Tuesday, March 1, 2016


A preposition is a short word describing the physical or lexical relation between words, such as in, on, or about, to name a few.  Every language has them, but the actual use may vary, especially in sentence with compound objects (of the preposition, not things).
For example, French insists on placement of the preposition before each noun to ensure clarity: Il a parlé de l’indépendence, de la dignité and de la gloire de la France.  In Hebrew, a speaker can insert all of them or omit the last ones:   הוא דבר על העצמאות, על הכבוד ועל התהילה של ישראל   or, without additional prepositions, הוא דבר על העצמאות ,הכבוד והתחילה של ישראל .  The prepositions are underlined in all of the sentences, with the translation being He spoke of the independence, dignity, and glory of France and Israel, respectively. English has a clear preference to drop unnecessary prepositions, as demonstrated in the previous sentence. 
The most curious case is Russian, which often omits all of its prepositions entirely due to its grammatical structure that has built-in prepositions.  Some examples include он мне дает деньги and она работает дураками [On mne daet dengue] (He gives money to me) and [ana rabotaet durakami] (She works with fools, respectively).  In these cases, it is not necessary to add to or with because the ending on the noun expresses the relation without additional words.  Of course, in many cases, Russian does use prepositions, but, like English, tends not to repeat them.
To conclude, I would like to cite Abraham Lincoln’s beautiful use of prepositions in the Gettysburg’s Address:
“…to ensure that the government of the people, by the people, and for the people can long endure.”

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