about the choice of preposition

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NotMeantToBe

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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.
 

2006

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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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