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✔Lesson transcript: https://adeptenglish.com/lessons/grammar-english-pesky-prepositions/
Grammar is the logic of speech, even as logic is the grammar of reason.
⭐ Richard Chenevix Trench, a 19th-century British clergyman, poet, and philologist.
With plenty of examples, in this lesson we will guide you step by step through the world of pesky prepositions, ensuring you're equipped to tackle any conversation with confidence. This is your chance to immerse yourself in British English and become a fluent, natural speaker.
Don't miss out on this modern approach to learning English! Learning through listening has already helped countless English language learners just like you. Say goodbye to language barriers and hello to a world of new opportunities. Follow us now and start your journey towards English fluency today!
A common misconception about learning the rules of spoken British English grammar is that it's necessary to memorize every rule and exception in order to speak fluently and correctly. In reality, language learning is more about practice and immersion. By frequently listening to and engaging in conversations with native speakers, learners naturally absorb grammar patterns and vocabulary without having to consciously memorize each rule. While it's still helpful to study grammar rules, focusing on practical use and context is more important for achieving fluency and understanding spoken British English.
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English is full of booby traps for the unwary foreigner.
⭐ Isaac Asimov, a prolific American writer and professor of biochemistry.
There are lots of English grammar problems that occur when speaking English. There are things native English speakers do/say when talking that you just won't find in a book or traditional English language lesson. This British English lesson is like a helpful map, showing you the clear path to navigate the world of English grammar and prepositions, leading you to your goal of confident communication. For example:
- Flexible word order: Although English generally follows the Subject-Verb-Object (SVO) word order, spoken British English often allows for more flexibility in informal conversations. Native speakers may rearrange words or use incomplete sentences for emphasis or to convey their thoughts more naturally. This flexibility may not always be grammatically correct but is often accepted in casual spoken contexts.
- Use of contractions: In spoken British English, contractions (e.g., "I'm" instead of "I am" or "they've" instead of "they have") are used more frequently than in written language. Contractions help to create a more informal and conversational tone, making speech sound more natural and less rigid. However, learners should be aware of when to use contractions appropriately, as they might not be suitable for formal situations.
- Differences in pronunciation and vocabulary: British English has various regional accents and dialects, which can lead to differences in pronunciation, vocabulary, and even grammar rules. As a result, learners may encounter diverse ways of speaking and using grammar depending on the region or social context. Being aware of these variations can enrich one's understanding of the language and help learners adapt their speech to different situations more effectively.
A benefit of participating in this type of English listening lesson will be the significant improvement in your ability to use prepositions accurately in spoken British English. This will not only enhance your overall fluency but also boost your confidence in daily conversations, making you a more effective and natural English speaker. Our engaging and practical approach, tailored specifically for learners like you, will help you tackle even the most complex prepositions with ease.
We are happy to answer questions you might have but my advice is "Don't over think it!" just dive into British English listening & become a fluent, natural speaker.
- What level of learners is this lesson for? This lesson is designed for learners at any stage, from beginners to advanced.
- Will I understand complex prepositions after this lesson? Yes, our examples and tips simplify even the most complex prepositions for easy understanding.
- How will this lesson help me in daily conversations? You'll gain the confidence to use prepositions accurately, making your spoken English more fluent.
- Are there enough examples to practice in this lesson? Absolutely! We provide plenty of real-life examples for effective learning and practice.
- Is this lesson focused on British English? Yes, this lesson is tailored to help you master prepositions in spoken British English.
- Pesky: annoying or causing trouble
- Prepositions: small words that show the relationship between words in a sentence
- Fluent: able to speak a language easily and correctly
- Subscribe: to agree to receive something regularly
- Horseshoe: a U-shaped piece of metal, put on a horse's foot for protection
- Phrasal Verb: a verb combined with a preposition or adverb that has a different meaning from the original verb
- Adjective: a word that describes a noun (person, place, or thing)
- Adverb: a word that describes a verb (how an action is done)
- Immersive: completely surrounding or involving someone in an activity
- Theatre: a place where plays, movies, or other performances are shown
Hi there. Today let’s cover some English grammar and one of the things that English language learners struggle with! And that thing - well, it’s prepositions. That’s PREPOSITION. And prepositions are those tiny little words in English that can be a bit ‘pesky’, a bit problematic. In, on, at, by, for, to etc. How to use them? How to get them right? Let’s do a bit of problem solving on prepositions today, with lots of examples. I’m going to give you FIVE main uses of prepositions in English.
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OK. So just because some English words are very short, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t troublesome, aren’t difficult! And one of the problems with prepositions in English - well, perhaps we have more of them than do other languages. There are over 100 prepositions in English! That’s crazy - why do we need that many?! I don’t know.
Prepositions are used with nouns, that’s NOUN - mainly, anyway. And ‘a noun’ in English is a word for a ‘person, place or thing’. Prepositions can relate a noun or pronoun to either a verb, another noun or an adjective, a describing word. So let’s unpack how prepositions are used. I’m going to give you FIVE main uses of prepositions. There are some other uses of prepositions - but these five cover most of them!
So the first use of prepositions - is to show relationships or links between things.
I thought of you, when I visited the seaside. So that’s preposition with a pronoun ‘you’. The manager of the shop. So that’s preposition ‘of’ with another noun - it relates ‘manager’ and ‘shop’. He was very fond of his cat. ‘Of’ here relates the adjective ‘fond’ to the cat. ‘Fond’, FOND - we say we’re ‘fond of someone or something’ when we mean we feel affection for them or it, when we’re attached to them. So that’s ‘fond of’. ‘
‘Of’ is the most common preposition In English.
- The owner of the café
- The leader of the choir
- The success of our project
- The opposite of small
- The husband of my sister
- The size of my son’s feet
Of course, there are many other prepositions that do this ‘linking job’ between nouns or pronouns. Here are some examples that aren’t ‘of:-
- It was a book about computer programming.
- I am phoning you concerning the house that’s for sale.
- I was very happy in the flat despite my difficulties with the landlord. (I am putting emphasis on those prepositions!)
- It’s funny to be without a thick jumper.
- According to the weather report, there’s going to be thunder today.
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The second use of prepositions - they tell you about the physical position of something or the direction of something. Like the following:-
Across the water. Against the wall. Along the road. Amid the confusion. Aboard the ship. Above the door. At the butchers. Put your bike alongside my bike.
And those are just the ones beginning with A! But they all tell you more about the physical position, the location of something.
‘Across the water, I could see an island’. Or ‘Above the door was a horseshoe’. Or ‘I was at the butchers when I realised I’d no money with me!’.
Thirdly, sometimes prepositions are telling you about the timing of things.
- I’ll see you at 9 o’clock.
- He fell asleep before dinner.
- Towards the end of the meeting, there was a fire alarm.
- Throughout the week, I’ve been drinking green tea.
Fourthly, one of the places where you meet prepositions all the time in English - again all of those ‘pesky’ phrasal verbs! A phrasal verb is where the verb is made up of more than one word. So often that’s a verb plus a preposition - that’s the most common type. And the challenge with phrasal verbs is that they all mean something slightly different - from the original verb, from the verb without the preposition. And sometimes even one phrasal verb can have a number of different meanings, dependent upon its context.
For example, ‘to get on’, GET ON
- I might get on the train.
- Or I might want to get on in life - meaning ‘to be successful’.
- I could say I get on really well with both my sisters. That means we have good relationships. Or...
- How did you get on? Means ‘How did you do?’ With that project, with that piece of work, with that task.
- And if you say someone is getting on - that’s means they’re old. ‘Both Joe Biden and Donald Trump are getting on a bit!
Those are just some examples of the phrasal verb ‘to get on’.
It’s really worth spending time on phrasal verbs - they’re much more common in informal, conversational spoken English than the more formal, ‘proper’ verbs that you’d find in a newspaper or say, in a job interview or speech! And as I say, that preposition can completely change the meaning of a verb. If you go to our website at adeptenglish.com and our ‘Lessons’ page and then search on ‘Phrasal Verbs’ - there are at least 7 different podcasts which help you with phrasal verbs. Sometimes in podcasts, I’ll pick a verb and then I’ll cover all the phrasal verbs that hang off the back of it.
Fifth type of use for prepositions in English. So I’ve saved the simplest one for last. Just as an adjective describes a noun, so an adverb describes a verb - that’s ADVERB. So sometimes prepositions are used as adverbs. And you can tell when this is the case because there’s no noun after them.
- You can say outside the theatre - that’s the preposition outside with the noun, ‘theatre’.
- But you can also just say ‘We ran outside”. There, outside is an adverb describing the verb ‘ran’.
- We haven’t done it since. We came along after. My aunt lives near.
I think that you can go a long way in understanding prepositions just by doing our Listen & Learn method, just by immersive English language learning. If you hear lots of spoken English, you tend to pick up, learn quite a lot about prepositions, without really noticing them. They’re just little tiny words that are there in most sentences. They’re rarely the ones you notice, but you do need to understand them. So listening to a lot of spoken English will help you learn to use them correctly.
You may not notice them in sentences, but your brain will! Your brain will notice them - and you will gain an automatic senses of how to use prepositions, which ones to use in which places. But with many of these aspects of English grammar, it’s also worth paying them some specific attention sometimes. And that’s what this podcast helps you do. We’ve paid a little attention to English prepositions.
And we’ve identified five main uses, five main ways to use English prepositions. I hope that helps with your English language learning.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
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