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山本俊基/ToshikiYamamoto
What is the best way to learn preposition?

Hello I'm from Japan. When I learned English grammer, I couldn't understand preposition for long time. My question is where I should write and which preposition I use best. What do you recommend? 

こんにちは、日本出身です。英語の文法を長い間勉強してるんですが、前置詞の使い方がわかりません。とくに、何処に書くのか、どの前置詞を使えばいいのかがとくに分からないです。何かお薦めはありませんか?

Sep 23, 2016 6:48 AM
Comments · 12

Prepositions in English are very difficult, because there are few standard rules for using them.  It is helpful to learn the literal meanings of 'at', 'in', 'through', 'by', and so on - each word represents a literal relationship between two things.  However, many verbs require a preposition in order to have a certain meaning, and knowing which preposition to use depends only on practice and memorization.  It may be helpful to learn the verb and the preposition together as a single phrase, in some cases.  Most native English speakers do not think very much about which preposition to use, we have just absorbed these patterns without thinking about it.

Sometimes one verb can be used with many different prepositions, for a slightly different meaning.  For example, the verb 'to talk':

"I talked to my mother."  The verb 'to talk' is most often used with the preposition 'to', which indicates movement from one place to another - in this example sentence, the sense is that words move from my mouth to my mother's ears.

"I talked with my mother."  Here, the preposition 'with' gives the impression that the conversation was more interactive.

"I talked at my mother for an hour, but she wouldn't listen."  This is less common - using the verb 'to talk' with the preposition 'at'.  But this can be done to indicate that there was no interactive conversation at all - in the example sentence, I spoke, and it seemed as if my mother was not even listening.

"My mother and I talked around the issue of her divorce."  Here, the verb 'to talk' can even be used with the preposition 'around'.  Again this is a less common usage for a specific type of situation: to talk around something means to intentionally or obviously avoid an important subject, while talking about other things.  (Maybe one could say, Shinzo Abe and Xi Jinping usually talk around the issue of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands!)

September 23, 2016
Don't try to remember them singly, use them along with phrases.
September 23, 2016

Hi ! This must be very hard for you.


I would definitely do what most people here suggested, that is learn prepositions in sentences and connected to verbs. It's the most effective way to do learn them.

You could even make flashcards with the sentences and learn them, but that is up to you. I like to use Quizlet for my flashcards, but many prefer Anki.

I think it's great that you came here to talk about it.


Let us know how it goes and what works for you !




September 23, 2016
Prepositions must be used with nouns and pronoun including verb-ing form to indicate the whole details of nous . That is usually expressing in extent , lasting period, happening place, frequency, identification, and related exactly objective. 
September 23, 2016

The best way to learn them is in phrases, and with verbs.  Some examples are be married to, interested in, excited about and travel to.

 Definitely, do not look for a fixed meaning in a dictionary! You will find a long list of possible definitions, and that will only confuse you. There's no need to analyse each preposition; just learn the phrase. Also, prepositions can also work as adverbs (ie. in phrasal verbs).

September 23, 2016
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山本俊基/ToshikiYamamoto
Language Skills
English, Japanese
Learning Language
English