Student or Learner
What would be the most effective ways to learn how to use prepositions correctly?
Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
I know how you feel.
I am 77 years old and speak only English. I am still not sure about which preposition to use in certain cases. It is very embarrassing. So I am forced to express my idea in another way.
I think that you need to read a lot and keep a notebook full of examples.
I do have some "good" news for you: many years ago, a famous English teacher named Henry Fowler reminded us that prepositions are not part of grammar. They are idiomatic. That is to say, people in various countries or in certain parts of the same country simply decide to use a particular preposition. There is no particular reason.
For example, I believe that the Brits usually say they live in Maple Street while Americans use on.
For example, Californians stand in line while New Yorkers use on.
For example, I was once astonished to read a British newspaper that said something like: "This is the first time for three years that our newspaper has been banned in the country of ____." Americans would definitely use in.
Besides reading, writing English will also help you. How? You will be forced to find the correct preposition before you type your message.
P.S. Please don't say what some learners do: "May I ask a question to you?" It should be of. And, of course, the most natural way is simply: May I ask you a question? (If you say, "May I ask a question of you?" many people will exclaim: "Oh, my! Where did you learn such elegant English?")
Last edited by TheParser; 05-Jan-2015 at 13:59. Reason: misspelling