or built. The using from is a far more common than using off. This whiskey is from Scotland, Jimmy and more AC, also from Scotland, specifically there. From Glasco. Billy got a new computer from his parents. We use off for more formal situations, and we also use it when we're being a bit funny or comical. Humorous. The formal way of expressing this information would be many Americans are off European descent. But you could, of course, say off the Caucasian persuasion if you wanted to make it less for one a bit more funny or another example. I think the A K 47 rifle is off Russian origin 10. Preposition or adverb: this short lesson deals with the question of whether a word is a proposition or an adverb. Very often, we will have the same word on it, Confused as a proposition or an adverb on this could really cause confusion for learners. But there is a relatively simple way to tell the difference. But if there's an object, it's a proposition. We can also ask the question. What to make it clearer? If there's no object, then it's an adverb. Look at the first example. If the word has an object, then it's a proposition. The small Children often color outside the lines outside what the lines is. The answer and the lines is also the object off outside. Therefore, outside is being used as a proposition. Here. On outside the lines is an adverb beall phrase describing how they color color, being the uses, a verb here. If there's no object, then it's an adverb. Why don't you all go and play outside? Well, the question outside what has no answer because there is no object after the word outside. Therefore, outside, in this example, is an adverb, specifically an adverb of place on. Please feel free to check the adverb section for more information on this