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Prepositions of place and movement

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Hi there!

During this lesson we're going to learn about prepositions of place.

Now let's take a look at how and when you can use them:

Here we have Jessica, and this is a standard tube.

Here we go! I'm now putting Jessica on to the tube, so now she's on the tube.

Well it makes a change from her being on the table, eh?!

Now I'm taking her off the tube;

And now, she's standing at the tube. Maybe she's waiting for a bus!

Now what's Jessica doing?
She's climbing up the tube, and now she's climbing down it.

Now she's leaning against the tube.

Now she's walking along the tube.

Now she's is underneath the tube. You can also say: under, but: underneath means that something or someone is exactly underneath another object or person.

Now she's going in to the tube;

And now she's coming out of the tube.

Now she's sliding through the tunnel because we're talking about an enclosed space; but if we're talking about an open space, then you need to say: she's going across the tube. You can also say: she's crossing over the tube, from one side to the other.

Now she's flying over the tube. Stricly speaking, you can only use the word: over when movement is involved, otherwise you have to use the word: above.

So now she's hovering above the tube which means that she's floating in the air, in a position which is directly above the tube, but without any physical contact.

Now she's hovering below the tube which means that she's lower than the level of the tube, which can mean anywhere in this area, but without any physical contact.

Now she's on top of the tube because she's up in a position which is higher than me in the moment in which I'm speaking.

Now she's at the bottom of the tube because she's at the lowest point of it.

Now where's Jessica?!
She's inside the tube. We say: inside as opposed to just: in to emphasize the fact that something or someone is inside a closed or semi-closed space, as opposed to being outside.

And now where's Jessica?!
That's right, she's outside the tube.

Now Jessica's standing in front of the tube.

And now she's hiding behind the tube.
Now she's opposite my finger. Opposite has a similar meaning to: in front of, but it normally means that two or more objects are divided by something like a road or a river.

Now she's between the tube and my hand;

And now she's among three or more tubes.

Now she's sitting beside, next to, or by the tube. All of these prepositions are almost identical in meaning.

Now she's near the tube. The word: near isn't as specific as the other prepositions as it can mean that an object or person is in the vicinity, but without specifying in what position.

Now Jessica's walking past the tube.

Now she's going to the toilet...psssss;

And now she's coming from the toilet....ahhhh, it looks like she really needed that!

Here, really she's standing on the left-hand side of the tube, and here she's standing on the right-hand side of it. That's your left and right, not mine!

We add the word hand when talking about objects or people which are in a stationary position, to avoid the risk of any confusion with the word: right which can also mean: correct.

When there's movement involved then we can say: turn left or: walk to your right and we don't need to add the word: hand, because actions can't really be confused with the word: right in the context in which it means: correct.

Here's another example of when and why we need to use: left-hand and: right-hand as opposed to just: left and: right.

So, here are 2 bins. The one on your left-hand side is for plastic, and the one on your right-hand side is for paper. Then, if I tell you to throw this plastic bottle into the right bin; what would you do?

Well whatever you do, you'd be right, because what I should have said was: throw the plastic bottle into the right bin which is the one on your left-hand side.
So, the right bin can either mean the correct bin or the bin on the right-hand side, so that's why we add the word: right, right?!

Then if I say: There's a bottle of beer left on the bar, it could mean two different things:

1. After all the beer that has been drunk until this point, one bottle of beer has remained; or

2. On the left-hand side of the bar, there's a bottle of beer.

So to avoid any confusion, that's why we say: on the left-hand side when describing the position of a person or an object.

Now, let's talk about: towards, forwards, backwards, upwards, and downwards.

All of these words can be used when talking about people or objects, whether movement is involved, or not.

For example, Jessica is facing towards me. This means that her face is looking towards the direction of my position.

Now she's walking towards me.

Now she's facing forwards, backwards, upwards, downwards, and sideways.

Now Jessica's about to jump over the tube here she goes! And now she's going to hop over the tube. Hopping is like jumping, but with just one leg.
Then she's going to step over the tube, even though her legs are a bit too short! Anyway, stepping is like walking over the tube without touching it with your feet.

Finally, Jessica's walking round or around the tube, because hershe's lost and he can't remember where she's going!

So now that you know about prepositions of place and direction, try finding some new friends on GoSpeakEnglish and ask them: Why is the book always on the table?!

And that's the end of this lesson!

Now you can see if you've understood the video, and do the test on GoSpeakEnglish. You can also watch many other English video lessons on GoSpeakEnglish.

Thanks, and I hope to see you again soon!

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