3
   

Fine-Tuning 12, Prepositions Can Make All the Difference

 
 
Roberta
 
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 07:05 am
Add a preposition to a word, and you get a whole new meaning. Add a different preposition, and you get a different meaning. Sometimes deciding which preposition to use can be tricky. Dem preps can be sneaky little suckers. Here are a few examples:

agree on (or upon)--reach an understanding.
After much arguing, we finally agreed on a date for the party.

agree to --accept someone else's plan.
I didn't agree to the terms of the contract until all my questions had been answered.

agree with--concur with someone or with an idea.
I agree with your premise that there should be a better health-care system.

----------------------------------------------------

angry at (or about) something.
She was angry about all the hyperbole--and no action.

angry with someone.
She had every right to be angry with them.

-------------------------------------------------------

compare to--suggest or assert a likeness.
They compared his work to Klee's.

compare with--analyze for similarities and differences.
When I compared my wardrobe with hers, I saw that we had about the same amount of clothes but that mine were more formal than hers.

--------------------------------------------------------

Please feel free to add other expressions in which those tricky prepositions tend to trip us up.
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 3,439 • Replies: 20
No top replies

 
dupre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 08:50 am
I was surpised to learn that sometimes, when using a preposition, a word like "awhile" should actually be open:

"I'll see you in a while."

And when a preposition is used as an adverb after a noun . . . well . . .

"Hang on to that letter." "On" and "to" are open because "on" is being used as an adverb to "hang."
0 Replies
 
dupre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 08:51 am
I also discovered that when a preposition is being used as an adverb in a title, it's capped and not lowercased.

How's that for bizzare?
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 09:15 am
Dupre, Words like a/while, any/way, asnd any/time can be one word or two, depending on the part of speech and whether they follow a preposition.

As for capitalized prepositions in heads, not bizarre at all. If a preposition directly affects the definition of a word, it may be capitalized. From my point of view, this is a judgment call.

Looking Up the Answers
Looking up at the Sky

To look up means something quite different from to look above you, and, in the former case, the up is serving as an adverb.

I'm not a grammarian. And I've had no formal training in English. What I've learned, I've learned on the job. I go by instinct, experience, and common sense. Never thought about up as an adverb until a minute ago. But I would always make it cap if the expression called for it.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 11:35 am
I think a lot of folks don't realize it's different from rather than different than.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2003 09:43 pm
Hey Jes, Different from is correct. Different than is generally unacceptable. However, sometimes different than may work its way into a sentence when different from causes a very awkward construction. For example:

I see the problem in a different way than you do.

To avoid saying:

I see the problem in a different way from the way in which you do.

However, I like to avoid different than no matter what. Awkward schmawkward.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jun, 2003 07:47 am
Plus, you can change the sentence to

I see the problem differently from how you do.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jun, 2003 06:21 pm
Yup, rewording is often the best way to avoid awkwardness.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Jun, 2003 12:21 pm
I love the prep with. It can mean its own direct opposite, depending on usage. 'I fought with the Russians against the Germans' means the opposite of 'I fought with the Russians at the battle for Stalingrad.'

(In fact, now that I re-read that second sentence, it is quite ambiguous.)



[Edited twice for typos. Sheesh!]
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Jun, 2003 02:21 pm
Try teaching prepositions to Aussies. They think "good ON you" is correct!!

GRRR
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Jun, 2003 03:44 pm
Don't be too quick to criticize, Crave. We 'Murricans think nothing of uttering an absurdity such as 'I could of danced all night.'
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Jun, 2003 03:48 pm
That is "Good on ya!"

Often now shortened to "On ya!"
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Jun, 2003 03:49 pm
On ya, Merry!
0 Replies
 
BillW
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Jun, 2003 03:49 pm
In ya, Deb - good day!
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Jun, 2003 03:50 pm
Merry Andrew wrote:
'I could of danced all night.'


Amricans have their share of daftitude but that was a portrayal of a Brit.

"I could of spreaaaaaad my wings and done a thooooouuusand things...."
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Jun, 2003 01:19 am
I prefer a more American construction:

I coulda danced all night.
I coulda danced all night.
. . .
I coulda spread my wings
etc.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Jun, 2003 03:11 am
Oh for smeg's sake - the lyrics are: "I could have danced all night"

There was possibly a hint of "I could've" - contraction of "I could have......"

Sheeeeeesh.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Jun, 2003 07:04 am
Sheeeesh right back atcha, bunny. Like if you hadn'ta told me, I never woulda known.
0 Replies
 
Wy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Jun, 2003 03:53 pm
I know a number of Murr'cans that truly believe "could of" is correct. To them, grammar makes no sense anyhow, so why wouldn't it be right?

These are the same people who think alot is one word...
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Jun, 2003 04:27 pm
Right, Wy. And these are the same people who tend to say that they're going to be 'to home.'
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Fine-Tuning 12, Prepositions Can Make All the Difference
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/25/2020 at 05:18:10