Prepositions in Different Languages

  • Notes for Japanese speaking learners of English and English speaking learners of Japanese



    1. 動詞+前置詞のセット

    Look at (見る)、Look after (世話をする)、Look for (さがす)、Look into (調べる)
    Deal in (商う)、Deal with (取り扱う)
    Hear from (~から便りがある)、Hear about (~について聞く)
    Wait on (給仕する)、Wait for (待つ)

    2. 形容詞+前置詞のセット

    Angry with (person) ([人]に腹を立てる)、Angry at (things) ([物]に腹を立てる)
    Different from (~と違う)
    Proud of (~を誇りに思う)
    Tired of (~にあきる)、Tired from (~で疲れる)


    Instead of (~の代わりに)、According to(~によれば)、Because of (~のために[理由])、Thanks to (~のおかげで)、For the sake of (~のために[目的])、In front of (~の前に)、By means of(~によって)、By way of (~として、を経由して)、As for (~に関して)、In spite of (~にもかかわらず)

    (Materials written by Kayoko Enomoto)

  • Notes for Portuguese speaking learners of English and English learners of Portuguese

    There are many things that could be said about prepositions in Portuguese. Many prepositions are not the same in English and Portuguese. Here are a few examples:

    about - around something or enclosing something.

      An essay about economics.
      Um ensaio sobre  economia.(=literally on)

    at - connected to a location

      At the end of the semester.
      Portuguese No fim do semestre. (em+o=no=literally in)

    for - with a purpose or giving a reason

      There is no justification for this.
      Não há justificação para isto.

    Willis (1971) says that por is used more to give the “source or means of an action” while para is used more for a purpose or destination. por and para cause many problems for English speakers and there are many websites that make helpful suggestions.

    from - the origin of something

      These figures represent a deviation from the norm.

      Estes algarismos representam uma deviação /um desvio da norma. (de+a=literally of the)

    of - belonging to something or someone; contained in something

      Milk is one source of calcium.

      O leite é uma fonte de cálcio.  (de+a=literally of the)

    in - completely or partly enclosed by something

      This problem occurs in many experiments.

      Este problema acontence em muitos experimentos.

    on - the basis for something

      I am writing an essay on statistics.

      Escrevo um ensaio sobre estatística.

    to - in a direction

      These books are supplementary to the course.

      Estes livros estão suplementários ao curso. (a+o=literally to the)

    with - connected to something and near something; using something

      The findings are consistent with previous research.

      Os achados são consistentes com as pesquisas cientificas anteriores.


    This information was compiled by Julia Miller but is closely based on Willis, R.C. (1971). An essential course in modern Portuguese. Nelson: Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, UK.