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  1. #1
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    Difficulties in learning English prepositions

    Could someone please check my essay below? I would appreciate any advice and suggestions you could give me. Thank you.


    Prepositions are difficult. As I try to improve my English further, I've found them the hardest to learn along with particles. Even though I have the basic knowledge of English prepositions, they have puzzled me all the time. I feel as if I barely knew their usage.

    I have tendencies to want to be perfect and to overthink, which I believe some of the worst attitudes towards learning a new language. Because of these habits, I often get stuck for prepositions when trying to find the right one. The more I think about it, the more possibilities come to mind, then I become completely helpless.

    The tricky part of English prepositions is phrasal verbs. If you misuse the prepositions in those verbs, the meanings become quite different from what you intended, and you can easily dig yourself into a hole. I have learned it the hard way. However, I still prefer to use phrasal verbs to regular verbs in conversations, mostly because I feel more relaxed using them. They are also much easier to spell and pronounce in general than the synonyms of regular verbs, e.g. cheer up vs exhilarate.

    There seem to be no easy or quick ways to master prepositions. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. Now that I am old enough to laugh at my own mistakes and know that those mistakes help me improve English, I am going to keep trying until I get a grip on prepositions.


    Question about bolded word.

    To: Is this second "to" omittable in this structure? If I leave out the "to", will the meaning become "I have tendencies and I overthink" instead of "I have two tendencies"?


    For your information:

    I am not a student, so this essay is neither for homework nor exam. The reason I write essays is to improve my English so that I sound more natural in both writing and speaking. I am trying to find my own style that I feel comfortable with, just like the one I have in my native language. I would like to improve my usage of words and sentence structures. While natural, clear, and pleasant English is my goal, I would rather sound casual than too rigid or formal. Thank you.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Re: Difficulties in learning English prepositions

    It's best with the two "to's."

  3. #3
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    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: Difficulties in learning English prepositions

    Quote Originally Posted by shimacatu_sa View Post
    Prepositions are difficult. As I try to improve my English further, I've found them, along with particles, the hardest to learn. along with particles. Even though I have the a basic knowledge of English prepositions, they have puzzled me all the time. I feel as if I barely knew know their usage.

    I have a tendency tendencies to want to be perfect and to overthink, which I believe are/can be some of the worst attitudes towards attributes when it comes to learning a new language. Because of these habits, I often get stuck for prepositions when trying to find the right one. The more I think about it, the more possibilities come to mind, and then I become completely helpless.

    The tricky part of English prepositions is phrasal verbs. If you misuse use the wrong prepositions in those verbs, the meanings become quite different from what you intended, and you can easily dig yourself into a hole. I have learned it the hard way. However, I still prefer to use phrasal verbs to regular verbs in conversations, mostly because I feel more relaxed using them. They are also much easier to spell and pronounce, in general, than their equivalents; synonyms of regular verbs, e.g. cheer up vs exhilarate.

    There seem to be no easy or quick ways to master prepositions. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. Now that I am old enough to laugh at my own mistakes and know that those mistakes help me improve my English, I am going to keep trying until I get a grip on prepositions.


    Question about the bolded words.

    To: Is this second "to" omittable omissible in this structure? If I leave out the "to", will the meaning become "I have tendencies and I overthink" instead of "I have two tendencies"?


    For your information:

    I am not a student, so this essay is neither for homework nor for an exam. The reason I write essays is to improve my English so that I sound more natural in both writing and speaking. I am trying to find my own style that I feel comfortable with, just like the one I have in my native language. I would like to improve my usage of words and sentence structures. While natural, clear, and pleasant English is my goal, I would rather sound casual than too rigid or formal. Thank you.
    .

  4. #4
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    Re: Difficulties in learning English prepositions

    teecher, thank you for taking the time to correct my essay. Please let me ask you one more question.


    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    I have a tendency tendencies to want to be perfect and to overthink, which I believe are/can be some of the worst attitudes towards attributes when it comes to learning a new language.
    .

    Could you tell me why I need to use a singular form "a tendency" when I am taking about two tendencies "being a perfectionist and overthinking"? Are they considered to be one tendency?
    Just like prepositions, those particles are difficult for me. Thank you.

  5. #5
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: Difficulties in learning English prepositions

    The usual expression is "have/has a tendency to". It's used in the singular.

  6. #6
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    Re: Difficulties in learning English prepositions

    teechar,
    Thank you, now I understand that "has/have a tendency" is a set phrase.
    I realize there is a lot of English grammar that I still don't know, but I will tackle them one by one.

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