Entries Tagged as 'Prepositions'

Prepositions in the Christmas Tradition

Prepositions and phrases to use this season:


  • What are you doing during the holidays?
  • You can shop during our holiday store hours.
  • I’m looking forward to seeing everyone during our visit.
  • Don’t talk on your cell phone during Christmas dinner.


  • on Christmas Eve
  • on Christmas day
  • on New Year’s Eve
  • on New Year’s day
  • The name on this box is yours.


  • I’ll be at home on Christmas Eve.
  • You can reach me at my parents’ house.
  • The stores are more crowded at Christmas time


  • What are you giving your sister for Christmas.
  • I’m baking these cookies for Christmas.
  • What are you doing for the holidays?


  • You should wait until Christmas morning to open your presents.
  • I can’t wait until our guests arrive.


  • You will find presents under the tree.
  • If you stand under the mistletoe, someone might kiss you.

Child’s Play and Spatial Vocabulary Development

This Science Daily article refers to research about how playing with blocks increases spatial development.  Interaction during this play time also increases spatial vocabulary.

The researchers found that when playing with blocks under interactive conditions, children hear the kind of language that helps them think about space, such as “over,” “around” and “through.”

So, is there an age limit to playing with children’s toys in the classroom to learn these prepositions?  Some classes are academic leaning and don’t allow for much play.  However, other groups might be willing to play around, especially if it helps them master prepositions reflecting spatial concepts that are often difficult to explain with words and pictures only.

Through or Into?

If you use the preposition through, you are indicating a temporary passage.  If you’re going through something, you usually won’t stay there.  If you use the preposition into, you’re indicating entry to something.  If you are going into something, your intention is to stay for a while.

These prepositions imply movement from one place to another.  So, when a ball flies through a window into someone’s room, it flies through the window briefly, and stays in the room until someone finds it.

Examples with through:

  • He’s going through a phase.
  • We’re driving through a tunnel.

Examples with into:

  • He walked into the room quickly.
  • Put the toys into that box.

Have Yourself Ameri-Christmas

Get it? A Merry Christmas?

No matter what your religion or nation of origin is, if you are in the United States from the end of November through New Years, you can’t avoid seeing some evidence of Christmas. For those of you who are interested in some useful vocabulary this season, keep reading…

First on the list is a link to an article that talks about how Christmas is celebrated in The White House with photos of the trees the first couples have displayed over the years.

Other vocabulary of interest follows:

What you’ll hear:

Sleighbells, jingle bells, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and these songs (click to listen and sing along)…

Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Jingle Bell Rock, The Christmas Song, Silent Night

Where to go:

  • to a New Year’s party
  • to a family gathering
  • Christmas dinner
  • to the movies

What to say to people:

  • Merry Christmas!
  • Happy Holidays!
  • Happy New Year!

What to call the days:

  • Christmas Eve (Dec. 24)
  • Christmas Day (Dec. 25)
  • New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31)
  • New Year’s Day (Jan. 1)

Prepositions to use:

  • during the holidays
  • on Christmas day
  • at Christmas time (the end of November through New Years)
  • on New Year’s (day)
  • for Christmas (These cookies are for Christmas)
  • until Christmas (You can’t open the present until Christmas)
  • presents under the tree

What you’ll see:

If you’re lucky, you’ll see Santa in a sleigh being pulled by his reindeer: Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen.  Other items include: a Christmas tree, presents, gifts, wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, ornaments, lights, tacky lights (especially in Richmond, VA), fruitcake, peppermint sweets, candy canes, a miniature train, Frosty the Snowman, the abominable snowman, Christmas cards, and eggnog.

Of course, it’s difficult to summarize a “typical” American Christmas because there are so many people with a variety of traditions, so if I’ve forgotten something, feel free to comment.

Merry Christmas!