Compare following expressions in English used for the same purpose of asking someone sitting next to you to pass a book:
‘Pass the book.’
‘Can you pass the book?’
‘Could you pass the book?’
‘Could you pass the book, please?’
If you use the first expression, you’ll come across as rude. The person may still pass the book, but with a frown on your temerity to ‘order’ him.
The second is OK.
In the first few exercises in this post, you’ve pick the correct preposition from a given set of prepositions. Thereafter, it’s wide open. The answer can be any preposition. That’s what you’ll face in the real world, isn’t it? To take it further close to the real world, the last exercise contains few paragraphs (with missing prepositions) from Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outlier.
Most people falter on prepositions when they face a situation where they can’t decide between two (or even more) prepositions that both seem to be the correct answer. Few examples of such commonly-confused prepositions: (1) over and above; (2) at, in, and on. And there are plenty more.
Prepositions are best learnt when you learn them in groups of such commonly-confused prepositions and not as individual prepositions. After all, that’s where you make most mistakes.
In this post, you’ll learn prepositions in such groups – 17 of them covered here.
Proverbs are popular sayings that provide nuggets of wisdom. By using some of these 150 popular proverbs, you can up your English language by few notches.
I know a person (in fact, few) who can read – and, more importantly, understand – any magazine, newspaper, or web article in English. He can also easily follow TV programs in English.
But, guess what, he comes a cropper when speaking in English.