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Meet the preposition

Prepositions help show us where things are in space and time.

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  • duskpin tree style avatar for user Riyah Patel
    Ok…. so you might have to bare with me here because I am terrible at explaining questions.
    I have always had this confusion with adverbs and prepositions. An adverb describes how something is done, where a preposition describes where something is. But what about this: " the leaves were buried under the snow". Is "under" a preposition or adverb?It could be where the leaves were buried or it could be describing "how" they were buried in a sense of space. And what about "we fell asleep under the stars". Is it the position you fell asleep or describing how it “is”?
    (42 votes)
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  • piceratops seed style avatar for user edwards2
    Can someone elaborate on the purpose of prepositions and why they show us where things are in space and time?
    (12 votes)
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    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      I recommend that you go back and do the lesson and all of its exercises again. The explanations are in the material. Failing that, I learned as a child that a preposition was a word that could put a mouse in relation to a hill. Try that first, but really, do the lesson in the curriculum.
      (10 votes)
  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user MIDNIGHT
    Whats a Midlife Crisis
    (7 votes)
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  • duskpin seedling style avatar for user Harley_Quinn_+_MrJ
    Would "later" be a preposition?
    (6 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user amare1
    i know what a preposition is, but is it a preposition?
    (3 votes)
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  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user Somesh Sahu
    At David used 5 adjectives that are big, old, silly, Abe Lincoln style and stove pipe before the top hat. But as stated by David in adjective order, a word shouldn't have more than 3 adjectives describing it, right ?
    (5 votes)
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    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      This is a question of "style", not of grammar. So long as the sentence is grammatical, the number of adjectives used to modify a noun is limited only by the number of adjectives in the language. Too many may be "stylistically" awkward, but it is not grammatically incorrect.

      Be careful when turning things into rules, both with language and with life.
      (5 votes)
  • starky sapling style avatar for user PARKERH
    why does when and then rhyme
    (6 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Antonio B
    Ok…. so you might have to bare with me here because I am terrible at explaining questions.
    I have always had this confusion with adverbs and prepositions. An adverb describes how something is done, where a preposition describes where something is. But what about this: " the leaves were buried under the snow". Is "under" a preposition or adverb?It could be where the leaves were buried or it could be describing "how" they were buried in a sense of space. And what about "we fell asleep under the stars". Is it the position you fell asleep or describing how it “is”?
    (2 votes)
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    • female robot amelia style avatar for user Johanna
      That might not be the best way to tell the difference between adverbs and prepositions. Adverbs modify adjectives, verbs, or other adverbs. Prepositions (though this is a bit vague) show the relationship between two different words/phrases.

      In your first example, “under” is a preposition because it shows the relationship between the verb phrase “were buried” and the noun “snow”.

      “Under the snow” is a prepositional phrase. Make sure to check out the video on those if you haven’t already! This phrase is modifying the verb “buried” (specifying where the leaves were buried), so it’s an adverbial prepositional phrase. On the other hand, a prepositional phrase modifying a noun/noun phrase would be an adjectival prepositional phrase.

      So, “under” is a preposition, but it’s part of the adverbial prepositional phrase “under the snow”.

      It’s almost the same in your second example: The preposition “under” shows the relationship between the verb phrase “fell asleep” and the noun “stars”. Since the prepositional phrase “under the stars” modifies the verb phrase “fell asleep”, it’s specifically an adverbial prepositional phrase.

      Does that help?
      (4 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user iS-tea-ak .
    Hi i stuck somewhere on this problem could u please tell me if i right or wrong . so, i know that if never visit somewhere before u just say "never been" but some people also say "went"
    and and between of two this i set conclusion was that , went use in some specific experience time/situation and been kinda normal! but i have this example so it's freaks me , (e:g="i never been that store before" and " i never went that store before")if both of this write ! what is most normal /common used cases ?
    (3 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user iS-tea-ak .
    Is under and beneath /underneath tell same meaning ?
    (2 votes)
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Video transcript

- [Voiceover] Hey grammarians, I want to talk about prepositions but before I do I'm going to draw you a little hamster. Is it a hamster? Is it a tiny bear? Who knows? We're just going to call it a hamster, a little rodent type creature. Now I'm going to use this critter to establish what prepositions are and what they do because in addition to there being a hamster there's also going to be this box. So what prepositions do is they establish relationships between stuff in place and time so it can show us where things are, when things are, and how things are. Let me demonstrate. So, okay, using just this hamster and this box we can move this box around and talk about how the hamster relates to the box, right. So right now the box is under the hamster, let's write that down. Right, the box is under the hamster, that word under is a preposition because it's establishing this relationship of where. It's connecting the box to the hamster. The box is under the hamster. But if I move it up like so, now we can say the box is over the hamster. But let's get rid of the box and let's imagine that our hamster is having a midlife crisis. And our hamster decides it's going to go out and it's going to splurge on a fabulous, new hat, just an enormous top hat, a little band in the center, just a big, old, silly, Abe Lincoln style, stove pipe, top hat. Now, another use for prepositions is we can talk about when things are in relation to each other. So I could say, "Before the hamster got the hat "and after the hamster got the hat." Right, and these words after and before express relationships in time. But another interesting thing that prepositions can do is they can also help express how something is or how it's, what it's for, what its use is. So we could say that this hat is for parties or is for wearing at parties. Oh, and at, also, is a preposition. This hat is for wearing at parties. So this is the how and this part is the where. So what's the purpose of the hat? Well, we established that with the word for, the hat is for wearing. The where is it supposed to be worn, at parties, that's the where. We can also use a word like of to express the how relationship and that's just sort of to say what belongs to whom. So we could say, "That is the hat of the hamster." That is the hat of the hamster. So that's what prepositions are in the most basic sense they can help you figure out what the relationship is between two things in time and space or how one thing relates to another. So you can figure out when, where, and how using prepositions. You can learn anything, David out.