Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

Do English Prepositions Stress You Out? Try this Video Quiz

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Mon, Jan 07, 2013 @ 07:16 AM

tying shoesDo you struggle with English prepositions?

We work with a lot of high intermediate to advanced English speakers. Our students have been speaking English for many years and they speak well. They know idioms, slang, and can carry on in-depth conversations with native speakers.

However, there are a few things that keep holding them back. One of those things is prepositions!

Do you have this problem? Let's find out! Complete this sentence:

The boy wants to tie his shoes ________ his own.

a) by

b) on

c) for


If you answered "b" then you are correct. If you didn't get the right answer or if you have struggled to find the right preposition to complete a phrase in the past, then you might want to check out the video below to keep practicing!  Let's start solving this problem today!


Still confused? Get more information here:


1) When you do something alone, you do it "by yourself" or "on your own." Both of these expressions are correct but be careful not to mix up or switch the preposition that goes at the beginning of the expression. This is a really common mistake, even for advanced speakers!


2) In the United States, we say "on the weekend" or "during the weekend", but if you learned English in England, you might have learned "at the weekend" which is also correct.

To make fun of someone= to tease someone, to make them feel silly

In the video, "make fun" is used incorrectly. The speaker should say "parties are fun."


3) When you give an exact address including street and street number (146 17th St. or 186 Hancock St.), you should use the preposition "at." The correct sentence is "I live at 146 17th St."


4) To be new at something= to be a beginner

When you are just beginning a new hobby or sport you can say, "I am new at (hobby)"


5) To get back into something= to start doing something again

"I took a break from my project, but then I got back into it" or "I took a break from my project, but then I got back to it." You cannot say, "I got back on it."


6) To take care of someone= To supervise someone, to watch over someone

 To care about someone= To have feelings of concern for someone


How did you do with today's lesson? If you struggle with prepositions, please subscribe to our blog by clicking on the orange button below. We will be publishing more lessons on English prepositions in the next few months. Good luck and keep studying!


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Photo credit: surlygirly

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