A prepositional phrase is made up of a preposition and a noun phrase. We use prepositional phrases for many purposes, for example:

- as adverbials of time and place:

We will be back in a few days.
They drove to Glasgow

.- as a postmodifier in a noun phrase:

Helen is the girl in the red dress
We’ve got a new television with a thirty one inch screen.

- to show who did something:

The lion was killed by the hunter
I saw a wonderful painting by Van Gogh

- with double object verbs like give and get:

We gave five pounds to the woman on the corner.
They got a drink for me.

- after certain verbs, nouns and adjectives:

The book belongs to me.
I had an argument with my brother.
I feel sorry for you.

Exercise

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Comments

Thanks Peter M.
I'll continue check it.

Thank you!!

Hello I have a question about preposition.
1. We just got __the train and headed for Florence.
2. We were stuck__the plane for hours in Jakarta.

I thought No 1 is on, and No 2 is in because 1 is now i got the train and 2 is we were in there continue but the answer is "No2" is "on" the same No1.

In this case, we just think about train,bus,plane are all use "on" or we should keep meaning all sentence.
I have just confused about it many preposition has like example so i think about the meaning of sentense but they're wrong.
Please who can explain for me.

Thanks.

Hello sunyoung,

 

Prepositions can be difficult because it is often hard to predict or guess which one is used in a given context. There are core meanings, but these are not always helpful.

 

In your examples, the answer is 'on' to each sentence because we tend to say 'on' with train and plane. If you were talking about a car, for example, then you would say 'get in' and 'be stuck in', so you can see that the preposition here depends upon the noun, not the verb. You need to remember which preposition is used with 'train', which with 'car' and so on. A good tip is to note any prepositions which go with nouns, so that if you record some vocabulary, such as means of transport, then record common prepositions with the nouns.

 

It's helpful to learn common patterns with prepositions. You can see some of those patterns on these pages:

 

prepositional phrases

verbs & prepositions

adjectives & prepositions

adverbs of direction

adverbs of location

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Leaning English team,
I think that prepositions are used randomly in English, so the usage of them just have to be learned by knowing the meaning of each collocation. Correct me if I'm wrong.
In 1955, Billy procures a job as a teacher for Y, employed under Mark, who quickly entices him with the culture.
What is the meaning of 'employed under?'
Billy opens a Swiss bank account in the name of Emma.
Is the meaning 'Billy opens... a bank account having Emma's name?'
'Billy makes $1 million in three months upon securing something'
What would be the difference if I wrote the sentence like this: 'Billy makes $1 million in three months, securiting something'?
Thanks.

Hi JakiGeh,

'Employed under Mark' means that Mark is his boss.

You are correct about 'in the name of'.

We use the phrase 'upon doing' to show a sequence and it means something like 'following...' or 'after doing...'.

 

You can find explanations and examples of phrases like these in any online dictionary - I would say that that is the best place to check them.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
What is difference between the following sentences?
Take help of the clues.
Take help from the clues.
Thanks

Hello naghmairam

The difference is in their correctness!

The first phrase is not correct; the second phrase is correct. However, we would be more likely to say 'Use the clues to help you' or 'Use the clues for help'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello English Learning team,

Every verb has some kind of preposition going immediately after a verb or object(that depends on whether it is transitive or intransitive). I know that prepositions are fixed in those places and group of those words are called an idiom.

I concealed the reason for going to Miami.
'Conceal sb or sth from sb or sth'
It is too big for you.
'To be too adjective for sb'

Is the meaning of both sentences the difference? Why a dictionary doesn't show first and fourth sentences are idioms? So we could actually change preposition if we want to have a different idiom? For example, good at/in/on...(I know some of them don't make sense, but I'm asking in general)

I am from Italia/on train...

Are those kind of sentences idioms or simply preposition uses?

Thanks

Hello JakiGeh,

The combinations of verbs (or adjectives) and prepositions that you ask about are not idioms. An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood only from the meanings of the words in it; it has a meaning of its own. A few examples of idioms are:

to 'pull someone's leg' (to tell sb sth that is not true as a way of joking with them)
'a can of worms' (a situation that causes lots of problems)
to 'rub someone the wrong way' (to annoy sb without intending to)

The idiom is in inverted commas and the meaning in brackets. You can't really understand the meaning just from the idiom. A good resource for finding the meanings of idioms is the Cambridge Dictionary.

The examples in your comment are verb + preposition or adjective + preposition combinations. Although, like idioms, they are standard combinations of words, these are not idioms because the meaning can be inferred by looking at the meaning of the parts.

You should still definitely learn these – I'd recommend you keep a notebook with a list of them, with example sentences. There are a lot of them in English, and the more you read and listen to it, the more you will see and learn.

I hope that clarifies it for you. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

''I have difficulty in/with''

What is the difference between difficulty in and with?

I could say I have difficulty in sth as well as I have difficulty with, and it seems they both have the same meaning.

''She claimed responsibility for taking the thing for which he was convicted.''

If a subordinate clause is short, could I place preposition at the end and should't the preposition be ''of'' instead?

Thank you.

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