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Published: Thursday, 23 June, 2016 10:00 AM
A preposition is a word placed before a noun or a pronoun to show in what relation the person or thing denoted by it stands in regard to something else. In itself, a word like ‘in’ or ‘after’ is rather meaningless and hard to define in words. Yet, prepositions play a crucial role in language, so much so, that the meaning of a sentence can change if a wrong preposition is used. A person with a good command over the English language will use prepositions correctly.
There are three types of prepositions :
a. Preposition of Time- used to show when something happened. For instance, on, at in, till, during are some of the prepositions of time.
b. Preposition of Place- used to show the position or location of one thing with another. Some of the common prepositions of place are on, at, in, inside, over, against, below.
c. Preposition of Direction- reveal the movement or direction of something. Some of the common prepositions of direction are to, from, up, down, into, over, under, through.
1. Impact on meaning
Prepositions are crucial because they have a direct impact on the meaning of a sentence. A wrong preposition in a sentence can completely alter the meaning of the sentence intended by the user. For instance,
‘He spoke to me in French.’
‘He spoke about me in French.’
In the first sentence, the preposition ‘to’ before me reveals that the sentence is a form of a dialogue between him and me, the conversation is happening in French, and the subject of the conversation is not specified. The second sentence, with the preposition ‘about’ before me, clearly reveals that the subject of the conversation is ‘me’ and the language used is French. Depending on the intended meaning of the communicator, the appropriate preposition needs to be inserted in the sentence, so that the meaning of the sentence is not lost.
Prepositions are necessary as they help in completing the structure of the sentence. They impart sense to the sentence and a sense of completion. For instance,
‘She went the hall quickly’- In this sentence, there is no preposition. In the absence of a preposition, the intended meaning of the sentence in unclear and throws up many possibilities, weather she has gone into the hall, out of the hall, around the hall, across the hall, to name a few. The correct preposition, depending on what the speaker wants to convey, is crucial in imparting completion and sense to the sentence.
Preposition form an integral part of the grammar of a language. Without the correct preposition, wherever it is needed, the sentence will remain incorrect grammatically, even though the listener may absorb the sense of the sentence. For instance,
‘He lives New Delhi’- This sentence is incorrect and needs a preposition to complete it grammatically. Although, the readers/ listeners will be able to understand the sense of what this sentence wants to convey, that is, he lives in New Delhi, the sentence will remain incorrect.
Thus, prepositions play an important role of joining words and bringing out the meaning of a sentence clearly, as well as, complete the structure of the sentence.A person who knows how to use the correct prepositions along with other components will make a strong impression.
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