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Prepositions of space

Some prepositions help describe relationships between objects and their locations in space. David explains how!

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Video transcript

- [Voiceover] Hello grammarians! So we had said previously that prepositions express relationships between two ideas. And we can do that either in time or in space or in other ways. But today I wanna talk about prepositions in space. Because this is, again, one of the things that prepositions do, is they can set up relationships between objects and their locations. So I could say, the triangle is over the square, or on top of the square. I could say, the circle is inside the square. Over, inside. What I would like to do is review some of the major ones, and talk about what their uses are. So when we use the word at in a sentence, and here I'm talking about, something we should note, is that some of these prepositions can be used in multiple ways. So at has a space connotation, but it also can have a time connotation. But I don't want you to really worry about that right now, I think it makes the most sense to just think of their uses as separate, and just think of them separately. So when we talk about at, at means a point. It's talking about a point. So we could say something like, we stood at the entrance to a cave. But you can also have this connotation of direction. As in, the creature launched itself at Amina. The word by when we're talking about space means near. As in, the house by the old mill is totally haunted. Man all these sentences are like really spooky, ooooh, I don't know what I was thinking. The preposition from has this connotation of coming from somewhere else to here. As in, we came from Mars. In denotes an enclosed area, so you could say something like there's a bunny in the box. Off denotes away from, she hopped off the rock. On, which usually notes being on a surface, as opposed to in which is an enclosed area like I said. So we could say, there's a goblin on the front steps. The goblin is on the steps. The bunny is in the box. Do you see the difference? Out is another direction word. Away from something. And off and on and in and out mean the opposite of each other. So away from, out means away from an enclosed area, and off means away from a surface. So if you can imagine, there's someone who's on the rock, and then they hop off the rock. There's a goblin on the front steps, the goblin leaves the front steps he's off the front steps. There's a bunny in the box, if the bunny leaves the box it will go out of the box. And there's plenty of other prepositions but let's talk about to, which when you're talking about to in the physical sense it has this connotation of direction. So you could say, I'm going to Mozambique. These are some of but certainly not all of the spacial prepositions of English. Now we're lucky because prepositions are a closed group in English, a closed group. We don't add many of them to the language the way that we add nouns and adverbs and verbs and adjectives. There are a lot of them and you have to memorize all of them and their various obnoxious nuances, but there isn't a limitless number of prepositions. There's maybe 100 plus, and of those maybe 50 are quite useful, and of those, maybe 20 to 25 are super useful. And it's the super useful, most common ones that are in the exercises, so give those a go, you can learn anything. David out.