Sunday, January 23, 2011

day 22: homework help--why learn prepositions?

For the last week of January—the “word” month at LL 365—we will have our “homework help” week focused on prepositions.

The simplistic description of preposition, the one we use with our youngest language arts students, is that “prepositions show position.” That is, they are words that show position of one thing to something else.

Of course, prepositions show time, space, and direction (among other things) of one thing to another thing.

The first thing we need to know here about prepositions, as parents, older students, or adults, is the role that prepositions play in writing. So, today we will examine the role of prepositions—and the rest of the week we will give tips, hints, and lists for learning these vital words.

Our “grammar theory” here at Training for Triumph is that we learn grammar to write or speak. I am a big “purpose for learning” type of teacher. If we know why we need to learn something, we will be more apt to want to learn it (or at least to see the value in learning it). Thus, phonics is for reading and spelling. (No reason to learn phonics without also reading from a reader at the same time to apply the phonics skills.) And grammar is for writing and speaking.

So it is with preposition learning. Here is the sequence of “reasoning” for learning prepositions:

  1. Prepositions are words that are found at the beginning of prepositional phrases.
  2. The prepositional phrase
    1. A phrase—a group of words that does not contain a subject and a verb
    2. Prepositional phrase--a phrase (group of words) that begins with a word known as a preposition

  1. The subject of a sentence is seldom found within a prepositional phrase.
  2. Subjects in a sentence (anywhere in a sentence) must match their verbs in tense, number, etc.
  3. Since the subject of a sentence is not found in a prepositional phrase, if you learn to recognize prepositional phrases easily, you can eliminate them (mentally) and easily find your sentence’s subject(s) and verb(s) to be sure they match.

We will pick this discussion up tomorrow. Thanks for joining us at Language Lady 365!

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