By Alma Nelson,2014-06-17 05:41
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Prepositions ...


    Prepositions have many rules and different uses. This paper just talks about some

    problems that Korean students commonly have with prepositions. These prepositions all

    have other uses too; these are just the ones that students have the most trouble with.


    ? On

    o For time:

    ? Days of the week, including a specific time of the day of the week

    ? I will see you on Tuesday.

    ? On Wednesday, I met my friend, Bob.

    ? I will see you on Friday afternoon.

    ? Specific days, such as dates or holidays

    ? My family has a big dinner on Christmas

    ? Ill see you on January 22.

    ? On time (meaning not late)

    ? I got to class on time.

    ? I met my friend on time. o For space:

    ? On basically means on top of or on the front of.

    ? Put your book on your desk.

    ? The clock is on the wall.

    ? In

    o For time:

    ? Months

    ? I will see you in January.

    ? In September, I met my girlfriend.

    ? Years, including groups of years, such as decades or centuries

    ? I was born in 1985

    ? In 1953, the Korean War ended.

    ? The internet was widely used in the 1990s.

    ? In the 20th century, cars became very popular.

    ? From now to a future time

    ? I will see you in 5 minutes.

    ? In 2 years, I will graduate from college.

    ? Times of year

    ? In the summer, I took a trip to Thailand.

    ? I hate the weather in the winter.

    ? Times of day

    ? I have class in the morning.

    ? In the afternoon, I can often watch movies.

    ? In time (meaning not too late. Not the same as on time)

    ? I got to class in time for the test.

    ? I hope I can get to Starbucks in time. My friend will leave


    o For space:

    ? In basically means inside of.

    ? At ? We meet in the classroom at 9 am. o For time: ? Please dont put your books in your bag until Im finished. ? A specific time

    ? I will see you at 6:30.

    ? At noon, Ill eat lunch

    ? I always wake up at 5 am.

    ? Night

    ? I sometimes play games at night.

    ? My neighborhood is very quiet at night.

    o For space:

    ? At basically means near this location.

    ? Bob is at work now.

    ? I was waiting at the bus stop for 15 minutes.

    ? Common mistakes with in/on/at

    o Not used with last or next

    ? (Wrong) On last night, I was very busy.

    ? (Right) Last night I was very busy.

    ? (Wrong) I will go to Europe in next summer.

    ? (Right) I will go to Europe next summer.

    o Not used with vacations, use over or during for specific vacations, but

    simply on for vacation alone.

    ? (Wrong) In summer vacation, I had a part time job.

    ? (Right) During summer vacation, I had a part time job.

    ? (Right) Over summer vacation, I had a part time job.

    ? (Wrong) I had a good time in vacation.

    ? (Right) I had a good time on vacation.


    The most common problem with these is that many students dont remember that these

    are used relative to a time other than now, for example, a time in the past or future. For

    times relative to now, you must use in for a future time and ago for a past time.

    ? Correct uses of in and ago o I will see you in 5 minutes.

    o Lets go to Europe in 2 years.

    o I saw him 5 minutes ago.

    o I met my girlfriend two years ago.

    ? After/Later

    o These can be used to describe a time relative to another time (past or


    ? I was very busy last Saturday. After 5 hours of studying, I had to

    go to my part-time job.

    ? I started high school in 2001. After 3 years, I graduated.

    ? I met Sally last January. Two months later, we were a couple.

    ? I ate some fish last night, but 30 minutes later I felt sick.

    ? I will go to the movies tonight at 8 pm. You can meet me 2 hours


    ? I hope to graduate in 2010 and start my own company after 5 years.

    o Of course, later can also be used alone to mean later than now.”

    ? See you later!

    ? Ill meet you later.

    ? Before

    o Before is similar to after and later. Its used relative to another time.

    ? I had never gone to Japan before I went there last year.

    ? My uncle got married last year. He had met his wife 5 years


    ? I hope to start my own company in the year 2015. Ill graduate

    from college 5 years before that.

    ? Common Mistakes with after/later/before

    o Notice the placement

    ? after goes before what its describing

    ? later goes after what its describing

    ? before goes before a clause but after a time.

    o Remember, they arent used with a time relative to now


    ? By

    o By is used for a one time action. The action must happen before the

    time you state.

    ? I must wake up by 6 am.

    ? Wake up happens only once. It is not continuous or


    ? 6 am is the last possible time that waking up is okay. 5

    am is also okay, but 7 am is not.

    ? I hope to graduate by 2008.

    ? Graduate happens only one.

    ? 2008 is the last time that graduating is okay for you.

    ? Until

    o Until is used for a continued or repeated action. The action stops at the

    time you state.

    ? I must study until 8 pm.

    ? Studying is continuous. It starts now and continues until

    the time you give.

    ? 8 pm is the time that the continued action of studying


    ? Mary will be in Thailand until Wednesday. ? Common Mistakes ? Mary will continuously “be in Thailand. o Make sure you dont mix the two up. ? Wednesday is the day that the trip ends, and she returns. o When using these words with now they have a very different meaning

    from each other, but also different from Korean.

    ? Until now means that an action continued and now it stops

    ? I liked you until now (after now, I dont like you).

    ? Until now, I have been so busy (after now, Im not busy).

    ? By now means an action should have happened before now, but

    it did not happen.

    ? My friend should have come by now.

    ? If she was going to marry him, she would have done it by


    ? Neither one means that the action will continue in the future.

    ? (Wrong) I have liked ice cream until now.

    ? (Right) I still like ice cream.

    ? (Wrong) I did it until now.

    ? (Right) I already did it.


    ? For

    o For is used for a duration of time, something that has a beginning and an

    end and that you can count the increments (such as minutes, hours, days,

    months, etc.)

    ? I will be in Thailand for three days.

    ? Gary lived in India for 5 years.

    ? Since

    o Since is used for a starting point of time in the past.

    ? I have been in Thailand since last Monday.

    ? Gary has lived in India since 2002.

    ? From

    o From is used for a starting point of time in the future.

    ? I will be in Thailand from next Monday.

    ? I will work for the company from 2008.

    o From can ask be used with to for a duration of time (past or future).

    ? I will be in Thailand from next Monday to next Saturday.

    ? Bob worked for the company from 2002 to 2004.


Complete the following with the correct preposition. Please note that not every

    preposition is one that we discussed today.

1. I woke up . . 7 am. I was running late! I got up, and I noted my brother was

    still . . bed. I woke him up too. We had breakfast and left home . . 7:30. We

    had to be . . school . . 8 or we would be late. We had gone . . this school . .

    2004. We had many friends there. However, we would be going . . a new

    school . . two months become we would be moving. We made it . . school . .

    time. The teacher started just as we walked in.

    2. I went . . the store this morning . . 7:30 am. I hadnt been . . the store . .

    September, but the store owner still remembered me. I had to be . . school . .

    8 am, so I had to hurry. I got to school . . time. . . 10 minutes, there was a

    knock . . my door. It was the new professor who I met . . last week. He had

    moved . . Korea just two weeks . . He told me he had been working all night

    and that he would have to continue to work . . 9 am, so he asked me to make

    some copies for him. He also asked me to make some copies for him . . Monday,

    but I didnt have enough time.

    3. Later on, the new professor asked me to go to lunch . . him. He said we should

    meet . . noon. While we were eating, he told me he that he first came to

    Asia . . 2005, but he lived . . Japan . . 3 years before coming . . Korea.

    Two years . . coming . . Korea, he met his wife. We both had to be back . .

    the building . . 1 pm, so we had to leave the restaurant . . 12:50. We decided

    to meet every Monday for lunch . . next week.

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