What different does the preposition make ? ( Part - 2 )
AA: "Now for people learning English, prepositions create a sort of a special challenge because of phrasal verbs and the fact that a term, let's say, like to set up, set down, set aside, all mean completely different things." DAVID THATCHER: "That's right. You just have to learn what the speakers use. The phrasal verb might be to fall out with somebody, which means to quarrel or to disagree. 'I would put up with that' means to tolerate. Or to stand up to somebody is to resist somebody and so on. To turn something down is to refuse. All these have to be learned independently without any rules to guide you." AA: "And then there's also context, because these phrasal verbs tend to be more informal, more casual -- " DAVID THATCHER: "Yes, I think so. And I think one should make the distinction between written and spoken English, so that what would be unacceptable in written English would be perfectly allowable in speaking." AA: "In a meeting or in a ... " DAVID THATCHER: "A meeting, that's right, or off the cuff. I mean, many of these mistakes occur -- and perhaps I'm being too strict sometimes because people make these mistakes when they're speaking off the cuff, without preparation and so on. But if they're writing, they should have time to think about what they're putting down on paper and to revise it, or to show it to somebody else for a second opinion, and so on and so forth. So there should be ways of eliminating mistakes of this kind. "Can I ask you a question? Do you say you congratulate somebody on something, or do you congratulate them for something?" AA: "I say on -- yeah. 'Congratulations on your promotion'? I mean, that sounds ... " RS: "Congratulations for your promotion?" AA: "I'd say on." DAVID THATCHER: "What you will hear a lot is congratulations for. For is one of these cuckoo prepositions that come in and disturb all the other birds in the nest and knock them away." AA: "Wait, so what do you say?" DAVID THATCHER: "I would say that on is the standard way, but there's no doubt that for is elbowing its way in . AA: David Thatcher in British Columbia, Canada, has written "Saving Our Prepositions: A Guide for the Perplexed." It's a free book that can be downloaded at savingourprepositions.com.