Learn English with Prepositions


Greetings my earthlings! I’ve decided to teach you something fun today…prepositions!! Yeey. Today we learn about Towards, At, By, Through… Enjoy :)


Hey guys, you are listening to the English Made Simple show, this is episode #90, numero noventa.

Hello mi nombre es Milena, my name is Milena from www.englishmadesimple.net.
And greetings to you my earthlings.
Oh that’s interesting: What do you mean earthlings Milena? Earthlings is the sci-fi name describing inhabitants of Planet Earth. We are earthlings.. We are all earthlings. haha

Great, I’ve decided to use that greeting because it just sounds cool.

Welcome amigos, welcome to my regular listeners, welcome for the ninetieth time and welcome to my new listeners. Where have you been all this time?

Let’s start off today’s episode with the oldest joke in the English language. It goes something like this…
Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get to the other side.

It’s a joke that makes children smile, it’s not really a ha-ha type of joke, and it’s just a silly joke.
The first time I heard it was in High-school, back in NZ, when I lived in New Zealand. Yeah I was 35 years old.

However, over time people have attempted to make different variations to this joke, but it just didn’t work! They are still not funny.

It’s a joke for kids, but I do hope that at least, put a smile on your faces too. I am a kid at heart myself what can I say. I am a 35 year old kid.Really!


All these talking about giving and asking directions over the past few weeks, made me think about prepositions.
I wanted to share some prepositions with you today because they are actually used very often, however, they are not mentioned that often in English textbooks.

You will often hear native speakers use these prepositions a lot, they use them frequently.

So, you know, I suggest we begin today’s episode because I am all out of bad jokes to share with you amigos. That was my last bad joke for today.

So here we go.

Preposition number 1.

Towards or toward.

I prefer “towards” – in Spanish this is hacia

A simple example would be: Let’s imagine, my friend Carlos, needs to pick me up from the supermarket. Hey Carlos just drive towards the supermarket you will see me standing there at the entrance.

Second example would be: My friend is walking towards me. She is walking towards me.

Simple and used quite frequently in this type of context when giving direction.

Now let’s complicate it a bit.

Towards could also be used when you are getting close to achieving a goal – in Spanish it is: con el fine de lograr algo

Example: I am saving towards a house.
Second example would be: Maria’s Mum contributed towards her wedding.

Towards can also mean in relation to or regarding to… in Spanish en relación a o con relacíon a.

Example: What are your feelings towards Maria? Tell me…
Now tell me this, What’s your attitude towards politicians? I know, I know this one!

Towards can also mean close or closer to a particular time.
Example: When will you be travelling to Vanuatu island for your honeymoon? Hmmm towards the end of the year. Not soon enough!

Oh wow, I think that’s enough about this preposition Towards, so many different ways of using this preposition… can you think of some examples yourselves? Give it a go! Try it by yourselves.

The next preposition I would like to highlight is the one we hear a great deal, be it in the movies, on TV or among friends.

It’s the one and only: Preposition AT.

We most commonly use AT when we talk about TIME. We use AT when we talk about a meeting point as well.

For example: Tell Maria we are meeting her at the Cinema. Tell Maria to meet us at the cinema at 5 o’clock.

Excuse me sir, can you please tell me at what time is the train arriving to Carlton station? It will arrive at 4.15pm.

Cool, easy peasy lemon squeezy!

There is a phrasal verb that is commonly used with the verb LOOK and preposition AT. Can you remember this one? I think we mentioned it in episode #19 – diez y nueve. Go back and check it out!
There are more phrasal verbs with the verb LOOK, so I suggest you go back and check it out. Go back to episode number 19.

To look at..is the phrasal verb I was thinking of!

To look at – means to turn your eyes towards something.

I am looking at my monitor right now. Hey Carlos, look at my new phone, it’s awesome. If you want to use the verb LOOK together with an object, always use Look At (together) not just look.

Look my phone – no no no. Look at my phone! ok?

Look at this drunk and crazy person on the street.
I do that all the time…no, I mean, I look at that drunk and crazy person on the street. I am not the drunk and crazy person myself!

Guess what, we can also use Look At when we want to say we want to consider something, to take something into consideration.

For example, let’s look at the business plan. Let’s look at some points covered in this business plan.

And now, let’s not look at this phrasal verb any more.

Let’s continue with prepositions. How about that?

When do we use preposition BY? B. Y.

By – has many usages, it’s mostly used to indicate how you arrived at a certain place.

You can arrive to the museum, by car, or by train or by bus.
I can’t remember if I mentioned this one in one of the earliest episodes. I probably did.

By is normally translated to Spanish as POR. But it has many different usages.

For example: The Game of Thrones book was written by George Martin.

It has another meaning, a-ha it sure does! As I said before it has many meanings. And I will only share the most common ones with you today.

BY is used to indicate a deadline – what’s a deadline? In Spanish this is plazo de entrega. Deadline means the end of a particular time period.

It is mainly used in business environment, with projects or teams for example: When do we have to deliver this report by? The report is due by Friday.
It has to be done by Friday.

What this means is… don’t deliver the report later than Friday, you can deliver it any day before Friday, any day before Friday is fine. If you deliver the report after Friday, then you didn’t meet the deadline. We then say: You missed the deadline.

Cool bananas? Awesome. Hope that makes sense!

You know amigos, my fellow Spanish speakers – this preposition in Spanish POR – could be translated in many different ways, it can mean FOR, it can mean BY, it can mean PER and THROUGH.

When I was in Chile, and I had to ask for directions in English – because my Spanish was almost non-existent back then, every time I asked for directions, about which street to take to get to the supermarket or similar – for example – the person would reply – Go for this street, go for Holanda street, go for here, for there.
Hmmm, no no no.

Por aquí doesn’t mean FOR here – it means through here or it’s over here.
Por allí doesn’t mean FOR there – it means through there or it’s over there.
Por esta calle doesn’t mean FOR this street – it means through this street.

Right? Awesome!

So here we are muchachos, we have reached the end of the show.

Prepositions. Whatta a fun topic! Not, of course I am being sarcastic. However, it may be a boring topic but it is an important one.

Today we learnt about prepositions Towards, At, By and Through. And most importantly we learnt the oldest joke in the English language. And Let’s not repeat that joke again. And remember guys, when we want to show someone something, we say LOOK AT. Not just Look. Look at my phone. And if you catch your boyfriend looking at a girl tell him: Don’t look at that girl, why are you looking at that girl? You know, what? You are sleeping on the couch tonight!

You’ve been jamming with Milena, it’s been a pleasure my minions, catch ya next time. Until then, hasta la proxima!

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