What is IN a preposition?

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Have you ever thought about how prepositions work in a sentence?

Prepositions can have 1. spatial, 2. temporal, or 3. abstract meanings

  1. I live in a house.
  2. I left home at 9am.
  3. Something came across my mind

There is a concept of Space in prepositions. How do we locate an object relative to space?

  1. John is at the dentist.
  2. John went to the dentist.

However, the scale is Relative. Look at these two sentences.

  1. The ant walked across his hand.
  2. A bus drove across the country.

What is the semantic category/communicative function?

  1. The balloon passed over the house.
  2. The balloon passed over.
  3. The balloon went up. (postulate)
  4. The balloon went over there. (landmark)

How does Spatial Awareness work?

Think about dimensions: 1D, 2D, and 3D

  1. John drove down the road. (a line – one dimensional space)

2. The skater twirled on the pond. (the pond is a surface, 2D)

3. The astronaut checked his equipment in the airlock.  (a room has 3D and we are placing him inside)

Where is the location of space?

at – (non-directional) Amy ran at the track.

at – (core meaning, denote position) I am at school.

at – (being at a specific point) The intersection of the lines is at co-ordinates 3,4 on the graph.

How does a motion verb work with prepositions?

  1. John threw the ball at Mary.
  2. John threw the ball to Mary.

How does the preposition modify the verb?

  1. (place) John exercised inside the house.
  2. (path) John stormed inside the house.

What is a phrasal verb?


ran into my teacher

ask out

blow up

break-in (interrupt)

break up (relationship)

How does the phrase with a preposition become idiomatic?

hold your hand up

off like a shot

in at the deep end

off the record

in the pink

English can be crazy!

  1. A house can burn up as it burns down.
  2. You can fill in a form by filling it out.
  3. Why is it after dark when it is after light?

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