Prepositions are the little words that proceed or follow nouns, pronouns, verbs and adjectives to describe time, space or relationship. For example, I’ll be there by 6:00 o’clock; The book is on the chair; or He’s interested in architecture. In the U.S., English speakers use prepositions ass backwards. We “luck out” when we’re “in luck”, both mean that everything turned out well. It’s good to know your prepositions. If you get it wrong it could mean the difference between listening to a co-worker who “goes on and on” about his new A8, yes, you might feel annoyed, but if he “goes off” (gets angry + crazy), you might need to find a place to hide.
If I had more talent, I could write a rap song about the gazillion uses of prepositions and earn a million dollars. Many non-native English speakers hate prepositions and I don’t blame them. It’s like getting a piece of spinach caught in your teeth at a dinner party. You spend the whole night smiling and feeling intelligent and witty. People look at you compassionately, but since you don’t know it’s there, you think they didn’t get your joke, so you smile and repeat the punchline. When you do see the sparkling Christmas tree between your teeth, it’s too late. You’re alone standing in front of the bathroom mirror, very humiliated and cursing the use of language. Perhaps, you think to yourself, you’ll learn sign language; spinach rarely is stuck on your hands.
Let me know if this blog post was helpful and if not helpful at least took your mind off work and got you thinking in English for five minutes. That's practice. If you like my ninja mouse picture then go to
http://curiositiesfromtheworld.blogspot.de/2014/05/urban-legends-mice-dont-like-cheese.html to learn about curious facts like mice don't like cheese!
ANNABELLE B-BAUMANN, Communication Coach
"Annabelle I've learned alot from you .....with your friendly art and your diversified lessons... it is never boring!!!" -Doris, BASF
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