PREPOSITIONS

1 Examples: (time)
The meeting will be held in a few days. (= in a few days’ time)
The meeting will be held in May. (in + a month)
The meeting will be held on 15th May. (on + a day + a month)
The meeting will be held on Tuesday. (on + a day of the week)
The meeting will be held at the weekend1.
I came to live here in 1981. (in + a year)
I’m sorry, but I can’t come at2 Christmas. (at + a public holiday)
I’m sorry, but I can’t come on Christmas Eve. (a specific day)
What are you doing at the moment/at present. (set phrases)
2 Examples:
We always go to the same holiday resort in (the) summer. (in + a season)
She met him on a summer’s3 night. (more specific than in the summer)
They saw the patrol car at half past ten. (at + the time)
I’ll have finished at the end of the month. (at the beginning or end of a period of time)
We don’t like going out at night4. (at + night, midday, etc.)
I get up early in the morning. (in the morning, afternoon, evening)
I’m going to the concert on Friday evening. (a particular evening)
Mark Twain (pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens) was born in the nineteenth century. (in +
a century)
She learnt to swim at (the age of) six.
3 Examples:
I haven’t seen a koala bear for5 years (and years)/three months/a week/ages/a long time.
It has rained a lot for the last week/hour.
I haven’t seen a koala bear since (conjunction) I last went to Australia/I was a child/we arrived.
It has been pouring down with rain since (preposition) two o’clock.
I haven’t seen her since Monday/last week/1980/October.
A large number of people lost their lives during/in the
Second World War.
We didn’t meet each other during/at the concert.
I felt sick during6 the meal.
For expresses how long something last. Therefore, it is followed by plural nouns or expressions
containing a(n). Since indicates that something started in the past and has just stopped or is still
going on. During tells us when something occurs. At times, other prepositions are possible in place
of during, as in the sixth and seven instances above. However, the meaning may change. At the
concert means ‘in that place’; but during the concert, ‘in that period of time’. There is not much
difference between ‘during the Second War World’ and ‘in the Second War World’.
4 Examples:
The goods that you requested from us will be delivered within7 a week. (in the period of a week, but
not later, ie before a week)
The school will be inaugurated towards8 the end of this month.
(a little bit ealier than the end of the month)
They will be delivered by Friday. (on Friday at the latest)
By the time (that) you’ve finished your breakfast, they will have left. (= When you have finished
your breakfast, they will have left.)
Make sure you arrive on time9. (= Make sure that you arrive punctual.)
You should arrive in (good) time to take your plane. (= You should arrive early enough to take your
plane.)
1

We arrived just in time to catch the plane. (If we had arrived a couple of minutes later, we would
have missed it.)
5 Examples:
It’s twenty past10 ten. (ie, 10.20)
It’s twenty to ten. (ie, 9.40)
I’ll be there around11/round/(at) about nine o’clock. (at approximately nine o’clock)
I’ll be very sad after your departure for the States. (= Once you have left.)
He gave her a kiss before her departure for the States.
(The opposite of after, ie He gave her a kiss, and later she departed for the States.)
They stayed at Peter’s home past12/beyond midnight. (ie, after midnight)
They waited for her from six until/till (informal)/up to13 (less usual) eight. (That is, they waited for
two hours.)
We’ll wait for you until/till/up to14 eleven o’clock. (That is to say, we will leave at eleven o’clock.)
As from/of15 next week, plane fares will be more expensive. (= From next week onwards, plane
fares will be more expensive.)
What did you do between last Monday and last Friday? (ie, from last Monday to last Friday)
What did you do throughout/all through your summer holiday(s)? (= during your summer
holiday/holidays)
6 Examples16:
There are no cigarettes in the packet. (in = inside)
There is a spider on the table. (surface)
There is a young man at the door. (It does not indicate ‘inside’ or ‘surface’, but an exact position in
space; that is, he is next to the door, at that point.)
7 Examples:
He is sitting on a chair. (surface)
He is sitting in an armchair. (In here has the idea of ‘inside’, as it is a chair with arms.)
They are at/on17 the corner. (of a street, ie in the outside part where two walls meet.)
They are in18 the corner. (of a room, ie in the inside part where two walls meet.)
I think she’s the most intelligent person in the world. (It carries the idea of ‘inside’.)
I think she’s the most intelligent person on earth. (It conveys the idea of ‘surface’.)
They are in the river. (inside, ie swimming)
She saw a small boat on the river. (surface, since the boat floated on it.)
8 Examples:
Eivissa is an island on19 the Mediterranean Sea. (on + a line)
This village is not on the map. (on + a line)
The Pyrenees are on the border between the Iberian peninsula and France. (on + a line)
They are on a desert island/in Great Britain. (Great Britain is a very large island.)
I own a shop on the ground floor. (on + a vertical line)
There was something written on20 the front/back of the sheet of newspaper. (surface)
He saw them at the front/back of the church. (a point in space)
Put the goods in21 the front/back of the lorry. (inside)
We live in22 Oxford Street. (in + a name of a street)
We live at 20 Oxford Street. (at + the number of the house + the name of the street)
We live at number twenty. (at + the number of the house)
We live in France/Paris. (in + the name of a country, city, etc.)
Have you ever been to London? (= Have you ever visited London→ have been to + a place)
He has been in London for a year now. (= He has been living in London for a year now.)
9 Examples:
There’s a good film on (the) television (set phrase)/at the Odeon (ie, a cinema, public perfomance)
tonight.
They saw him at the concert. (public perfomance)
2

She met him for the first time at Heathrow (Airport). (The three dimensions of the place does not
interest us at all.
‘At Heathrow’ simply means ‘at that point’.)
Let’s have a drink at the pub round the corner. (The dimensions of the pub are not important: Let’s
have a drink at that point.)
There was a lot of smoke in the pub yesterday, which made my eyes sting. (inside the pub; the
dimensions of the pub are being considered: perhaps the pub was too small for so many
people smoking at the same time.)
The train stops at every town. (The dimensions of the place are unimportant. We take the place as a
point on a journey23.)
10 Examples:
She works in a bank. (We do not know what bank she works for.)
She works at the bank around the corner. (a specific bank; the dimensions of the bank are not being
regarded.)
He’s working on/at/upon a novel, project, a cure for this disease, etc.
He works and lives on a farm.
She’s at work/school/university/college24. (set phrases)
She was/stayed at home. (The noun ‘home’ takes the preposition ‘at’ with static verbs.)
She arrived/got/reached/went25 home. (The word ‘home’ does not take the preposition ‘at’ with
verbs of motion.)
He is in bed26. (sleeping)
He is on the bed. (sitting)
He is in hospital. (as a patient)
He is at (= at that point)/in (inside the building) the hospital.
He is in prison/gaol/jail. (behind bars)
He is at (at that point)/in (inside the building) the prison/ gaol/jail. (as a visitor)
He is in/at church. (praying)
He is in (inside)/at (at that point) the church.
11 Examples:
Open your books on page 125.
You’re not in the photo.
The bank is on the left/right. (= on the left/right-hand side: position)
(In a car) To the left/right. (direction)
You turned (to the) left/right. (direction)
Take the second turning to (direction)/on (the one which is situated on the left/right-hand side:
position) the left/ right.
She’s in the sea27. (swimming)
They’re at sea. (travelling by sea)
She’s at the sea. (next to the sea)
The castle is on top of the hill. (= on the hill, up on the hill)
The castle is at the top of the hill.
____________________
1
In American English on is used: on the weekend.
2
Notice the following:
We are now on holiday.
Where are you going for your Christmas holiday(s)?
3
Note the following:
He met her on a summer’s/summer night.
He met her on a winter’s/winter night.
He met her on a spring night.
He met her on a autumn night.
4
Other prepositions are also possible, but with a change of meaning:
I never watch television at night. (We are speaking in a general sense.)
I had to get up twice in/during the night. (ie, last night)
3

We’ll go by night. (ie, so as not to be seen)
In order to avoid being caught, we’ll have to travel by night and sleep by day.
We had better travel during the night and sleep during the day, as there is less traffic at night.
What did you do on the night of the accident? (We are referring to a concrete night.)
5
Observe the following:
She bought her a sweater for her birthday. (She bought her a sweater because it was her birthday.)
She bought her a sweater on her birthday. (She bought her a sweater on that special day.)
I want it for tomorrow.
6
Over is sometimes used to mean ‘during’ or ‘while’:
I felt sick over the meal. (ie, during the meal.)
Let’s speak about it over breakfast. (ie, while we are having breakfast.)
She stayed here over the weekend. (ie, during the weekend.)
We had a cosy chat over a snack. (ie, while we were having a snack.)
I got to know them over the years. (ie, thoughout/during the years.)
She didn’t say anything over/throughout/all through dinner.
(ie, while we were having dinner.)
7
Inside is an informal alternative to within: The goods that you requested from us will be delivered
inside a week.
Inside of is also possible, especially in American English:
The goods that you requested from us will be delivered inside of a week.
8
Toward is also possible, chiefly in American English.
9
Note the following: Our train arrived bang/dead/exactly/right on time.
10
The word ‘minutes’ is necessary when the minutes are not multiple of five: It’s thirteen minutes to
ten. The British and American usage sometimes differ:
British English

American English

It’s a quarter past two.

It’s a quarter after two.

It’s ten to seven. (6.50)

It’s ten of/to seven.

11

Note the following:
There were (a)round/about 10,000 thousand people at the demostration.
The accident happen (a)round about midnight.
There were (a)round about nine hundred people at the funeral.
12
Past is colloquial.
13
It is also possible to say up until or up till.
14
See the previous footnote.
15
As of is used mainly in American English.
16
In the next sections, we are going to deal with prepositions of place, position, movement, means,
and so forth.
17
Notice the following: She hit her thigh on/against the corner of the dining table and got a bruise
on it.
18
Note that we say in the top/bottom right/left-hand corner of a page: Put your name and personal
code in the top left-hand corner of the exam paper. If we say that we are in a (tight) corner, we are in
a difficult situation that we find it hard to avoid: I was in a tight corner when someone stole
my luggage and money in a far-off country.
19
In some cases, upon is a formal alternative to on (position, place and time):
Eivissa is an island on/upon the Mediterranean Sea.
Put it on/upon the table.
On/Upon reaching our destination, we realised that everyone had left. (= As soon as reached our
destination,...)
Do not confuse on/upon (= as soon as) with in (= while):
In reaching our destination, we met several interesting people. (= On our way to our destination
or while/when we were reaching our destination.)
4

Upon cannot be replaced with on in the following instances:
Once upon a time, there were two princesses who wanted to marry the same prince. (set phrase)
They were very happy as their summer holidays were upon them. (= very near)
There is news upon the hour. (= every hour)
She awaited his arrival day upon day. (= day after day)
20
Notice that we say at (last pages)/on (cover) the back of a book, but in (first pages)/on (cover) the
front of a book.
21
Observe the following:
I sat in the back/front of the car.
I sat in/at the back/front of the bus.
She sat in the middle.
I woke up in the middle of the night.
22
On is used in American English: We live on Madison Avenue.
23
We say This flight makes a stopover in London rather than at London. This may be due to the fact
that we usually spend a night or two there.
24
See unit 14, section 38.
25
Observe the following:
They got to France, the concert, etc., an hour ago.
They reached France, the concert, etc., an hour ago.
They went to France, the concert, etc., an hour ago.
They arrived in France, Paris, etc., last week.
They arrived at the airport, restaurant, etc., on time.
They arrived at an agreement, conclusion, etc., last week.
26
See unit 14, section 38.
27
See section 8 in this unit.
12 Examples:
He flew from London to28 Berlin. (from one place to another)
He flew to Berlin from London. (less usual than the one above)
She met a boy from Paris. (From expresses ‘origin’.)
She went to the USA. (To expresses ‘destination’.)
The train from Paris is the train that comes from Paris.
The train to Paris is the train that goes to Paris.
He ran into the building. (Into expresses movement from outside to inside.)
He ran in the building. (He was inside the building. There is no movement from outside to inside.)
Don’t put your hands in(to) your pockets? (There is no ambiguity if we use in, so in is possible
instead of into. However, into is a better and safer alternative.)
Come in, please! (In is an adverb here; into is always a preposition, that is a preposition is
followed by a noun, pronoun or gerund, but an adverb is not.)
Put those books on/on to/onto29 the table.
13 Examples:
The children’s department is up the stairs30. (opposite down the stairs)
Stop going up and down, will you? (an adverb phrase)
Go along this road (= follow this road) until/till (time conjunction31) you find a very tall building.
Go along this road to that tall building. (until/till is not possible instead of to)
This bag can hold up to six kilos. (until/till is not possible here.)
Go across this road. (= Go to the other side of the road.)
We went through a tunnel. (three dimensions)
Stop running round/around me, or you’ll feel dizzy.
We are on the third floor, so you’ll have to go __________ to32 the first floor.
14 Examples:
They were driving towards33 Rome. (ie, in that direction)
5

We were driving away from Rome. (away from is the opposite of towards)
We’ll go to Amsterdam via/by Brussels. (ie, by way of Brussels)
This channel will broadcast via/by satellite. (ie, using a satellite)
I discovered what had happened via/through a local newspaper.
(ie I read it in a local newspaper.)
This ticket is only valid within34 the country. (ie, inside the country)
We walked past/beyond/by the park. (ie We went further than the park.)
She lives beyond those mountains. (ie She lives behind those mountains.)
She’s beyond suspicion. (ie She cannot be guilty.)
This mathematical problem is beyond me. (ie I cannot do it.)
What he said is beyond belief. (ie It cannot be believed.)
We had better leave now, as the situation is getting __________35 our control.
15 Examples:
We have to go over/across that bridge. (We have to go to the other side of that bridge.)
You’ll have to swim across the river. (Over is not possible here.)
He lives across/over the street. (on the other side of the street)
He escaped by climbing over the wall. (Across is impossible here.)
We have the intention of riding across the plateau in only two hours. (ie, of crossing an area36.)
We saw her running across the conference hall. (ie, inside a room)
We spent two hours watching the water running under37 the bridge. (Compare this with the
following: She run across/ over the bridge.)
There’s a tennis ball under the table. (The opposite of under is on: There’s a tennis ball on the
table.)
16 Examples:
I’d like to travel all38 round/around/over the world. (= I’d like to travel worldwide.)
I’d like to travel throughout/about the world. (ie, worldwide)
The priest has a crucifix over/above his bed. (The crucifix is hung on the wall. The opposite of
over or above is below: The bed is below the crucifix. Compare this with the following:
The crucifix is under the bed.)
There is a helicopter flying over/across the sea. (Across means ‘crossing’; over does not
necessarily have this meaning.)
The helicopter is flying over/above that tall building. (There is a slight difference between over and
above, as over implies that the helicopter is nearer to the tall building.)
The plane was flying above the clouds. (opposite: below the clouds)
The Perkins live above Mary and the Adams, below39 (her). (She lives on the third floor; the
Perkins, on the fourth; the Adams, on the second.)
Tomorrow the temperature will be below zero. (The opposite of ‘below zero’ is ‘above zero’.)
She’s planning to sail __________40 the Atlantic in a small boat next spring. (= She wants to cross
the Atlantic in a small boat next spring.)
My father works __________ ground41, since he is a miner.
17 Examples:
There were over/above42 five thousand people at the demostration. (over/above = more than)
She is over/above43 him. (She is a captain and he is a lieutenant. The opposite is He is under/below
her.)
He comes from an upper-class family, so he considers us beneath him. (He believes that he is
superior to us just because he comes from an upper-class family.)
Beneath/Underneath her quick-tempered exterior, there is a great woman. (Her quick-tempered
exterior hides a great woman.)
Beneath (very formal)/Below/Under44 its waters lies his treasure. (Compare: His treasure lies
under water/underwater.)
A treasure is hidden below/beneath/under the surface of this place.
6

Under his régime, the country killed a lot of innocent people, just because they were thought to be
inferior. (When he ruled the country, he ordered that those who were considered inferior should be
exterminated.)
She had the accident because she was driving under the influence of alcohol. (The alcohol she had
drunk was the cause of the accident.)
He found a coin under/underneath/beneath the carpet. (The carpet covered/hid the coin.)
There is a secret passage under/underneath/beneath the castle.
(The passage is underground.)
18 Examples:
There’s nobody in/inside45 the house. (ie, the house is empty.)
We saw a lot of people outside46 the building. (Outside is the opposite of inside or in.)
She went out of/outside the building. (= She left the building.)
I’m afraid she’s out47. (ie, She’s not at home, in the office, etc., now)
My dog jumped on/on to/onto48 my bed. (The opposite of on, on to or onto is off: My dog jumped
off my bed.)
19 Examples:
I need to buy a book on49/about the fauna and flora of the Iberian peninsula. (I need to buy a book
that deals with the fauna and flora of the Iberian peninsula.)
‘I’d like to tell you something.’
‘What is it about?’ (What do you want to tell me?)
‘It’s about your husband.’ (It has to do with your husband.)
I saw him somewhere about/around the park. (I saw him near the park.)
There were a lot of cigarette ends strewn about/(all) round/ (all) around the place. (ie, all over the
place.)
How/What about going to the cinema this afternoon? (Why do we not go to the cinema this
afternoon?)
‘I’m going to the shopping centre.’
‘Can you post this letter for me while you are about it?’ (Can you post this letter for me at the same
time that you go to the shopping centre?)
There were trees around/round/about the square. (They surrounded the square.)
____________________
28
From...to can also relate to time:
She works here from morning to night.
He went out with my sister from 1995 to 1997.
See section 5. From...until/till is not possible here. You may use until/till to mean ‘go as far as’:
Don’t get off the train until/till Barcelona.
29
Both on and onto (or more formally, on to) can indicate movement, but onto (or on to) very often
implies movement to a higher or lower surface:
The tamer made the lion jump onto/on to/on a stool.
(On might suggest the lion stayed on the stool jumping.)
She got onto/on to/on the train.
We went to a mountain refuge. The bedroom was not very big and had bunk beds. During the
night, I woke up because I felt something viscous dripping onto/on to my face from the bed above. I
turned on my torch to see what was going on. The viscid substance was blood.
Somebody had killed my friend!
On to (not onto) must be used when on and to bear no relation to each other:
She went on to explain why I should give up the struggle to free them. (on + a to-infinitve)
Go straight on/ahead to the next traffic lights.
(= Go straight on/ahead until you reach the next traffic lights.)
30
You can also say The children’s department is upstairs.
(opposite: downstairs)
31
See section 5 in this unit.
32
Notice the usage of to here.
33
Toward is also possible, especially in American English.
7

34

See section 4 in this unit.
Outside and out of are also possible here.
36
See the next section.
37
In a very formal style, we can often use beneath instead of under:
We spent hours watching the water running beneath the bridge.
There is a tennis ball beneath the table.
They were under/beneath some trees to protect themselves from the sun.
38
All emphasizes the idea of ‘everywhere’, but it may be left out: I’ve been (all) round/around/over
Asia. The verb‘travel’ can be used without any preposition: I’d like to travel the world.
39
If we remove ‘her’, we have an adverb instead of a preposition.
40
In this particular case, the preposition may be omitted.
41
We can also say under the ground or underground (adverb).
42
Above may convey a greater quantity (etc) than over. The opposite of above is below; of over,
under.
43
Over implies that there is only one rank (etc) superior to him. Above may suggest that there is
more than one. The opposite of over is under; of above, below.
44
See sections 17 and 18 in this unit.
45
Inside and in can also be adverbs: There’s nobody in/inside.
46
Outside of and inside of are often used in American English: We saw a lot of people outside of
the building. If we remove ‘the building’, we convert outside into an adverb: We saw a lot of people
outside.
47
Out is an adverb.
48
See section 14 in this unit.
49
If we use on, we mean that the subject being discussed is more formal and serious.
35

20 Examples:
When I came in, they were sitting round/around the table.
(They surrounded the table.)
He was sitting on his desk. (He was sitting on top of his desk.)
He was sitting at his desk. (He was sitting on a chair in front of his desk.)
Peter sits in front of me at school, but he’s so tall that I cannot see the blackboard. (The opposite
of in front of is behind: I sit behind Peter at school.)
The teacher was in front of/before50 the class. (The students were sitting at their desks and the
teacher was explaining something on the blackboard.)
Don’t say that again in front of/before51 my friends. (ie, in the presence of my friends.)
My school is a few hundred yards before the town hall. (The town hall is a few hundred yards
farther than my school.)
I’ll use it after52 you. (You can use it first.)
She didn’t close the door after/behind her. (ie, She left the door wide open or ajar when she went
out of the room or of the house.)
The supermarket is opposite53 the bank. (= The supermarket is facing the bank.)
21 Examples:
She works close to54/near55 the post office. (She does not work far from the post office.)
We were frightened to death because a car driving next to/ beside/alongside ours was zigzagging
along the motorway. (We were driving along the right-hand lane and the other car, along the lefthand lane.)
They’ve got a house by/next to/beside the sea. (The house is very close to the sea.)
Victor and Margaret sat beside/next to/by me at the meal. (Victor was on my right and Margaret,
on my left.)
Victor works beside/alongside/with me. (We work together.)
When I told him that he was fired, he came near to/close to crying/tears. (He nearly/almost cried.)
When she discovered that he was seeing another girl, they were near to/close to splitting up. (They
nearly/almost split up.)
22 Examples:
8

They are against us. (The opposite of this is They are in favour of us/in our favour.)
They are for abortion. (= They are in favour of abortion.
The opposite of for is against: They are against abortion.)
Don’t worry. We are with you. (= We are on your side.)
My bike is leaning (up) against that tree. (This sentence means that my bike is beside that tree, but
they touch each other, and the tree supports my bike.)
He loves running against the wind. (ie, in the opposite direction of the wind.)
Swim with the current! (ie, in the same direction of the current.)
23 Examples:
Your aunt is between those two girls. (She is sitting in the middle of the two girls.)
She placed the knife between the spoon and the fork. (She placed the knife in the middle.)
There is a spider between those apples. (I can see how many apples there are. There are, say, five
apples. Among(st) is not impossible here.)
Peter’s among(st) the crowd. (It is impossible to tell how many people there are in the crowd.)
You’re among(st) my best friends. (You are one of my best friends.)
24 Examples:
This letter was written by my little daughter (agent) with a pencil. (instrument)
Come with us, please. (Join us, please.)
At this moment, she’s with a client. Could you ring back later? (Now she is busy because she is
attending to a client.)
The woman in red is Peter’s mother. (ie, the woman who wears read.)
The lady with the black handbag is my boss. (ie, the one who carries/has a black handbag.)
We can’t live without water. (ie We need water to live on.)
25 Examples:
He threw a stone at me. (He wanted to hit me.)
He threw the ball to me/He threw me the ball. (He wanted me to catch it.)
He’s very good (bad, etc.) at football. (He plays football very well, very badly.)
That little girl is waving at/to you. (Here both at and to can be used without any real difference in
meaning. At might suggest that you are waving more enthusiastically.)
This is the train for/to56 London. (ie, The train that goes to London.)
She’s heading for Scotland. (ie, She is going to Scotland.)
What do you take me for? (ie, Do you think I am stupid?)
We had to walk for57 ten miles. (We did not expect to walk so many miles.)
Let me do it for58 you. (Let me offer to help you.)
I have a present for you. (I want to give you a present.)
You can have two of these for only one pound. (ie, I can offer you them at this price.)
26 Examples:
Twenty-five plus59 twenty-five equals (formal)/is (neutral) fifty. (25 + 25 = 50)
Fifty minus60 twenty-seven equals/is/leaves (less formal) twenty-three/Twenty-seven subtracted
from61 fifty equals/ is/leaves (less formal) twenty-three. (50 - 27 = 23)
Five multiplied by62 four equals/is twenty. (5 x 4 = 20)
Twenty-five divided by63 five equals/is five. (25 ÷ 5 = 5)
27 Examples:
I’m going by car. (by + the means of transport)
I’m going in Molly’s car. (in + a word or phrase + the method of transport→a private vehicle or a
taxi.)
I’m going on the next bus. (on + a word or phrase + a means of transport→a public vehicle or a
bike, a motorcycle, a horse, etc.)
Get in/into64 the car! (The opposite is Get out of the car. If we do not mention the vehicle, we say
Get out.)
9

I got on/onto65/on to the bus and went home. (The opposite is I got off the bus and went home.
Notice also: I got off and went home.)
I prefer to go on foot. (set phrase)
The people who were travelling on/in that plane were mostly tourists.
The people on/in that bus are singing and dancing.
The people in that car are my neighbours.
____________________
50

Before is formal.
See the previous footnote.
52
The opposite is I’ll use it before you.
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Opposite and in front of cannot be used interchangeably. If we say that something or somebody
is opposite something or somebody, there is something between the two things or people, such as a
street. In front of means that there is nothing between the two things or people:
The supermarket is opposite the bank. (There is a street between the supermarket and the bank.)
Peter sits in front of me at school. (There is nothing between us.)
Peter sat opposite me at the table. (I was at the other end or side of the table.)
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Close to can also relate to time: Our wedding anniversary is close to theirs.
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A preposition does not have comparative and superlative forms.
If we can add -er or -est to near, it is because near is an adverb or an adjective, which is why it is
much better to use the preposition ‘to’ with nearer and nearest:
My girl-friend is the one nearest to the door.
Can you come nearer to me?
The bookshop is very near to my house. (Although the preposition ‘to’ can be dropped, it is
advisable to keep it in a formal style, as a preposition cannot be modified by very. If we removed
the ‘to’, near becomes a preposition modified by very.)
Near can also refer to time: We are getting nearer to the summer holidays.
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See section 14.
57
We had to walk ten miles implies that we did not mind it, as we probably knew that beforehand.
58
For other uses of for, see units 23 (section 20) and 27
(section 3).
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Less formally, we say Twenty-five and twenty-five is/are/ make(s) fifty.
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Or less formally, Fifty take away twenty-seven is/leaves twenty-three. You can also say Fifty less
twenty-seven is twenty-three. Note also: You’ll get a hundred pounds, less (a) five per cent
commission.
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Or less formally, Twenty-seven from fifty is/leaves twenty- three.
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Note also:
Five times four is/makes/equals twenty.
Five fours are twenty. (informal)
Ten times ten thousand is/makes/equals one hundred thousand. (10 x 10,000 = 100,000)
If you multiply five by four, you get twenty. (5 x 4 =20)
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Notice also:
Five into twenty-five is/goes five.
Five divides into twenty-five five times.
Three into eleven will not go.
Two into five is/goes two with one left over.
Two into seven goes three and a half times.
Ten over two is five.
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Into is only possible if we mention the word ‘car’: Get in!
65
You can also say I got into/in the bus and went home, but this
is probably less usual. The opposite of into or in is out of:
I got out of the bus and went home.
I got out and went home. (We do not mention ‘the bus’.)
(Miquel Molina i Diez/polseguera.org)
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