[Essay] Difficulties in learning English prepositions

shimacatu_sa

VIP Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Japanese
Home Country
Japan
Current Location
Japan
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.
 

SoothingDave

VIP Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2009
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
It's best with the two "to's."
 

teechar

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Iraq
Current Location
Iraq
Prepositions are difficult. As I try to improve my English further, I've found them, along with particles, the hardest to learn. [STRIKE]along with particles.[/STRIKE] Even though I have [STRIKE]the[/STRIKE] a basic knowledge of English prepositions, they have puzzled me all the time. I feel as if I barely [STRIKE]knew[/STRIKE] know their usage.

I have a tendency [STRIKE]tendencies[/STRIKE] to want to be perfect and to overthink, which I believe are/can be some of the worst [STRIKE]attitudes towards[/STRIKE] 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 [STRIKE]misuse[/STRIKE] 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; [STRIKE]synonyms of regular verbs,[/STRIKE] 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" [STRIKE]omittable[/STRIKE] 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.
.
 

shimacatu_sa

VIP Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Japanese
Home Country
Japan
Current Location
Japan
teecher, thank you for taking the time to correct my essay. Please let me ask you one more question.


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.
 

teechar

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Iraq
Current Location
Iraq
The usual expression is "have/has a tendency to". It's used in the singular.
 

shimacatu_sa

VIP Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Japanese
Home Country
Japan
Current Location
Japan
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.
 
Top