I am a firm believer in utilizing a formal, rigorous course of study for grammar when your children have entered the analysis level of learning (see post on 02/27/2013). One of the greatest rewards of studying grammar is the opportunity it provides the student to present themselves well as they head out into adulthood, and one of the most helpful things to remember from grammar study is a basic list of common prepositions. Why? Those who take the time to re-arrange both their spoken and written word to ensure no sentences end in a preposition have generally learned how to create a well-worded sentence. It can take some practice but it is well-worth the time!
Here is a list of the most common English prepositions:
To simplify the memorization process Yep, we memorized them!), I divided the list into sets of 5-10 (depending on the child) and we worked on one set a week until the complete list was memorized. After they were comfortable with the list, we would get into the newspaper or other media and look for sentences which needed to be re-written. Often advertizements and signage are written as incomplete sentences. That fact can initiate a fun conversation! You will also find prepositions ending sentences in the scriptures. That is due to a difference in syntax when translating. Another fun conversation! Often, the current vernacular and regional idioms end in prepositions. (Where is the store at? What are you looking for? etc.) As your teens grow older, encourage them in developing a speech pattern which recognizes and correctly places prepositions. It can be a great mental exercise for the entire family including the parents!
Having the ability to present themselves well on paper or in person gives your children a boost when they leave home. It is a good habit to develop and is becoming a bit of a lost art. Let’s revive it!