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English Prepositions

English Prepositions

Date: Feb 23 2010


Author: Phoenixfiras


The usage of some English prepositions

For, during and while 
We use for + a period of time to say how long something goes on: 
A. For
For two hours, for a week, for ages for example: 
* We watched television for two hours last night. 
* Victoria is going away for a week in September. 
* Where have you been? I've been waiting for ages. 
* Are you going away for the weekend? 
We use during + noun to say when something happens (not how long): 
During the movie during our holiday during the night 
For example: 
* I fell asleep during the movie. 
* We met a lot of people during our holiday. 
* The ground is wet. It must have rained during the night. 
With a 'time word' (for example, the morning/the afternoon/the summer), you can usually say in or during: 
* It must have rained in the night. (or ... during the night.) 
* I'll phone you sometime during the afternoon. (or ... in the afternoon.) 
You cannot use during to say how long something goes on: 
* It rained for three days without stopping. (not 'during three days') 
Compare during and for: 
* I fell asleep during the movie . I was asleep for half an hour. 
B. During and while 
We use during + noun: 
I fell asleep during the movie . 
Compare during and while in these examples: 
* We met a lot of interesting people during our holiday. 
* Robert suddenly began to feel ill during the examination. 
We use while + subject + verb: 
* I fell asleep while I was watching television. 
* We met a lot of interesting people while we were on holiday. 
* Robert suddenly began to feel ill while he was doing the examination. 
Some more examples of while: 
* We saw Amanda while we were waiting for the bus. 
* While you were out, there was a phone call for you. 
* Christopher read a book while I watched television. 
When you are talking about the future, use the present (not 'will') after while: 
* I'll be in London next week. I hope to see Tom while I'm there. (not 'while I will be there') 
* What are you going to do while you are waiting? (not 'while you will be waiting') 
By and until, by the time... 
A. By (+ a time) ='not later than': 
* I posted the letter today, so they should receive it by Monday. (= on or before Monday, not later than Monday) 
* We'd better hurry. We have to be at home by 5 o'clock. (=at or before 5 o'clock, not later than 5 o'clock) 
* Where's Sue? She should be here by now. (=now or before now - so she should have arrived already) 
You cannot use until with this meaning: 
* Tell me by Friday whether or not you can come to the party. (not 'Tell me until Friday') 
B. We use until (or till) to say how long a situation continues: 
* 'Shall we go now?' 'No, let's wait until (or till) it stops raining.' 
* I couldn't get up this morning. I stayed in bed until half past ten. 
* I couldn't get up this morning. I didn't get up until half past ten. 
Compare until and by:
#1 until 
Something continues until a time in the future: 
* Fred will be away until Monday. (so he'll be back on Monday) 
* I'll be working until 11. 30. (so I'll stop working at 11.30) 
#2 by 
Something happens by a time in the future: 
* Fred will be back by Monday. (= he'll be back not later than Monday) 
* I'll have finished my work by 11. 30. (I'll finish my work not later than 11. 30) 
C. You can say 'by the time something happens'. Study these examples: 
* It's not worth going shopping now. By the time we get to the shops, they will be closed. (= the shops will close between now and the time we get there) 
* (from a letter) I'm flying to the United States this evening. So by the time you receive this letter, I'll be in New York. (= I will arrive in New York between now and the time you receive this letter) 
* Hurry up! By the time we get to the cinema, the movie will already have started. 
You can say 'by the time something happened"(for the past): 
* Jane's car broke down on the way to the party last night. By the time she arrived, most of the other guests had gone. (= it took her a long time to get to the party and most of the guests went home during this time) 
* I had a lot of work to do yesterday evening. I was very tired by the time I finished. (= it took me a long time to do the work and I became more and more tired during this time) 
* We went to the cinema last night. It took us a long time to find somewhere to park the car. By the time we got to the cinema, the movie had already started. 
Also by then or by that time: 
* Jane finally arrived at the party at midnight, but by then (or by that time), most of the guests had gone. 
At  /on / in (time)
A. Compare at, on and in: 
* They arrived at 5 o'clock. 
* They arrived on Friday. 
* They arrived in October. /They arrived in 1968. 
We use: 
At for the time of day: 
At 5 o'clock, at 11.45, at midnight, at lunchtime, at sunset etc. 
On for days and dates: 
On Friday/on Fridays, on 12 March 1991, on Christmas Day, on my birthday 
In for longer periods (for example, months/years/seasons): 
in October, in 1968, in the 18th century, in the past, in (the) winter, in the 1970s, in the Middle Ages, in (the) future 
B. We use at in these expressions: 
At night: I don't like going out at night. 
At the weekend/at weekends: Will you be here at the weekend? 
At Christmas/at Easter (but on Christmas Day): Do you give each other presents at Christmas? 
At the moment/at present: Mr Benn is busy at the moment/at present. 
At the same time: Liz and I arrived at the same time. 
Note that we usually ask 'What time ... ?' (not usually 'At what time...?): 
* What time are you going out this evening? 
C. We say: 
In the morning(s), in the afternoon(s), in the evening(s) 
* I'll see you in the morning. 
* Do you work in the evenings? 
On Friday morning(s), on Sunday afternoon(s), on Monday evening(s) etc. 
* I'll be at home on Friday morning. 
* Do you usually go out on Saturday evenings? 
D. We do not use at/on/in before last/next/this/every: 
* I'll see you next Friday. (not 'on next Friday') 
* They got married last March. 
E. In a few minutes/in six months etc. = a time in the future 
* The train will be leaving in a few minutes. (= a few minutes from now) 
* Jack has gone away. He'll be back in a week. (= a week from now) 
* She'll be here in a moment. (= a moment from now) 
You can also say 'in six months' time', 'in a week's time' etc.: 
* They're getting married in six months' time. (or ... in six months.) 
We also use in... to say how long it takes to do something: 
* I learnt to drive in four weeks. (It took me four weeks to learn)

Got a question?!Contact me at Ebaby!
Mr. Firass Kaddour




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Syrian Arab Republic

The shop is on her home route is the correct one.

08:39 PM Feb 24 2010 |




which is correct?

the shop is in her home route… or

the shop is on her home route? 

09:36 PM Feb 23 2010 |

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