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"a book(of, on, about)history", Which prepositon is right?
Dec 15, 2009 8:45 AM
Answers · 1
I'd say probably neither is correct. Which is to say, a (school) book from which you learn history is simply called a "history book." of = possessive. For example, the Old Testament "Book of Life," in which allegedly all those who will live for ever are recorded by God. Or the wiccan "Book of Shadows," etc. on = pertaining to. Like "A book on life." Which means, "Life" is the subject of the book. about = like "on," but the latter is a bit more academic. Like a 50 BCE book, by Lucretius, called: "On the Nature of Things." So you might write a book called "On Life," if it's going to be a more academic/philosophical work. Or "About life," if it's going to be more casual. Hence, a "Book about life" is similarly less formal (it would probably just be about day-to-day life). Whereas a "Book on life" would be more like a philosophical dissertation. Same goes for a "book on/about history." Although -- not to confuse you -- a book on/about history makes little sense. After all, when you start talking about history throughout the ages and such, it will, by its very nature, just be another history book!
December 15, 2009
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Chinese (Mandarin), English
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