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  1. Offroad's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Brazilian Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Brazil
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil

    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 2,817
    #1

    doubts

    Please, dear teachers
    could you shed a light on this?

    1) I've hear some native speakers say:

    This will make me proud!
    OK, do me proud.


    I guess 'do' is not fine here, am I right?


    2) The other day I asked you about the 'on' usage on sentences like this:

    Do you have any idea how to fix this computer?
    This is my idea on how to fix this stereo.


    I guess both are fine! My point is... recently I read on a book that there are two ways of saying that:

    I have to buy a book on improving language skills.
    ('on' means the book was written by researchers, I mean, the book is very important!)
    I have to buy a book at improving language skills.
    ('at' means the book is very simple, maybe just an introduction to the subject, it can be found anywhere).

    So, I guessing whether I could use at on this sentence meaning it is not that important.

    This is my idea at how to fix this stereo.
    This is my idea on how to fix this pc.
    This is my idea on fixing this tv.
    This is my idea at tell you son off.


    Thank you very much in advance!


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 810
    #2

    Re: doubts

    What I will say is that learning to use prepositions correctly in a new language is very hard! I have learnt this through studying French.

    I will try to add my opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by marciobarbalho View Post
    Please, dear teachers
    could you shed a light on this?

    1) I've hear some native speakers say:

    This will make me proud!
    OK, do me proud.


    I guess 'do' is not fine here, am I right?

    People use "do" in this way, not so much in written English, but certainly in spoken English.

    2) The other day I asked you about the 'on' usage on sentences like this:

    Do you have any idea how to fix this computer?
    This is my idea on how to fix this stereo.

    Do you have any ideas on how to fix this computer?
    This is how I would fix the stereo.

    I guess both are fine! My point is... recently I read on a book that there are two ways of saying that:

    I have to buy a book on improving language skills.
    ('on' means the book was written by researchers, I mean, the book is very important!)

    Here I would say that "on" means "relating to". A book relating to improving language skills, a book which is about improving language skills.

    I have to buy a book at improving language skills.
    ('at' means the book is very simple, maybe just an introduction to the subject, it can be found anywhere).

    This is an incorrect use of "at".

    So, I guessing whether I could use at on this sentence meaning it is not that important.

    This is my idea at how to fix this stereo.
    This is my idea on how to fix this pc.
    This is my idea on fixing this tv.

    A correct (and simpler) way to construct these sentences is -

    this is how I would fix this stereo/pc/tv.


    This is my idea at tell you son off.

    This is how I think you should tell your son off.


    Thank you very much in advance!
    Again, prepositions are very difficult. As a native speaker I often struggle to explain and remember how they are all used. Hopefully someone else can add something and correct any mistakes I may have made.

    I'm not a teacher.

  2. Offroad's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Brazilian Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Brazil
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil

    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 2,817
    #3

    Re: doubts

    Quote Originally Posted by colloquium View Post
    I have to buy a book at improving language skills.
    ('at' means the book is very simple, maybe just an introduction to the subject, it can be found anywhere).

    This is an incorrect use of "at".
    Yes, I made a mess of this all.

    Actually the textbook I mentioned before says that 'about', not 'at', is used to give the idea the material is simple. On the other hand, 'on' suggests the book is important or suitable for specialists:

    A book about improving language skills.
    A bout on improving language skills.

    Thank you very much.

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