Tying Things Together :The proper use of Proposition Guide

 Tying Things Together :The proper use of Proposition Guide



Hello.

Last time we talked about conjunctions, this time around let's talk about Prepositions.

If English sentences were without prepositions, they would look like this :"I went to the the chemist's and asked a toothbrush. The shop assistant looked the shelves and found one. She put it a bag. When I put my hand my purse there was no money it. 'I must have left my money home,' I said. The shop assistant laughed. 'I'll keep it you,' she said. So I went the shop and got my car. I had to drive all the traffic to reach my house, which is the outskirts. It took me an hour to get back the shop, "

The missing prepositions are:" to", "for", "on", "in", "at", "out of", "into", "through". If you study each of these prepositions you will probably come to the conclusion _and rightly so_ that they are more than just structural words.

They do more than simply hold, or bind words and groups of words together. For this reason, modern grammars are reluctant to talk about words that are empty of meaning.

It is not difficult to imagine motion "to" things, things being "on" other things, things being "in" other things being "at" a certain place and so on. We imagine "in-ness", "on-ness", "at-ness", "through-ness", with - out much difficulty.


Positional Relationships in Space

But it is far easier to think of these words in relation to other things. Indeed, almost all the prepositions can express positional relationships in space. If you look around you as you read this and consider where everything in the room is, you will almost certainly be forced to make relationships, between the things in the room.

Each thing has a position in relation to the another thing. In describing that relationship, we need propositions.

As we look around, we see that the clock is "on" the wall, the mug is "on" the table, the cat is "in" the chair, the books are "on" the shelves, the dictionary is "beside" the chair, the computer is "between" the bookshelves and the cupboard.

And things move. The cat goes "out" of the room, a car drives "past" the window, you take a book "from" the shelves, a spider walks "along" the window sill, a fly flies "around" the room, a plane goes "over" the house and so on.

In this sense, the recognition of prepositions isn't difficult. We soon get the idea of how they work. In our statements, we notice a relationship between one thing _or noun _ and another. We notice a relationship between a clock and a wall, a book and some shelves, a dictionary and a chair.



Prepositions turning into Adverbs

When the second party to the relationship dissappears, prepositions turn into adverbs. So adverbs often come at the end of short statements. Some prepositions can actually change :"in" can change to "inside", for instance. Others can be used as prepositions without changing :"above", "before", "below", and so on.

When we say "The cat is inside", the word "inside" is an adverb. Or so it seems. It tells us where the cat is, as in "the cat's here". The word "here" is an adverb of place. But the odd thing is that although we can't relate "here" to a following noun, we can "inside". We can say "the cat is inside the house", in which case "inside" becomes, by definition, a preposition. It is placed before the noun "house" and expresses a relationship between "cat" and "house". We could get over this problem by calling "inside" a prepositional adverb.

But that to me, seems to confuse the issue. There seems little point in creating a category only to obscure it. I prefer to think of certain words as belonging to a particular word class in different functional situations.

Words which predominantly belong to one-word class "inside" a prepositional adverb.

But that, to me, seems to confuse the issue. There seems little point in creating a category only to obscure it. I prefer to think of certain words as belonging to a particular word class in different functional situations.

Words which predominantly belong to one word class sometimes behave as if they belonged to another. However, it is the predominant word class that we should focus on. 

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