Prepositions may not get as much attention as verb tenses or modal verbs, but they sure raise a lot of questions. Every so often I think we can take some time and provide some answers.
My goal for this month is to continue building my video playlist on prepositions. As I continue to work my way through points of confusion, I recognize both the divisions and the overlap in usage. How challenging it is for a language learner! On the other hand, the overlap raises the odds that a guess will prove to be right.
Of course, those should be educated guesses, so as teachers we can serve our students by helping them understand the meanings of prepositions. For example, both during and throughout can refer to a period of time, but throughout really emphasizes the whole period, so it’s a good choice when you wish to emphasize that an action or condition is constant: My parents have supported me throughout my academic career. / There have been conflicts among humans throughout history.
If you’d like to test the accuracy of upper level students with prepositions of time, namely at, in, on, during, throughout, and over, then please consider my At Any Time_handout.