Jul 26, 2011 | Comments 3
C.llier-M.cmillan | 1968 | ISBN: 0029717000 | 97 pages | Djvu | 1,1 MB
This manual is intended for use by students working alone or as supplementary drill material in a class. The level of difficulty is intermediate. It is assumed that the student has control of the basic grammatical structures of the language but has not attained great fluency. This book and its companion volume (The Key to English Prepositions 2) are designed to acquaint the learner of English with as many as possible of the most useful grammatical patterns and idioms involving prepositions in everyday English. Usages that are restricted to formal or oratorical style have been omitted except where they have been included to point out a contrast.
What is a Preposition?
In English, prepositions are an important class of function words. By “function word” we mean one that has little meaning in the dictionary sense, but whose main purpose in the language is to relate other words to each other and to form grammatical structures. The function of prepositions in English is to connect nouns (and noun-like constructions) to other parts of the sentence. They do, of course, have some inherent meaning (on the table is quite different from under the table; on usually means “resting on the upper surface of” and under usually means “lower than”), but we shall see that we can not always depend on logic or meaning to tell us which preposition must be used in which expression. For instance, we live at an address, in a house, on a street, and in a city. There is quite a difference between throwing something at someone and throwing it to someone; and to get along with someone and to get along without someone are not opposites but entirely different ideas. It is impossible to speak or understand English well without a good knowledge of the use and meaning of prepositions, and this knowledge cannot be acquired from the dictionary; it must be gained in practice and experience. A prepositional phrase consists of the preposition and its following noun (or noun-like construction). If a form that looks like a preposition does not have a noun after it, it is not a preposition in that sentence. For instance, by can be used in phrases like by John, by the man, by studying French, by him, by now. In each case it is a preposition. However, in the sentence “He went by,” there is no noun following, and by is an adverb.
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