At y to, las preposiciones en inglés, parte 1
At and to, part 1
Too often I hear errors with at and to when talking with Bogotanos. We’re going to try to help fix these errors with this first post on prepositions at and to. We’ll break it down from the easy to the hard.
The preposition at is used to show a specific position or direction. To is used to show movement.
- I met her at the transmillenium station. (Position, a specific place)
- She was at her parents’ house. (Position, a specific place)
- We are going to the transmillenium station. (Movement in the direction of the tranmuylleno station)
- I am going to Medellín to see him. (Movement in the direction of Medellín)
Sometimes I like to fly to Cartagena. Then go to Tayrona.
At can be used with some common verbs related to our hands and eyes. Examples are: look, smile, wink, stare, wave, frown, point etc. We use at because the the perception is directed at a position.
- The girl smiled at me. (She directs her smile at me)
- Why are you looking at her like that? (You direct your look at her)
- She waved at me. (She directed her wave at me)
At is also used after action verbs like shoot, laugh, throw, arrive, excel, succeed, and shout to indicate the direction of the action.
- The girl laughed at the clown. (The girl directs her laugh at the clown.)
- Don’t throw stones at the cat. (Do not direct your throw at the cat)
- Why are you shouting at me? (Why are you shouting toward me?)
The cat looked at the empty food bowl.
The shopkeeper stared at the blond foreigner.
The boy winked at the girl.
We arrived at the conversation club and smiled at all the people.
Where are you at with your English? Want to get to a new level? Think about personalized classes with Bogota Business English.