There are hardly any rules as to when to use which preposition. Even advanced learners of English find prepositions difficult, as one preposition their native language might have several translations depending on the situation. Here are 5 pairs of a particular kind of tricky prepositions:
1. INTO vs. IN TO
Into shows motion towards the inside of a place. It also answers „where?”:
Where did you drive? – We drove into the city.
Double-check by replacing „to” with „in order to”:
He came in to ask about the new product. – He came in, in order to ask about the new product.
2. ASK FOR vs. ASK TO
To request an object (noun), use ask for:
The kid asked for a donut.
To request an action (verb), use ask to:
She was asked to complete her task by 5 p.m.
3. THINK OF vs. THINK ABOUT
Think of includes invention or a specific choice:
Now think of a number between one and ten…
Think about can hint that something was pondered for a period of time:
That song made me think about you.
4. HEARD OF vs. HEARD ABOUT
Speakers use „heard of” when they are at least aware of something:
I have heard of this band before. – the speaker knows they exist.
„Heard about” hints that speaker knows more details.
I have heard about this band! – the speaker may be hinting at details he has learned about them, such as some recent news.
5. AMONG vs. BETWEEN
„Among” is used for multiple nouns:
A wild animal stood among the trees.
„Between” is used for two nouns:
Mary’s shop is between the library and a restaurant.
Autor: Diana Dobrescu
Diana Dobrescu este absolventă a Facultăţii de Litere, departamentul de Limbi şi literaturi moderne şi ştiinţele comunicării – studii culturale, în cadrul Universităţii „Ovidius” din Constanţa. În prezent, Diana Dobrescu urmează cursurile masteratului de „Studii Americane” organizat de Facultatea de Limbi şi Literaturi Străine din cadrul Universităţii Bucureşti.
Diana are experiență în predarea limbii engleze și a limbii române pentru străini. La cursuri, Diana are o abordare modernă și interactivă, prin care reusește să mențină interesul cursanților pe întregul parcurs al lecțiilor.