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about the choice of preposition
Six years ago, I heard from a native speaker on this forum that the use of preposition is one of things that differentiate a native speaker from a non-native speaker. I, for one, am often confused about the different choice of preposition for a given noun. For example, "of" and "to" can both go behind the noun "barometer":
In past elections, Missouri has been a barometer of the rest of the country.
Our sleep pattern is a barometer to our psychological well-being.
I can understand the meaning of the two sentences, but I don't get the different choice of prepostion following "barometer". As a result, when I'm using "barometer", I'm not quite sure what preposition should follow it. Could you explain a little bit about the difference between "a barometer of" and "a barometer to"? Thank you very much.
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