It never fails. Every time I start a new grammar topic on YouTube, I am surprised by how much I don’t know. I think it’s the idea of committing to an explanation and sending it out to thousands of learners that makes me dig and dig until I arrive at a feeling of certainty. I also start asking my own questions and consider the possible answers. I almost never give brief explanations. They tend to be very thorough. I know there will be learners with just as many questions, and I try to anticipate them. For example, it’s simply not enough to teach that prepositions come before nouns or pronouns. Since my introduction is intended for upper level students, I found myself explaining that objects can be nouns, noun phrases, noun clauses, gerunds, gerund phrases, and a few different kinds of pronouns.
I also began to discuss the various positions prepositional phrases can appear in and the other parts of speech these phrases can modify. I’ll need to address this more in subsequent lessons, but I see it as a work in progress. Slowly I hope to build a more solid understanding of how and why we use prepositions. With this end in mind, I created a reading-based activity to increase students’ awareness of what prepositional phrases look like, where we can find them in a sentence, and what kind of questions they can answer. Please see my About Prepositions_handout.