The Grammar Book - Third Edition - 7

Then, according to Todaka, at the level of discourse, what determines the choice of
prepositions, when it can't be explained by semantic features or collocations, is whether or
not the object's individual members are identifiable from the discourse context. When they
aren't, among is more likely to be used:
among all Western Hemisphere languages (the individual languages are not identifiable
from the context)

When the object's members are identifiable, between is used:
. . . And lastly, with hypnotherapist and client, there rarely is an affective bond
established, whereas in faith healing there almost always is a terrific bond that forms
immediately between people.

The object, people, is [−explicit]. However, between is used because it is clear from the
context that the people to whom the speaker is referring are the faith healer and the people
consulting the healer. As such, the individuals referred to in the object are identifiable,
while not necessarily explicit.

Conclusion
It may be more obvious now that you've read this chapter why prepositions cause such
difficulty for ESL/EFL students. Even relatively advanced-level students continue to omit
the preposition, as in
*I served the army until June 2004.
(in)

or use the wrong preposition, as in
*It is predicted that the degree to social adaptation will determine . . .
(of)

or use a superfluous preposition, as in
*I studied in biology for three years.
(Ø (or majored in?))

Nonetheless, as we have tried to show in this chapter, there is discernible systematicity
in how the core meaning of certain prepositions is extended beyond representing spatial
relationships. Calling attention to it where it exists will doubtless lighten the learning burden.
Perhaps learning the various meanings and meaning extensions of prepositions is the
greatest challenge. However, a pedagogical strategy that enables students to pay attention to
their co-occurrence, collocational, and discourse behavior will no doubt facilitate learners'
acquisition of these difficult lexicogrammatical forms.

Teaching Suggestions

Teaching Suggestions provide practical
ideas for teaching the form, meaning,
and use of the grammar constructions.

1. Form. Distinguishing between obligatory and optional deletion of prepositions can be a
challenge for beginning and intermediate level learners. To practice this skill, ask students
to determine which sentences are acceptable from a list such as this:
On Saturday we went shopping.
*On yesterday we went swimming.
tomorrow we will go hiking.
*On every day we have done something interesting.
432

The Grammar Book
7



The Grammar Book - Third Edition

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Grammar Book - Third Edition

Contents of The Grammar Book
The Grammar Book - Third Edition - Cover1
The Grammar Book - Third Edition - Cover2
The Grammar Book - Third Edition - 1
The Grammar Book - Third Edition - Contents of The Grammar Book
The Grammar Book - Third Edition - 3
The Grammar Book - Third Edition - 4
The Grammar Book - Third Edition - 5
The Grammar Book - Third Edition - 6
The Grammar Book - Third Edition - 7
The Grammar Book - Third Edition - 8
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The Grammar Book - Third Edition - Cover4
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