Tips for Sounding more Fluent: Using Prepositions and Adverbs

If you haven’t already noticed, the English language is filled with so many prepositions and adverbs. If you are like most learners you have probably had problems understanding and using them all correctly.

In this video lesson you are going to learn why prepositions are so common in English and how they can really help you articulate yourself much better if you know how to use them correctly.

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What’s up, what’s up, RealLife English?

This is Chad and in this episode of RealLife TV I’m going to teach you guys the importance of opposite prepositions and how to use them with literal phrasal verbs. Aww yeah!

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Understanding Opposite Prepositions

All right, guys, as you have probably noticed, English language is filled with prepositions, and we use this all the time. So, just to familiarize yourself with the prepositions first, let’s have a look at  some of the opposite prepositions.

For example, in, out. On, off. You know, even up, down. Away, towards. Obviously, we can use some prepositions, we’re also using adverbs as well, so, why is this so important in English?

Example with On and Off

Well, I guess, especially for a Brazilian, you know the famous phrase “the book is on the table.” But what happens when the book falls? You say the book fell down? No. This is when we start to implement opposite prepositions. So, now, I’m going to use the literal phrasal verb – “the book fell off the table.” Why off? Because the book was on the table.

Example with In and Out

Ok, let’s have a look at another preposition, the preposition in. What is the opposite of in? If you said out, you’d be correct. So, let’s say that my wallet is in my pocket. But I want to reference the fact that it came… that it left my pocket, so I’m going to use the opposite preposition. “My wallet fell out of my pocket.” It was in my pocket, and it fell out of my pocket. Again, I’m using the opposite preposition.

Changing the Verb

This is going to really help your English because we can even change the verb, and it makes the situation a lot more descriptive. Maybe the -wallet- didn’t fall out of my pocket, but someone grabbed it out of my pocket.

So, depending on how the action moved, we’re going to change the verb.

Examples with Up and Down

Ok, one more is the preposition up. The opposite would be down. So, this is very common, many people confuse this.

So, let’s say that I’m on the street and I’m driving my car, asking for directions. I asked someone “where is the shopping center,” or “where is the mall?” And they say “go up the street and it’s on your left,” but, there you go, he’s putting the verb and the preposition. If it was the opposite, it’d be to go down the street, in that case. They work as verbs, go up and go down.

But I can change the verb depending on how I’m doing the action. If I’m in my car, I can drive up the street, or drive down the street. If I’m on a bike, a bicycle, I would ride up or ride down the street.

What about the Literal Phrasal Verbs?

Ok, so this is pretty much how we use literal phrasal verbs. On my last video I explained to you what is the difference between literal and figurative phrasal verbs. If you haven’t seen it, click on this link and you’ll go straight to that video right now.

But, in the last video, I gave you an example of the phrasal verb to run out of something, and I also told you that that was a literal phrasal verb. So, same principle, to run out of the building, which is what I said in the last video, the reason why I ran out of the building is because I was in the building.

There you go, that’s how we use opposite prepositions with literal phrasal verbs.


All right, guys, that concludes this video. I hope you enjoyed it, if you want to know anything else about prepositions, using phrasal verbs, we have a lot of information about this on our website. There’s a link to our website in the box below.

We suggest you go there, because we have a lot of cool stuff. Also, if you want to see more videos like this one, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, where you’ll be the first to receive all of our new videos.

So, thanks a lot for watching, I hope to see you guys next time. Take it easy.

See these articles related to opposite prepositions and phrasal verbs:


    I’m Brazilian and I like this video!

  • Nadia-Nero

    This is just what I needed to bring to perfection the little things I know about opposite prepositions !! Thank you a lot!

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