Questions about prepositional phrases.

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14
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3answers
74k views

“Consist in” vs. “consist of”

I would like to have this clear once and for all: What is the correct use of consist in / consist of? "Meditation consists in/of attentive watchfulness." "The body consists in/of cells." ...
10
votes
5answers
10k views

“Replace with” versus “replace by”

I often see "replace with" and "replace by" used interchangeably, but this doesn't sound right to me: I replaced that component by this one. I would use "with" in such a sentence. "By" only ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Comma after introductory phrases

I am no native speaker and always confused about the comma in introductory phrases, in particular in prepositional phrases. Is there any hard rule when a comma must be set? If I make a google search ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Using “to” versus “for” between two nouns (“key to success”)

Another user provided an example and I have added others: Key to exercise Key for exercise Answer to a problem Answer for a problem Bullet to a gun Bullet for a gun She bought ...
7
votes
2answers
328 views

On Paddington Station?

I was interested to read that Paddington Bear was found on Paddington Station, not in or at Paddington Station. I would never have chosen this usage (I speak Canadian English). I had a look at Google ...
6
votes
3answers
683 views

When can “very” modify a prepositional phrase?

In Hamlet, when Hammy Jr. asks Polonius whether a cloud looks like a whale, Polly replies, Very like a whale. In contemporary English, however, "very like ..." feels ungrammatical. You instead ...
6
votes
1answer
190 views

“An” average of vs. “The” average of

When nouns such as average, total, sum, etc., are modified by a prepositional phrase, how do you choose between the definite and indefinite articles? I cited sentences 1, 3, and 5 below from various ...
5
votes
2answers
455 views

Prepositions: “The confusing widgets of language”

The title is adapted from an article in THE WEEK, written by James Harbeck. Well worth reading if you ask me. I don't particularly like prepositions. They are small, seemingly insignificant things ...
5
votes
1answer
668 views

Is there a word for a verb which requires an adverb or prep. phrase in order to make sense?

Put is the one I'm thinking of. It is always transitive, but even with a direct object, it still makes no sense without an adverb or prepositional phrase. I put it somewhere. I put it on the ...
5
votes
2answers
386 views

Is “nothing but birds and a few insects” singular or plural?

Nothing but birds and a few insects [was/were] to be seen. In the above sentence, should the verb agree with "nothing" or with "birds and a few insects"?
5
votes
2answers
990 views

Is 'there' an adverb or a preposition? (Or something else entirely!?)

Most dictionaries seem to describe 'there' as an adverb. Oxford online dictionary definition Is this true? "Last year we went to Paris. We stayed there for three nights." In sentences like this ...
5
votes
3answers
8k views

Is there a difference in meaning between “from the beginning” and “since the beginning”?

He’s been with us from the beginning. Is there a difference between from and since in the context of the above sentence?
5
votes
3answers
586 views

Near, near to and nearby. What's the difference?

Why isn't near, near to and nearby always interchangeable? They can precede the noun. I live nearby the railway station I live near the railway station I live near to the railway station ...
5
votes
2answers
997 views

How to distinguish between positions of prepositional phrases?

Is there a name for where prepositional phrases are in a sentence? For example, is there a name to distinguish between the following sentences? There has not been a queen on the island. On the ...
5
votes
3answers
494 views

On the part of speech of “now”

I recently had a conversation about the Spanish word "ahora", in which my conversant claimed that "ahora" is always an adverb, and never a noun. This lead me to investigate the part of speech of ...
4
votes
3answers
757 views

Sentences start with Of

What is the meaning of of when it starts a sentence? For example, and what is the grammatically correct way to write a sentence starting with of?
4
votes
4answers
514 views

Up my street and down the lane [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do I travel “up” or “down” to London from north of the city? Except where there is obvious difference in elevation e.g. on a sloping road, how do ...
4
votes
3answers
595 views

Test for intransitivity of verbs?

Is it true that if any verb is immediately followed by a prepositional phrase, then it has to be an intransitive verb? As a counter example, I need a sentence which: (i) has only one verb, and ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

When are the phrases “in motion” and “in movement” used?

When are the phrases in motion and in movement used? In motion is the most popular form based on a Google search, but in movement still has 3 080 000 results.
4
votes
5answers
105 views

“A threat to us people” or “a threat to we people”? [closed]

Which of these is correct: Global warming is a great threat to us people. Global warming is a great threat to we people.
4
votes
4answers
5k views

“'To'/'on' the contrary” in these sentences: is the difference very slight?

I was interested in the following sentences which appeared, respectively, in a news article titled “Can’t Park? Blame a Condo" and in a news article titled "Senator Simmons on the Negro", both in The ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Can a prepositional phrase be the direct object?

We're covering grammar in English I, and we just got to gerunds. In one of the exercises, I had the sentence "Pilgrims learned about planting crops from the Wampanoags." I'm supposed to find the ...
3
votes
2answers
468 views

What's the most appropriate preposition to use with the word “status”?

Say I have application that tracks TODO items; each TODO item has a status, e.g. "Not Started", "In Progress", "Completed", etc. Which phrasing is the most appropriate to display in the application? ...
3
votes
3answers
206 views

What function does this prepositional phrase have in this biblical sentence?

From Mark 7:13: Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. Although this sentence may be incomplete, I am wondering ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the difference between prepositional phrase and adverbial complement?

“I try to give ‘em a reason, you see. It helps folks if they can latch onto a reason.” (Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird) When we say ‘prepositional verb’ and ‘adverbial complement,’ are they ...
3
votes
3answers
651 views

Using “connotation of” in an active manner?

How can I use the word connotation is a more active phrasing? Often, if I want to say an object that suggests magic, I may say "the object has a connotation of being magical". But this phrasing is ...
3
votes
3answers
90 views

Do I need an extra “about”, or does one suffice?

Consider the following sentence: I have a lot to talk about with John about his project. Since I can swap the position of the first about to make it 'I have a lot to talk with John about', then ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Version control “in revision” vs. “at revision”

Should a programmer use in or at as a preposition when referring to the version-control revision number? Example: Which is correct, fixed in revision 12345 or fixed at revision 12345? The ...
3
votes
2answers
158 views

The Order of Modification in English Nouns, Preceding or Succeeding? [closed]

As I don't know the exact linguistic terms, what I mean my "preceding" and "succeeding" in modifying nouns is as follows. Preceding : delicious food, long way, kind person, et cetera Succeeding : ...
3
votes
3answers
142 views

What preposition do we use with the adjective 'telling' when it means 'revealing'?

Example I: "How telling this is [of/about] the way international students continue to be perceived by their American peers on U.S. campuses?" Example II: "Public opinion is telling ...
3
votes
1answer
8k views

Is single-word “inbetween” becoming more acceptable? How far can it go?

I get the distinct feeling that "inbetween" occurs increasingly often as a single word, but I'm not at all clear on why it's used more in some contexts than others. What I can is see that in Google ...
3
votes
2answers
78 views

Can one talk “with” someone?

The verb talk usually has to preceding its complement/object: (I) I talked to him about his misbehavior. Is it idiomatic (and/or grammatical) to use with instead? (II) I talked with him about ...
3
votes
2answers
84 views

Omitting definite articles in prepositional phrases with specific objects

Hyphenated adjectives aside, is omitting the "the" in "on scene," "in studio," "on set" etc. any more or less correct than including it? My inquiry stems primarily from curiosity about the use of ...
3
votes
3answers
702 views

“Exchange emails with whomever you want to put me in contact [with]”

I realize the "never end a sentence with a preposition" rule is controversial these days, but let's assume for the sake of argument that it should be followed. What is the proper construction of a ...
3
votes
3answers
139 views

Which is better equivalent for “in stock”? “At hand”, “on hand”, or “in hand”?

Which is a better equivalent for “in stock” (meaning a product is in stock)? “at hand” “on hand” “in hand” Can any of them be used? Which is the most appropriate? Which is second-best?
3
votes
4answers
104 views

Half doesn't or half don't? [duplicate]

What’s the right version of these two? Half of the students doesn’t bother to show up. Half of the students don’t bother to show up. Or are both right?
2
votes
4answers
410 views

Preposition used after “do”

I am an English native speaker working as a teacher in Germany. When marking my pupils' essays I often encounter the phrase "to do something against something", which is as far as I know simply a ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

“Can we get this over with?”

I am confused about this sentence because it ends in a preposition, something that I thought was not really grammatically correct: Can we get this over with? In addition, I haven't found a ...
2
votes
2answers
242 views

Problems with usages of “of”

I do not understand some of usages. It's more of a sanity check than anything. even more of a hack I'd argue that a course in algorithm design would be of more utility in understanding how ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What are “up” and “down” in “up there” and “down there”?

"Up there" and "down there" are two of the most frequent expressions that I, myself, use often. I really don't know whether they are just expressions used to refer to a place to go ("I went down ...
2
votes
4answers
94 views

Does one open a browser “on” a URL?

Can I say: It opens the browser on the URL [X] meaning that something is opening the browser with the URL [X] already typed in and loading?
2
votes
1answer
145 views

Meaning of “over in”

I read this sentence in a book: I just took part in a study over in the Psychology Department. Why do we add over in front of in the here?
2
votes
1answer
73 views

What kind of phrase is this? [manically across the stage]

In the sentence: At the beginning of the play, the entire cast dances maniacally across the stage. What kind of phrase is [manically across the stage]? Is it an adverb phrase, prepositional phrase or ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Adverbs, prepositions, nouns, “home”, and “about” [closed]

I'm confused about how the following sentences should be analyzed, in terms of which words are prepositions and adverbs, how the phrases break up, etc.: She was going home. She was home. She was at ...
2
votes
4answers
290 views

“My aunt is coming to dinner tomorrow” (grammar of 'to dinner')

My aunt is coming to dinner tomorrow. The meaning is clear. However, if you think about it, what this seems to literally say is that the aunt is going directly to some dinner (and not even an ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

A question about “to becoming” [duplicate]

Would this sentence be correct? Being scared is the first step to becoming free. The more I look at it, the less clear it becomes.
2
votes
1answer
289 views

Apart from + infinitive

A piece of news from the BBC reads as follows [emphasis in the original]: The UN has said very little on the matter, apart from to insist it is immune from legal proceedings. Now, I knew that ...
2
votes
3answers
129 views

'out of' vs 'from' (a series)

Is it acceptable to say something along the lines of "this microphone is out of the 122 series" instead of "this microphone is from the 122 series" ? I have a colleague who insists that using 'out ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Two verbal nouns with one/two prepositional phrases

I have a question on English style. Take the following sentence: Following the Candidate Shabbat, all participants are mailed an official letter of acceptance to or rejection from the program. ...
2
votes
2answers
310 views

Usage of 'into' after 'penetrate'

Somehow I have difficulties telling which one is more correct They penetrate into the building OR They penetrate the building I've heard it being used both ways and I'd like to hear some thoughts on ...