Actually, there is no such term in English grammar! Break these two words down and now there is something very important to learn before studying prepositions! The simple way to define the word “Arbitrary” is “Choice”. Choices regarding how we speak, write, listen and more! What is a collocation? What is colloquial speech? Colloquial speech is when we use words in a certain way and often have no reason why! Some students want to study and learn every grammar rule by heart. This is a great plan for many parts of English study. Unfortunately, it is not the best when learning prepositions. Study and learn basic word combinations and you will be well on your way to speaking English fluently.
The top ten prepositions are:
For, from, by, into, in, at, on, off, to, with. To fully understand these prepositions and their usage, there are over seventy rules to learn. Given that there are hundreds of prepositions, now you can see why it’s important to study some of the basic preposition rules and not every single one!
Three of my favorite prepositions are “At, On, In”. Start with the “physical” attributes of these prepositions. Here are a few simple rules to remember!
“At” is commonly used with specific places! At the park, at the bank, at my friends house. Sometimes we use “At” for exact locations within another place. Sit at the table.Why are you standing at the end of the desk?
“On” is commonly used when two things touch! On the table, on the wall, on the ceiling, on my shoulder, on the shelf. Again, these are physical examples to study and learn first.
“In” is commonly used with limits! In the room, In the cup, In the city, in the country. These are examples using “In” with limits of some sort. Have fun with this preposition and think of other ways to use “In”!