Propose the proper preposition | Bangkok Post: learning

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Propose the proper preposition

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Simply speaking, prepositions are words that specify place, direction, and time. For example: 

They walked along the Chao Phraya River.

My house is near Lumpini Park.

He likes to read in the evening.

Place and direction prepositions show the relationship between a noun and other words in a sentence. Think of these prepositions as the words that describe anywhere a cat can go: under a chair, behind the curtains, on the counter, away from the dog, beneath the bed, and so on.

Try this: Get a tourist map of Bangkok. Choose an identifiable place from the map, but don't tell your friends/students the name of the chosen place.

Use a hint that contains two prepositions or prepositional phrases that describe where the place is on the map.

Once colleagues or students have learned what the prepositions mean, they should have no trouble locating the mystery place on the map and providing its name.

A typical hint might be: "It is beside/alongside of the Surasak BTS station and next to St Louis Hospital." Answer: The Blue Elephant Cooking School and Restaurant.

Reverse roles and have your colleagues select a mystery place from the map and propose to you hints that contain prepositions.

Prepositions of time: 'at', 'in', 'on'

Time prepositions are used to clarify what time an event happened or will happen.

We use at for a precise time, in for parts of the day, months, years, and other long periods, and on for specific days and dates. Try the sentences below.

1. I have a meeting in/at/on 9am.

2. Nik's birthday is in/at/on April 15.

3. My flight leaves in/at/on noon.

4. I will see you in/at/on Monday.

5. The hottest days are in/at/on April.


3. at; 4. on; 1. at; 5. in; 2. on

Heather Vlach is an English-language specialist and Intensive Studies educator at International School Bangkok in Nonthaburi. Contact her at

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