S1E3: Emailing Functions and Phrases: Prepositions Transcript

S1E3: Emailing Functions and Phrases: Prepositions Transcript

Welcome to episode 3 where we will discuss particular forms and functions of language that will help you develop phrases to use in your emails.

But first, the vocabulary…

  • Amateur (noun) a person who is incompetent or inept at a particular activity.
  • Sparingly (adverb) in a restricted or infrequent manner.
  • Indicate (verb) point out, show.

Let’s talk about prepositions. A preposition is a word that comes before a noun or pronoun to show the word’s relationship to another word nearby.

Here’s an example:

She’s in the middle of a conference call.

pronoun + preposition + (in the middle of a) + noun

And here’s another example:

I look forward to hearing from you.

Pronoun + (look forward) + preposition + verb + (ing) + (from you)

There are four different types of prepositions. The first indicates direction (such as up, down, over, under, round or through).

For example: ‘You’ll find the files under the ‘assessment’ heading.’

In this sentence somebody is explaining to someone else where to find some files. The direction is expressed with the use of the preposition ‘under’.

The second preposition indicates time (at, in or on).

For example: ‘I’ll see you on Wednesday.’

A preposition of time can mean a day, date or literal time. In this sentence it is a day ‘Wednesday’ and the preposition is used to express that you will someone ‘on’ that day.

The third preposition indicates location (at, in or on).

For example: ‘You’ll find her on the fourth floor.’

The location here is ‘fourth floor’ and the preposition ‘on’ is used to indicate that’s where you will find ‘her’. This would be a rather informal way of giving a direction through e-mail however if you wanted to still use the preposition of time and make it formal then you could say: ‘You will find (insert name – Ms. Givings) on the fourth floor.’

And the final type of preposition indicates relationships (among, around, for, with or from).   

For example: We’re still waiting for our client to show up.

The preposition used in this sentence is ‘for’. It shows the relationship between the verb (waiting) and the noun (client).

As you now know, prepositions are hugely important when using the English language and therefore imperative for your emails. As I’ve said before, you want your emails to be clear and prepositions are the way to do that. We have much more to discuss and in episode 4 I’ll talk about linking words.