Grammar &

Idioms Lesson


Over-the-Hump-Wednesday Grammar & Idioms Lesson

 One of the most challenging parts of learning English is remembering which preposition to use. We teach rules (as we will below), but our best advice is to make a sentence that has meaning to YOU, personally, and say it again and again until you hear the “music” of the sentence. Can you fill in the blanks below with the correct preposition? I arrived the airport Boston 6:30 the morning June 3rd, 2019. Scroll down to check your answer. The Answer: I arrived at the airport in Boston at 6:30 in the morning on June 3rd, 2019. Again, the easiest way to remember this sentence is: A: Change the dates and time so that they have meaning to YOU. When did YOU arrive in Boston the first time? Or, when is your birthday? I was born on March 28th (for example) B: Take a long shower. Anna Shine gives her students "Shower Homework" - yes - homework to do in the shower - such as saying YOUR sentence or sentences again and again until you can hear the music of the sentence. C: Learn the rules: 
We use "at" for what we read on a clock: I have class at 9:00, but I have a lunch break at 12:30. We also use "at" with "night": I always study vocabulary at night. We use "in" for months, seasons, years, decades, and centuries: I visited Boston in September. The Beatles were a popular rock band in the 1960s. We use "in" for times of day (except night) including morning, afternoon, and evening: I have a meeting in the afternoon, but I'll be available in the evening. We also use "in" when we talk about a large place such as towns, cities, states, provinces, regions, countries, or continents:

 I live in Boston, which is in Massachusetts. We use "on" for days of the week as well as holidays and special days: I have a test on Friday. I dressed up as a ghost on Halloween. I always have a cake on my birthday. We use "on" for specific dates: I was born on June 2nd. NESE was founded on June 4th, 1990. We also use "on" for street names: NESE is on JFK Street. However, we use "at" for specific addresses: NESE is located at 36 JFK Street. In fact, the more specific the location, the more likely you are to use "at." Therefore, you might say: I took a selfie at the Statue of Liberty. I will meet you at the Harvard subway station. Again, we know this isn't easy. So make a sentence (or sentences) that has meaning to YOU, and take a long, long shower. We promise that before long, you will know how to use these tricky prepositions. The NESE Grammar Team

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