Posts tagged prepositions
I like to eat and one of my favorite things to eat is bread. I have made bread by hand before and nothing is more delicious. You can make bread with any kind of flour – white, wheat, etc. My favorite bread to make is whole-wheat bread. I bake it by using an old coal oven. This bread smells so good when it is freshly baked, and when you cut it with a knife, the aroma fills the air.
Today I would like to look at by and with. Both of these words are used to show how something is done, but the way we used them is a little different. Do you know how to use these words? Have a look at the paragraph above and then check out today’s lesson.
We use by when we talk about an action. After by, we use a Verb-ing (gerund)
- I bake the bread by using an old coal oven
- Tomoko improved her English by listening to the radio.
- Brad caught the mouse by setting a trap.
We use with when we talk about the tool, ingredients, or part of the body that is used.
- You can make bread with any kind of flour.
- When you cut it with a knife, the aroma fills the air.
- Brad caught the mouse with a trap.
Note the difference between how to use by and with:
- Jack studied vocabulary by using a dictionary.
- Jack studied vocabulary with a dictionary.
Note that by hand means made by a person or handmade.
- I have made bread by hand before.
When we use the passive voice, we use by to show the person or thing that does the action
- The power was knocked out by the hurricane
- The fire was reported by the building manager
When we use the passive voice we use with to show the tool, ingredients, or body part used by someone
- The bread was made with wheat flour and water
- Jack’s car was washed with a brush.
- The wall was painted with a lovely light green paint.
This lesson was requested by a reader of this blog. If you have a suggestion for a lesson here, please let me know!
Despite the holiday weekend, I went to work as usual. I left the house at 7:15 and there was a lot of traffic on the road, despite the fact that it was a Sunday. I guess a lot of people were travelling, maybe to the beach. There was a big surfing competition here, and despite the damage done by the hurricane last week, the competition was held as scheduled.
Despite is used when we want to show that something is not affected by something else. For example,
- Despite the holiday weekend, I went to work as usual
This means, even though it was a holiday weekend, I went to work. My work schedule was not affected by the fact that it was a holiday weekend. Here is another example:
- Despite his low score on the final exam, he passed the course.
This means that he had a low score on his final exam, but he was able to pass the course. His passing the course was not affected by the low score on the exam.
There are four basic structures we can use despite in:
Despite + Noun
- Despite the hurricane, I went to work as usual.
- We went to the amusement park despite the bad weather.
Despite + Noun Clause
- Despite his tight schedule, he completed the job perfectly.
- The student’s left school early, despite the teacher’s orders that they stay.
Despite + Gerund
- Despite missing the meeting, Jack knew about the project.
- I went to work, despite wanting to sleep late today.
Despite the fact that + Sentence
- Despite the fact that he won the lottery, he didn’t quit his job.
- Jack went to the party, despite the fact that his ex-girlfriend was also planning to go there.
I hope this was helpful. What is your request for a one-point lesson here?
I was cleaning out the attic and found a box of cassette tapes that belong to my sister. For some reason, most of the tapes were out of the boxes and so I spent some time finding out which tape belonged in which box. I asked my sister if she wanted to keep them, but she told me those tapes belong with the rest of the stuff I was throwing out. I didn’t want to throw them away, so I decided that they belong on the shelf in the attic next to my old record albums.
Belong is an interesting word that can be followed by to, with, in, and on. The meaning depends on which preposition you use.
Belong to shows ownership:
- I found a box of cassette tapes that belong to my sister. My sister owns the tapes.
- That blue Jeep belongs to Jack. Jack owns the blue Jeep.
- Who does this iPhone belong to?
Belong with shows similarity; things should be grouped or connected together:
- This case belongs with that camera.
- She told me those tapes belong with the trash.
- That wine and this cheese belong with each other.
Belong in shows the place where something should exist or be:
- I spent some time finding out which tape belonged in which box.
- That knife belongs in the top drawer.
- Don’t leave the milk out on the counter. It belongs in the refrigerator.
Belong on also shows the place where something should exist or be:
- You are so funny. You belong on TV!
- Your jacket belongs on a hanger, not on the back of the chair.
- That vase belongs on the shelf in the dining room.
Of course, when you are describing location, you can also use belong with other prepositions of location such as belong near, belong behind, belong in front of, etc.
Thanks for studying today. You belong here at Happy English!