Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Gregory_E_V Guest

    preposition placement

    Which one is correct:
    Shall I turn the lights on?
    or
    Shall I turn on the lights?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    44,174
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: preposition placement

    They're both fine. If you replace 'the lights' with 'them', then it must come ater the verb:

    Turn on the lights
    Turn the lights on
    Turn them on

  3. #3
    Gregory_E_V Guest

    Re: preposition placement

    Thanks a lot
    By the way,
    'Turn on them'
    is not correct?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: preposition placement

    That's right. *Turn on them (the lights) is ungrammatical. Pronouns don't work in that structure. But if it's a phrasal verb, like turn on, as in to attack somebody, then the pronoun works. Like this,

    Don't turn on (attack) them. grammatical
    Don't turn on them (the lights). ungrammatical

  5. #5
    Gregory_E_V Guest

    Re: preposition placement

    Thank you very much, Casiopea. Your explanation is very clear and useful.
    Your web site is really great, I enjoy it.
    My best regards.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: preposition placement

    You are most welcome, Gregory.

Similar Threads

  1. preposition on or in
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 14-Apr-2005, 05:07
  2. preposition
    By james_chew_84 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Jan-2005, 07:01
  3. preposition for body
    By vladz in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-Nov-2004, 11:00
  4. Need advice on Preposition , thz, teachers!
    By Help Wanted in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 20-Oct-2004, 10:57
  5. Preposition
    By ggomad in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-Aug-2004, 14:55

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •