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Male staff in a suit showing signs of doubt by scratching his head ...
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The CEO walked briskly into the hall.
The CEO walked briskly from the hall.

One word was changed and the entire meaning of the sentence also changed.  Prepositions are very short words BUT, they are powerful words. This, I guess, makes the English language even more interesting. Unlike VERBS, there are no exact rules in prepositions. In order to manage them properly, one has to be familiar with them. This is where the power of reading comes in, but this will be discussed in another blog post. 

A lot of ESL students struggle with prepositions. Sadly, some ESL teachers also find it difficult to explain to their students the minute differences that a change in preposition can make. 


Somebody is knocking AT the door.
Somebody is knocking ON the door.
Somebody is knocking BY the door.

In the examples mentioned above, actually, the prepositions don't matter at all. When we hear a knock coming from the direction of the door, we don't give care whether or not the one knocking is knocking at, or on, or by the door. We just head for the door and open it, and let the person in--unless he/she is an unwelcome, undesirable human. Lol. 

In most cases, however, the preposition matters. Did he look confident before his speech, after his speech, or during his speech? As I mentioned earlier, the change in preposition also changes the meaning of the sentence. A simple mistake in the use of the preposition can definitely alter the message that we want to convey. 

This is the start of a series that gives examples of which verbs and nouns should be followed by what preposition. 

Let's start with the Prepositions of Time. This answers the question WHEN or AT WHAT TIME.

Sentences with AT
I always get up at 6:00. I begin work at 6:30. I often get home late at night.

Sentences with IN
The dentist is not here. She will be back in ten minutes or in thirty minutes.
The civil war started in 1861 and it ended in 1965.
Many tourists visit Boracay Philippines in summer. The beach resort is busy in March, in April, and in May.
It is very quiet in Japan in winter.
I'm always busy in the evening. I'm not very busy in the afternoon.

Sentences with ON
I'll see him on Wednesday. I will be absent on Tuesday.
My sister will arrive from Germany on December 11th.

Other phrases:
SM Shopping Malls are open from 10:00 in the morning until 9:00 in the evening.
It rained heavily during the night.
My friend will stay in my house until tomorrow.

In + month
In November

In + year
In 1980

In +  the morning, the afternoon, the evening

At + time
At 8:00
At midnight
At noon

On + day
On Monday/On Mondays

On + date
On November 13th

During + noun (time, or event)
During the game
During the day
During the night
(Day and Night are nouns)


On + surface
on the door, on the table, on my cheek

In+ inclusion of space
In my bag, in the room, in the kitchen

At + exact location
at the door (her exact spot/location at the door)

-Thank for reading!-

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Japanese Translation
Credit: Google Translate

The CEO walked briskly into the hall.
The CEO walked briskly from the hall.

1つの単語が変更され、文全体の意味も変更されました。前置詞は非常に短い単語ですが、強力な単語です。これは、おそらく英語をさらに面白くするでしょう。 VERBSとは異なり、前置詞には正確な規則はありません。それらを適切に管理するためには、それらに精通している必要があります。ここで、読書の力が発揮されますが、これについては別のブログ投稿で説明します。



Somebody is knocking AT the door.
Somebody is knocking ON the door.
Somebody is knocking BY the door.





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