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    • Join Date: Aug 2005
    • Posts: 196
    #1

    my troubles with prepositions...

    Hello there,

    What is (if there is any) the difference between the following prepositions?

    1) in VS inside
    2) under VS underneath
    3) in front VS in front of
    4) over VS over
    5) under VS below
    6) below VS underneath
    7) in VS into VS inside

    8) Which one of the two? "They are building a new bridge over/above the river." I think that above doesn't sound right here, but I have NO idea why...

    9) Which of the three: "I went inside/into/in the building/house. Why?

    10) Can I say: "They live over us"? or rather "They live above us"? Which one, and why?

    thanks, best wishes

  1. Neillythere's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Thailand

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 537
    #2

    Re: my troubles with prepositions...

    I'm not a teacher, but would offer the following:

    1) I may be "in trouble", but I couldn't be "inside trouble".
    2) I could be "under strain", but wouldn't be "underneath strain".
    3) I can stand "in front", but I would be standing "in front of something/someone".
    4) over VS over??
    5) under VS below - see Item 2 response
    6) I may be feeling "below par" but I wouldn't be "underneath par".
    7) "in VS into VS inside" - "into" implies moving from "outside" to "inside". For "in" vs "inside" see Item 1, above.
    8) "over" the river suggests "crossing over the river", whereas "above the river" merely suggests the bridge's physical position in space.
    9)
    a) "I went inside the building/house" is OK, but suggests more than just stepping through the door (i.e deeper inside).
    b) "I went into the building/house" is OK, but could be achieved by going just inside the door.
    c) I went in the building/house - This doesn't work for me - "went" is a verb of motion, whereas "in" (unlike "into", which represents motion) represents physical position.
    10)
    a) "They live over us", means directly over, i.e. in the apartment immediately above us.
    b) "They live above us", could cover people who live 15 floors above us.

    Hope this helps - others may have different interpretations, due to the many variants of English.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #3

    Re: my troubles with prepositions...

    Firstly, there was a post back in January concerning the use of prepositions, and Anglika recommended these websites:

    Prepositions: Locators in Time and Place

    OWL at Purdue University

    There would be so much to explain with just ONE of those prepositions, and you have asked a lot of questions. Can you pick out one or two that give you the most trouble? and we could start on those.

  2. Neillythere's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Thailand

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 537
    #4

    Re: my troubles with prepositions...

    Many thanks for your references, for those who, like me, have only recently joined.

    Regards

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