Is WHEN a preposition?
The word “when” is often used to refer to a specific time or moment in the past, present, or future. However, it is not considered a preposition. Instead, “when” is classified as an adverb or a conjunction, depending on how it is used in a sentence. As an adverb, “when” modifies a verb or an entire clause, indicating the time or duration of an action. On the other hand, as a conjunction, “when” connects 2 clauses or sentences, expressing a cause-and-effect relationship or a temporal sequence. Despite not being a preposition, “when” is a crucial word in the English language, enabling us to convey precise meanings and convey complex ideas.
“When” in Cambridge grammar
The word “when” can serve different functions in English grammar, depending on its usage in a sentence. In traditional grammar, “when” is considered a subordinating conjunction, meaning that it introduces a dependent clause that provides information about time or condition. For example, “When I finish my work, I will go to the gym.” In Cambridge grammar, “when” can also function as a preposition indicating a point in time. For example, “I was born in 1990, when the Berlin Wall came down.”
To help students remember common prepositions, a popular method is to use a preposition song that lists them in a catchy tune. Prepositions typically follow spatial relationships and can indicate location, direction, or time. For example, “in,” “on,” and “at” are commonly used to indicate location.
For those pursuing a master’s degree in English or teaching English as a second language, understanding the nuances of prepositions and their usage is essential. Prepositions can also be used to modify two nouns in a sentence, as in “The book on the table.”
It is important to note that prepositions can have different meanings depending on the context of the sentence. For example, “underneath” can indicate spatial relationships or a hidden or underlying meaning, unlike the more straightforward “under.”
Examples of prepositions
Prepositions are a class of words that show the relationship between a noun or pronoun and other elements in a sentence. Some common prepositions include “in,” “on,” “at,” “to,” “from,” “with,” “by,” and “about”. For instance, “in” can indicate location, such as “the book is in the library,” or time, as in “I’ll see you in an hour”. “On” can express position, like “the cat is on the roof,” or days, like “we will have a meeting on Monday”. “At” can indicate place, such as “I’ll meet you at the station,” or time, like “she arrived at midnight.” Prepositions are essential in conveying meaning and providing clarity in language, and using them correctly can improve the quality of our communication.
Preposition or phrasal verb?
One common area of confusion in English grammar is distinguishing between prepositions and phrasal verbs. Prepositions are single words that show the relationship between a noun or pronoun and other elements in a sentence. Phrasal verbs, on the other hand, consist of a verb and one or more particles (usually prepositions) that function as a single unit with a different meaning than the original verb alone. For example, “look up” is a phrasal verb that means “to search for information,” while “look” alone means “to direct your gaze”. Similarly, “take off” means “to remove” or “to depart quickly”, while “take” alone means “to hold or carry”. To determine whether a word is a preposition or a phrasal verb, you need to consider the context and the meaning of the entire sentence. Prepositions usually come before a noun or pronoun and have a clear relationship with it, while verbs (phrasal) can have a range of meanings that may not be immediately obvious.
Examples of how to use “When” as a conjunction
The word “when” can function as a conjunction, connecting 2 clauses or sentences to show a cause-and-effect relationship or a temporal sequence. Here are some examples of how to use “when” as a conjunction:
- Cause and effect: “When I eat too much, I feel sick”. In this sentence, the first clause (“when I eat too much”) is the cause, and the second clause (“I feel sick”) is the effect.
- Temporal sequence: “I’ll call you when I get home”. Here, the first clause (“I’ll call you”) will happen in the future, and the second clause (“when I get home”) indicates the specific time or event that triggers it.
- Simultaneous events: “We’ll start the meeting when everyone arrives”. In this sentence, both clauses refer to events that will happen at the same time – the start of the meeting and the arrival of everyone.
- Contrast: “I like tea when it’s hot, but I prefer coffee when it’s cold”. The conjunction “when” is used to contrast the preferences for different beverages based on their temperature.
Using “when” as a conjunction is a versatile and effective way to connect ideas and express relationships between events or actions.
Is “When” a conjunction?
Yes, “when” is a conjunction that connects 2 clauses or sentences to show a temporal or cause-and-effect relationship. As a conjunction, “when” indicates a specific time or event that triggers the action in the second clause, such as “I’ll leave when the movie ends” or “She started to cry when she heard the news”. Additionally, “when” can also be used to introduce an adverbial clause that modifies the verb in the main clause, as in “I feel happy when I’m with you”. While “when” is often used as an adverb or a noun, its function as a conjunction is a crucial aspect of its versatility and usefulness in conveying meaning in English.
Examples of how to use “When” as an adverb
As an adverb, “when” modifies a verb or an entire clause to indicate the time or duration of an action. Here are some examples of how to use “when” as an adverb:
- Indicating a point in time: “I’ll see you when I finish work”. In this sentence, “when” specifies the point in time when the speaker will see the other person.
- Indicating a duration: “I always feel tired when I don’t get enough sleep”. Here, “when” modifies the entire clause “I don’t get enough sleep” to indicate the duration during which the speaker feels tired.
- Introducing a conditional clause: “When you finish your homework, you can play video games”. In this sentence, “when” introduces a conditional clause that indicates the condition that must be met before the action in the main clause can take place.
- Referring to a specific event: “I remember when we first met”. The adverb “when” in this sentence refers to the specific event of the speakers’ first meeting.
Using “when” as an adverb is a common way to provide information about the timing or duration of an action and can help make a sentence more precise and clear.
List of common prepositions in english
Prepositions are an essential part of English grammar that shows the relationship between a noun or pronoun and other elements in a sentence. Here is a list of some of the most common prepositions in English:
Learning and using these common prepositions in English will help improve your writing and speaking skills, and allow you to express yourself more clearly and effectively.
Other words that are both a preposition and a conjunction
There are several words in the English language that can function as both a preposition and a conjunction, depending on how they are used in a sentence. One such word is “until,” which can be used as a preposition to indicate the time or event that marks the end of a period, as in “I will wait until you arrive”. It can also be used as a conjunction to show the relationship between two clauses, indicating that the action in the second clause will not happen until the event or time specified in the first clause, as in “I won’t leave until you come back”. Another example is “since,” which can be used as a preposition to indicate the starting point of a period, as in “I have been working here since 2010”. It can also be used as a conjunction to show the cause-and-effect relationship between 2 clauses, indicating that the second clause is a result of the situation described in the first clause, as in “Since it’s raining, we’ll stay inside”. Understanding these dual-function words is important for effective communication in both written and spoken English.
What kind of word is “when”?
The word “when” is a versatile word in the English language that can function as different parts of speech depending on its context. “When” can function as a conjunction, introducing a clause that shows a temporal or cause-and-effect relationship between two events or actions. As an adverb, “when” modifies a verb or an entire clause to indicate the time or duration of an action. In addition, “when” can also function as a noun, referring to a specific point in time or a moment in the past. The function of “when” in a sentence depends on its role in the sentence structure and the context in which it is used. Understanding the different functions of “when” can help you use it correctly and effectively in your writing and speaking.
A prepositional phrase is a group of words that begins with a preposition and ends with a noun or pronoun, which is known as the object of the preposition. The purpose of a prepositional phrase is to provide additional information about the relationship between the object of the preposition and other elements in a sentence. For example, in the sentence “The book is on the table”, the prepositional phrase is “on the table”, where “on” is the preposition, and “the table” is the object of the preposition. Prepositional phrases can be used to describe time, location, direction, manner, and many other aspects of a sentence. Understanding prepositional phrases and how they function in a sentence is an important part of mastering English grammar and improving one’s writing and speaking skills.
More about prepositional phrases
A prepositional phrase is a group of words that includes a preposition and a noun or pronoun, which is called the object of the preposition. The preposition indicates the relationship between the element and other elements in the sentence. For examp., in the sentence “I went to the store,” the prepositional phrase is “to the store,” where “to” is the preposition, and “the store” is the object of the preposition. Prepositional phrases can be used to provide information about time, location, direction, manner, and other aspects of a sentence. They can be used to modify verbs, adjectives, or other nouns in a sentence. Understanding prepositional phrases is important in mastering English grammar and improving one’s writing and speaking skills. Using prepositional phrases correctly can make sentences clearer and more concise, and help convey information more effectively.
An adverbial clause is a dependent clause that functions as an adverb in a sentence, modifying the verb, adjective, or adverb in the main clause. Adverbial clauses can indicate a wide range of relationships, such as time, cause and effect, condition, and manner. For example, in the information “When I finish my work, I will go to the gym”, the adverbial clause “when I finish my work” modifies the main clause by indicating when the action will happen. Other examples of adverbial clauses include “if you study hard”, “since I was a child”, “as though he were innocent”, and “in order that we might succeed”. Adverbial clauses can be introduced by subordinating conjunctions, such as “when”, “if”, “since”, “as though”, and “in order that”. Understanding how to use and recognize adverbial clauses is important for constructing complex sentences and conveying information effectively in both written and spoken English.
Phrasal v. are a type of multi-word verb that consists of a base verb followed by one or more particles. The meaning of the phrasal verb often differs from the meaning of the base verb alone. For examp., “to give up” means to stop doing something or to surrender, while “to give” alone means to transfer something to someone else. Verbs (phrasal) can be separable or inseparable, meaning that the particle can either be separated from the base verb or not. For exam., “to look up” can be separated (“I will look the word up in the dictionary”) or inseparable (“I look up to my parents for guidance”). Phrasal v. are commonly used in everyday English, and it is important to understand their meanings and usage to communicate effectively. Learning and practicing verbs (phrasal) can help improve one’s understanding and use of English, and can make one’s speaking and writing more natural and fluent.
Overall, mastering the use of prepositions and other grammatical concepts can help individuals communicate more effectively and clearly in written and spoken English.