Examples of Using Prepositions
EX. "I place my hand on the table." If we omit the word "on" the sentence would make no sense. The hand might be placed on the table, or under the table, or above the table. Until we insert a preposition, the relation between the hand and the table is not known.
a. Respect the man behind the gun.
b. His father ran rapidly toward him.
Note that the word behind serves to show the position of the man in relation to the gun. Note that the word toward serves to show the direction the father ran in relation to him.
Such a word as behind or toward, placed before a noun or pronoun to show position or direction, is a preposition.
a. You must not run in school.
b. You must not run into school.
These two sentences do not mean the same thing. Sentence a. means that you must not run around while in school. Sentence b. means that you must not run when entering the building.
NOTE In means position within a place.
NOTE Into means position or direction toward a place.
Prepositions are often misused because they are not properly distinguished.
Because prepositions have different shades of meaning, you must use them with great care. Here are some suggestions to help you to use them correctly:
1) Ordinarily such prepositions as in, on, at, and by refers to rest; such prepositions as to, into, unto, toward, from, and a few others, denote motion.
EX. The jacket is lying on the table.
EX. The boy walked to school.
2) In refers to position or presence within; into refers to entrance.
EX. Many employees of Walmart live in the community
EX. A young woman came into the office to apply for a job.
3) Between should be used when you refer to two persons or things; use among, when you refer to three or more.
EX. His father divided his time between work and coaching soccer.
EX. The boss distributed the money as a bonus among his employees.
4) Beside means by the side of; besides means in addition to.
EX.The plaintiff sat beside his attorney.
EX.Besides ambition, the salesman should have patience.
5)In should be used to refer to the interior of any place. It is used before the names of countries or districts and of large cities. At should be used to refer to a place as a local point, such as a community.
EX. The salesman of the company arrived in New York on Saturday.
EX. Our tour guide stopped at Lake Village, a small town in Arkansas.
6) On and upon should be considered as absolute synonyms, but upon is more forceful. Upon is also the proper word to use withdepend, such as: "Your ability in any work depend upon dozens of important skills."
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