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Prepositions - To, From

Prepositions - To, From

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Prepositions – To, From


Hello! In this lesson we will learn the prepositions "to" and "from". In previous lessons, we have learned other valuable prepositions – "in, on, over, under," and "beside", which helped us discuss locations of things and people in relation to other things and people.  

The valuable preposition "to" will help us discuss destinations. In addition, sometimes the preposition "to" is used with some verbs to make the meaning of the verbs more specific and directed.The preposition "from" helps us discuss places of origin.

Some examples of the use of the preposition "to" to designate a destination might be: "David will drive to the airport tomorrow.", "We will go to the museum.", and "David will run to work.".

An example of the use of "to" with a verb to add directionality might be "David talks to Jennifer.", and "She talks to him.".  
Some examples of the use of the preposition "from" might be "We will go from home to the museum." or "I will drive home from work." or "I will drive to work from home."

Listen to the following dialog. Pay attention to the usage of the prepositions "to" and "from". You will also notice a place where we do not use the preposition "to", when logically we might expect to use it. But language is not always logical, and we have to learn the exceptions as we learn the rules.

Jennifer:  How did you get to work yesterday?

David:  Yesterday I walked to work.             

Jennifer: Will you walk to work tomorrow?

David: No, tomorrow I will drive to my office building.

Jennifer: You will drive to the office.  You will not walk home from work tomorrow.

David:  No, I will drive home from work tomorrow.

Now that you understand the use of the preposition "to", let look carefully at the sentences of the dialog.

At first, Jennifer asks, "How did you get to work?".In the next two sentences, we see the prepositional phrase "to work" two more times. This is a very commonly-used phrase, but it does not follow the usual  pattern.

David next says "No, tomorrow I will drive to my office building.". This prepositional phrase follows the usual pattern. Notice that in this sentence, the possessive pronoun "my" follows to the preposition "to" to create the prepositional phrase "to my office building." This contrasts with the previous usage of "to work.". The prepositional phrase is a common idiomatic phrase, one which most of us will probably use very often.

The prepositional phrase "to my office building" might be replaced by "to the office building". The phrases "to the airport", "to the museum", "to the library", and "to the post office" all follow the normal pattern.

The phrases "to my office", "to that skyscraper", "to this police station" also all follow the normal pattern.  We might say "We will go to the subway station." "I will walk to that large museum.", "We will go to a good restaurant.", and "Will we drive to the tall skyscraper?"

Now let us look at an additional exception to the normal pattern. Jennifer says "You will not walk home from work tomorrow." David answers "No, I will drive home from work tomorrow."

Although we might expect to see the preposition "to" in this phrase, it does not occur. Instead, we use the expressions "go home," "walk home", "drive home", and several other expressions which mean to arrive home, without the preposition "to." We might say "We walk home.", "My sister will run home.", "Our dad will drive home.", or "That man will get home by train."  Similarly, the expression "from work" does not contain the word "the".  

Note that David will drive home"from work". The phrase "from work" denotes David's origin or starting place. So the sentence "No, I will drive home from work tomorrow." means that David will drive from work to his home.

You have learned two common exceptions to the usual pattern using "to", and you have learned the usual pattern for the use of the prepositions "to" and from.  Listen to the dialog again, paying special attention to the use of the prepositions "to" and "from"..

Jennifer:  How did you get to work yesterday?

David:  Yesterday I walked to work.             

Jennifer: Will you walk to work tomorrow?

David: No, tomorrow I will drive to my office building.

Jennifer: You will drive to the office.  You will not walk home fromwork tomorrow.

David:  No, I will drive home from work tomorrow.

In future lessons, we will learn even more uses of the prepositions "to" and from". You have done outstanding work today. You have learned the common usage of the preposition "to" and two commonly-used exceptions. You have learned to use the common preposition "from" to denote a point of origin. So begin using the preposition "to" immediately to talk about your destinations and the destinations of others. Use the preposition "from" to discuss origins of yourself and others. Enjoy your interesting conversations in English!