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English Tutor: Complex Prepositions

By Khuthadzo Malinda, South Africa:

preposition is a word which precedes a noun (or a pronoun) to show the noun’s (or the pronoun’s) relationship to another word in the sentence. (The word preposition comes from the idea of being positioned before. It is not true to say that a preposition always precedes a noun or a pronoun, but it does most of the time.) The following are all prepositions: above, about, across, against, along, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, by, down, during, except, for, from, in, inside, into, like, near, of, off, on, since, to, toward, through, under, until, up, upon, with and within.

Let's go through a few prepositions that can get you in serious trouble. They are rather uncommon and that is what makes them so hard to master and use in every day speech.

  1. Notwithstanding (without being prevented by something)<e.g.>we went to see the show, my objections
  2. In regard to (concerning)<e.g.>in regard to that question you asked me the other day; I think I can answer you in affirmative.
  3. Independently of(without dependence of)<e.g.>He made his decision independently of the other members of the group.
  4. Owing to (because of) <e.g.>I can't accept your invitation owing to a previous engagement.
  5. With a view to (for the purpose of, intending to)<e.g.>with a view to increasing the sale value of the property, he had the house painted and driveway resurfaced.
  6. Regardless of(without regarding, irrespective of)<e.g.>all men, regardless of race, colour, or  creed, are entitled to equal rights and opportunities.
  7. In consequence of(as a result of)<e.g.>In consequence of the changed situation, we have had to alter our plans slightly.

I'm sure you can think of others that you read or heard and were left complexly baffled. They are very interesting to me and get me a little scrambled I have to admit. Keep learning!

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