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      • Native Language:
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    • Join Date: Jan 2010
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    #1

    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.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
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    #2

    Re: about the choice of preposition

    Quote Originally Posted by NotMeantToBe View Post
    I, for one, am often confused about the different choice of preposition for a given noun. For example, "of" and "to" can both go after 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 would only use 'of' here.

    Could you explain a little bit about the difference between "a barometer of" and "a barometer to"?
    'baraometer of' is much more common.

    The only example of "barometer to" that I can think of now is something like "It's a barometer to us." That means we consider it to be a barometer of something.
    or
    "It's a barometer to pay attention to." (= It's a barometer worth paying attention to.)
    Thank you very much.
    2006

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