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Grammar Time: Misused Prepositions

August 21, 2017

This week’s Grammar Time is about prepositions!

A preposition is a word that connects the other parts of a sentence (nouns, pronouns, and phrases) to each other and show the relationship between them. For example, in the words of Larry the Cucumber (from Veggie Tales),

“What happened TO my preposition? I took it ON an expedition. Put it BY the thing I keep my fish IN. It got infected WITH a strange condition.”

While most prepositions are fairly easy to understand and use, some get confusing. Have you ever wondered when to use into vs  in to or from vs. than? We’re going to clear up some commonly confused prepositions.

INTO vs IN TO

This ones comes up often because the two words are almost identical in appearance; however, into is one word and in to is a common phrase. To clarify, into shows action while in shows position:

Bob put a Q-Tip into his ear.

The Q-Tip was in Bob’s ear.

You can also use in to to clarify things like “I turned my paper in TO the professor,” because you didn’t transfigure your paper into the professor. In this case, “turning the paper in” is a single action.

FROM vs THAN

From is a preposition and doesn’t need an independent clause after it:

Charles Xavier was different from the rest of the kids.

Than is used to make comparisons and does need an independent clause (phrase with a subject + verb) after it:

Charles Xavier was different than the rest of the kids were.

BETWEEN vs AMONG

Both between and among are used when talking about more than one noun. The simplest way to describe their differences  is that between is used for distinct, individual nouns:

Dory swam between Marlin and Nemo.

Among  is used when talking about collective nouns (a single word to describe a group of things or people):

Dory swam among the other fish.

That covers the basics of the most confusing prepositions. See you AROUND!

By WritersDomain

WritersDomain is a team of in-house writers, editors, and support staff.

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