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Sunday, 31 May 2020

How to Body Surf

If you love the ocean and dream of riding big waves onto the shore, body surfing may be a great hobby for you. While some body surfers may use a bodyboard, you really don’t need anything other than yourself and the ocean for this sport. Many people learn to body surf before moving on to using a surfboard, as it helps them become more familiar with the ebb and flow of the ocean, but there’s a huge community of body surfers who are committed to catching waves sans board for life.


[Edit]Choosing Gear

  1. Shop for a wetsuit to keep you warmer for longer while body surfing. While the outside temperature is important, what’s more important to your safety is the water temperature. Depending on the conditions, you can choose between short sleeves and legs, three-quarter length sleeves and legs, and full-length suits.[1]
    Body Surf Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • Having a wetsuit enables you to continue your body surfing hobby into the colder fall and winter months, too.
    • Wetsuits can also provide some extra buoyancy, helping to make your body surfing experience as safe as possible.
  2. Pick a snug-fitting bathing suit if you aren’t wearing a wetsuit. Not only can a loose-fitting swimsuit be annoying and potentially embarrassing, but it can also be dangerous if it causes you to lose focus on surfing a wave safely! Clothes with minimal drag, like brief-cut swimming trunks, will cut down on the resistance your body has in the water. The less resistance, the faster you’ll cut through the water.[2]
    Body Surf Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • If you wear a bathing suit with ties, make sure they’re double-knotted so they won’t come undone in the water.
  3. Consider adding a pair of swim fins to help you catch the wave. Just because you’re riding the waves with your body doesn’t mean you have to navigate the water without any assistance. Get fins that strap to your feet to help you cut through the water faster and ride waves more efficiently.[3]
    Body Surf Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • Take your time and find the right fit. Try on different pairs by different brands to find a pair that isn’t too big or too tight. Try thinking of them as a natural appendage—they should help you swim more fluidly rather than hinder you.
  4. Use a bodyboard if you want to learn to body surf with some assistance. A bodyboard can help you feel more secure in the water by giving you some extra buoyancy while also guiding you through the water with faster, sleeker movements. They’re great for beginners, amateurs, and kids, but professional bodyboarders use them, too.[4]
    Body Surf Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • A bodyboard is made of hydrodynamic foam and comes in various lengths depending on your height. To test that yours is the right length, hold it out in front of you—it should stretch from your knees to your chin.
    • If you do choose to use a board, you may also want to invest in a leash or cord to keep your board from floating too far away if you lose hold of it.

[Edit]Catching a Wave

  1. Walk out deep enough into the ocean that you’re past the breaking point. To catch a good wave, you need to get on it when it starts to swell and ride it through until it breaks. The water should be between your waist and chest so that you can help launch yourself onto the wave by pushing off with your feet.[5]
    Body Surf Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • If you have fins, they can help you catch waves if you’re deeper out.
  2. Face the beach and start swimming while the wave is still away. Let waves pass by until you see one that you feel comfortable surfing. Once you see it, turn toward the beach, push off the ocean floor with your feet, and start front crawling and kicking to build up speed.[6]
    Body Surf Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • If you’re using a bodyboard, you’ll position it under your chest at this point while paddling forward.
  3. Straighten your arms and your body as the wave crests. When you feel the wave beneath you, stop kicking your feet. Point one or both of your arms forward and straighten your torso and legs so your entire body is in line. As the wave carries you, straighten your body in a horizontal line and keep your head and shoulders out of the water in front of the wave. Let your legs tilt up so your body is at a slant—this position will help your body propel forward.[7]
    Body Surf Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • Try to keep your head and shoulders lower than your legs to get a faster forward momentum.
  4. Ride into shore with both of your arms stretched out in front of you. If you’re a beginner, this is a really good way to get a feel for how to move your body, what the wave feels like, and how to point yourself toward the beach. Do your best to keep your arms straight out in front of you so you can ride the wave for as long as possible.[8]
    Body Surf Step 8 Version 2.jpg
    • Remember, it’s totally okay if it takes a while for you to successfully body surf. It’s a hard sport that requires a lot of endurance and practice.
  5. Aim your body more efficiently by putting one arm out behind you. Once you know a little bit more about the technique behind body surfing, you can try steering your body and hopefully getting a little more speed in each ride. Keep one arm out in front of you to help guide your body, and put the other arm behind you in the water. Use it as a kind of rudder by moving it back and forth to change your direction so your body stays in line with the cresting of the wave.[9]
    Body Surf Step 9 Version 2.jpg
    • Always keep one hand in front of you—it can help protect your head if you head toward rocky land or get pushed underwater toward the seabed.
  6. Exit the wave by pushing a shoulder back through the wave. Anytime you want to leave the wave, whether you’re feeling uncomfortable or see something you want to avoid, try pushing one of your shoulders backward to cut through the wave. This should bring you out the other side without forcing water up your nose.[10]
    Body Surf Step 10 Version 2.jpg
    • Remember, you will only get better with practice! It may be hard at the beginning, but everyone, even the experts, had to start somewhere.

[Edit]Staying Safe

  1. Make sure you’re in good shape and know how to swim well. Body surfing requires a lot of physical endurance. Exercise your arms, shoulders, and legs to build up those important muscles, and do regular cardio activities to get your body used to longer bouts of movement.[11]
    Body Surf Step 11.jpg
    • If you don’t know how to swim, you need to learn before trying to body surf.
    • Swim as much as you can and add squats, push-ups, and planks to your workout regimen.
    • Not only will being in good shape help you enjoy body surfing more, but it will also help keep you safe while you’re in the water.
  2. Learn how to breathe while you swim to reserve your energy. If you’re getting out of breath or worried about breathing while coasting on a wave, you’ll have less energy for the task at hand. Go swimming a few times before body surfing and practice exhaling while your head is underwater and inhaling through your mouth when your head is above water.[12]
    Body Surf Step 12.jpg
    • Breathing well while surfing will give your body extra energy.
  3. Choose a sandy, well-populated beach with gentler waves. If you’re a beginner, choose a beach with waves that are less than high, and look for a location with a gentle slope. If a beach is deserted, take that as a warning that there is something dangerous about the conditions or landscape.[13]
    Body Surf Step 13.jpg
    • Ask other surfers or look on surfing forums to get a feel for the normal wave break at various beaches in your area.
  4. Read surf reports and pick a safe time to head out in the water. These reports, which are easily found online, can tell you vital information, such as wave heights and weather forecasts. You may also want to learn about rip tides and how to escape if you get caught in one.[14]
    Body Surf Step 14.jpg
    • Picking the right time to body surf can make a huge difference in how enjoyable your experience will be. Don’t rush if the weather forecast is bad; always put your safety first.
  5. Avoid big waves while you’re just learning how to body surf. Keep in mind that whatever you see from a standing position will look twice as tall once you’re swimming forward. Stick to waves that are between . Also, steer clear of waves that crash close to the shore—these could throw you against the seabed and potentially hurt you.[15]
    Body Surf Step 16.jpg
    • Before you get in the water, study the waves for a little while before walking in. Even once you’ve entered the ocean, stand still for a few minutes until the right wave comes along. There’s no rush!
  6. Study the conditions of the ocean before heading out into the water. If there is increased shark activity at a certain beach, you’ll want to know about it in advance. Likewise, if a storm has brought in new hazardous wood or rocks, that could make for a dangerous situation.[16]
    Body Surf Step 15.jpg
    • If you’re unsure whether it’s safe to surf and the surf reports aren’t up to date, call the lifeguard association in your area. They’ll know which beaches are currently hazardous and may be able to recommend a safer alternative.



  • Ask for advice from other body surfing enthusiasts. There’s a huge community of people you can connect with to gets tips and pointers.
  • Body surfing burns nearly 200 calories an hour, making it a great way to exercise and get some endorphins pumping through your body.[17]


  • Always put safety first. If a wave is too big, don’t try to ride it. If you aren’t dressed for the water temperature, don’t risk surfing without a wetsuit.
  • Don’t body surf if sharks have been spotted in that area.[18]
  • Never surf alone. If a beach is deserted, it might be empty for a reason. Always bring a friend, and never surf at an unpopulated beach.[19]

[Edit]Things You’ll Need

  • Wetsuit or bathing suit
  • Swim fins (optional)
  • Bodyboard (optional)


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How to Test Biodegradability of Plastic

Plastic is one of the leading materials that fill up landfills. It takes hundreds of years to decompose, which is why our Earth is covered in it. Biodegradable plastics that are made of cornstarch or plant pulp can degrade much faster than normal ones. Materials like this are usually tested in a laboratory setting with industrial composting tools. If you have a product that says “biodegradable” or “compostable” on it and you’d like to see if that’s true, make some compost and place your plastic in it, wait 12 weeks, and examine your test material to see if it has broken down at all.


[Edit]Gathering Compostable Scraps and Materials

  1. Cut your test product into three squares. Find the plastic that you’d like to test for biodegradability and use sharp scissors to cut it into squares. Make sure they are all roughly the same size and mostly even on each side.[1]
    Test Biodegradability of Plastic Step 1.jpg
    • Make sure the plastic you want to test says “biodegradable” or “compostable” on it. Otherwise, it probably won’t biodegrade at all.
    • Plastics made of cornstarch or plant pulp are usually biodegradable. Traditional plastics are not.
  2. Cut 3 to 4 pieces of yarn 2 times the height of your compost bin. Grab the compost bin that you are going to use for your experiment and measure out 1 piece of yarn for each of your test squares. Make sure the yarn pieces are about twice the height of the compost bin so that they can hang outside of it during your experiment.[2]
    Test Biodegradability of Plastic Step 2.jpg
    • If you don’t have yarn, you can use twine instead.
  3. Tie each piece of yarn to each square of your test product. Cut a slit or a small hole in each of your test squares using scissors. Thread a piece of yarn through the slit and make a knot in 1 end on each test square. Make sure your knots are secure and that they won’t slip out during your experiment.[3]
    Test Biodegradability of Plastic Step 3.jpg
  4. Drill 12 holes in the bottom of your compost bin. Flip your compost bin over and use a drill bit to make 12 evenly spaced holes in the bottom of it. Make sure the holes don’t touch each other. If your bin is not big enough for 12 holes, just drill as many as you can.[4]
    Test Biodegradability of Plastic Step 4.jpg
    • The holes provide air flow that is needed for the compost to decompose later on.
  5. Collect half a bucket of brown scraps, like leaves or dry hedge clippings. Brown scraps are part of the compost that help to break down because they are rich in carbon. Newspaper, dry leaves, dry yard debris, untreated cardboard, and coffee filters are all great materials to use as brown scraps.[5]
    Test Biodegradability of Plastic Step 5.jpg
    • Do not use magazines or glossy printed paper, as the chemicals can affect the outcome of your compost.
  6. Collect half a bucket of green scraps, like fruits and vegetables. Green scraps are wet and rich with nitrogen, so they also aid in the degradation process. Dead plants, weeds, tea bags, coffee grounds, and algae are all good materials to use as green scraps.[6]
    Test Biodegradability of Plastic Step 6.jpg

[Edit]Making Compost

  1. Balance your compost bin on 2 pieces of wood. Put your compost bin in an area outside where it is protected from the elements, like under a patio or covered porch. Balance the bin on 2 pieces of wood so that it is elevated slightly off the ground. Leave the holes in the bottom uncovered so that air can flow through them.[7]
    Test Biodegradability of Plastic Step 7.jpg
  2. Add a deep layer of brown scraps to your compost bin. Use the brown scraps that you have collected to pad the bottom of the compost bin. Make sure the scraps are large enough so that they don’t fall through the air holes in the bottom.[8]
    Test Biodegradability of Plastic Step 8.jpg
    • You may have to shred some of your larger scrap pieces to make them fit in your bin.
  3. Put a layer of green scraps on top of the brown scraps. Make sure the green scraps sit just on top of the brown scrap layer. Do not mix the layers together yet. Fill up your compost bin another .[9]
    Test Biodegradability of Plastic Step 9.jpg
  4. Sprinkle a small layer of soil on top of your green scraps. You can either use store-bought soil or some from your backyard. Sprinkle a small amount of soil on top of the green scraps so that it covers them up.[10]
    Test Biodegradability of Plastic Step 10.jpg
    • You can purchase soil from most garden supply stores.
  5. Add alternating layers of scraps and soil until the compost bin is half full. Add another brown scrap layer, another green scrap layer, and another small layer of dirt. Alternate this pattern until the compost bin is about ½ way full.[11]
    Test Biodegradability of Plastic Step 11.jpg
    • Depending on the size of your compost bin, you may need 2 to 3 more altering layers.
  6. Lay your test squares in your bin with the yarn hanging over the side. Carefully place your test squares of plastic into your compost bin on top of the last layer you put down. Space out each square so that they aren’t touching. Make sure the yarn is hanging outside of the bin so that you can find the scraps later on.[12]
    Test Biodegradability of Plastic Step 12.jpg
    • If your compost bin is too small to hold each square without them touching, take 1 square away.
  7. Add alternate layers of scraps and soil until the compost bin is full. Pile more brown scraps, green scraps, and soil on top of your test squares until your compost bin cannot hold anymore. Make sure the yarn stays hanging on the side of the compost bin the entire time.[13]
    Test Biodegradability of Plastic Step 13.jpg

[Edit]Examining the Plastic

  1. Mix the compost once a week using your hands. The ingredients in your compost must be mixed together in order to break down. Put on gloves to protect your hands and then reach into your compost bin. Mix the layers from the bottom up for about 5 minutes once a week. Break up any clumps that you see in your compost.[14]
    Test Biodegradability of Plastic Step 14.jpg
    • Make sure you leave the yarn hanging outside of the compost bin.
    • If you accidentally unbury your test squares, just bury them again in the middle of the compost.
  2. Dig up your test squares after 12 weeks. The European standard for biodegradable material is 12 weeks, so if your plastic hasn’t broken down by then, it is not technically biodegradable. Carefully remove the top layers of compost and find the test squares hidden underneath. Take each one out of the compost so that you can look at them.[15]
    Test Biodegradability of Plastic Step 15.jpg
  3. Examine the test squares to see if they have decomposed at all. When plastic starts to break down, it gets holes in it, becomes cracked, changes colors, and reduces in size. After 12 weeks of sitting in compost, your plastic pieces should be close to broken down if not completely degraded. Any pieces left, if there are any, should be small.[16]
    Test Biodegradability of Plastic Step 16.jpg
    • If the plastic looks the same as when you buried it, it has not broken down and it is probably not biodegradable.
    • Plastics that are slightly broken down but not completely degraded are still biodegradable, but they are not up to the biodegradability standard.

[Edit]Things You’ll Need

  • Plastic
  • Scissors
  • Yarn or twine
  • Compost bin
  • Brown scraps
  • Green scraps
  • Soil
  • Gloves


  1. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20191030-why-biodegradables-wont-solve-the-plastic-crisis
  2. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bring-science-home-biodegradable-products/
  3. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20191030-why-biodegradables-wont-solve-the-plastic-crisis
  4. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bring-science-home-biodegradable-products/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3380294/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC201863/
  9. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bring-science-home-biodegradable-products/
  10. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20191030-why-biodegradables-wont-solve-the-plastic-crisis
  11. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bring-science-home-biodegradable-products/
  12. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20191030-why-biodegradables-wont-solve-the-plastic-crisis
  13. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bring-science-home-biodegradable-products/
  14. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bring-science-home-biodegradable-products/
  15. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20191030-why-biodegradables-wont-solve-the-plastic-crisis

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How to Treat Sunburn with Natural Remedies

When you have a bad sunburn, you might be willing to try anything to get some relief. The itchy, red, flaky skin can be anything from an annoyance to a severely painful experience. Thankfully, most sunburns can be cured with a few natural remedies that you can do at home. Seek medical attention if you show symptoms of dehydration or if your sunburn isn’t gone after 1 week.


[Edit]Applying Topical Treatments

  1. Rub aloe vera on your sunburn. Aloe vera is great for preventing sunburns and repairing sunburned skin. Purchase pure aloe vera gel or lotion that contains aloe vera and rub it directly on the affected skin. Or, cut a piece of aloe vera from the base of the plant and cut a slit down the center to expose the gel, then rub the gel on the sunburn.[1]
    Treat Sunburn with Natural Remedies Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • You can find these products at most drug stores.
    • You can reapply aloe vera gel throughout the day whenever the sunburn begins to feel painful.
    • Consider keeping a few aloe vera leaves in the refrigerator for an extra cooling effect.
  2. Cool your skin down with a cold washcloth or shower. Dampen a washcloth with cold water from your sink and wring out the excess. Put the washcloth gently on your skin to relieve the pain and feeling of heat. Or, take a shower that is slightly colder than lukewarm to cool down your whole body.[2]
    Treat Sunburn with Natural Remedies Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • If the spray from a shower is too painful for your tender skin, take a cool bath instead.
    • Don’t use freezing cold water, because it could be too harsh for your body. Instead, keep the water cool but not cold.
  3. Avoid using benzocaine products, as they may cause an allergic reaction. Benzocaine is a local anesthetic that you apply topically. Although benzocaine products are sometimes marketed toward sunburn relief, they may actually irritate your skin or even give you an allergic reaction. Stick to aloe vera or calamine products for a natural, soothing remedy.[3]
    Treat Sunburn with Natural Remedies Step 3 Version 2.jpg

[Edit]Healing Your Sunburn Quickly

  1. Stay out of the sun as much as possible. Although it may seem obvious, your sunburn will heal much faster if you don’t aggravate it by exposing it to sunlight. Try to stay indoors or in the shade as much as possible until your sunburn is healed.[4]
    Treat Sunburn with Natural Remedies Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • Depending on the severity of your sunburn, it could take up to 1 week to heal.
  2. Drink water to stay hydrated. When your skin is burned, it doesn’t keep fluid in as well. Make sure you are drinking water whenever you are thirsty, and try to stay away from dehydrating liquids like coffee, soda, and alcohol.[5]
    Treat Sunburn with Natural Remedies Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • Keep a water bottle nearby to drink out of anytime you get thirsty.
  3. Peel your skin gently if it starts to flake off. After a few days, your sunburn may begin to shed its topmost layer of skin. This is a good sign, and it means that your sunburn is healing. Wash your hands with soap and water and then try gently pulling the affected skin off the area with your fingers to speed up the process.[6]
    Treat Sunburn with Natural Remedies Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • Continue moisturizing as you peel your skin to aid in healing.
  4. Avoid repeat sun exposure once your sunburn has healed. If you get sunburns often on the same area of your body, you could be at risk for premature wrinkling, dark spots, or even some types of skin cancer. Once your sunburn heals, use an SPF 30 sunscreen or higher anytime you are outside to prevent it from happening again.[7]
    Treat Sunburn with Natural Remedies Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • If you have light, fair skin, you are more at risk for a sunburn.

[Edit]When to Seek Medical Attention

  1. See your doctor if you have red skin that doesn’t go away after 1 week. Red skin is a common symptom of sunburn. If you have red skin that won’t go away even after treating it, talk to your doctor to make sure there isn’t a more serious problem. Your doctor may be able to prescribe medicine to help you heal.[8]
    Treat Sunburn with Natural Remedies Step 8 Version 2.jpg
  2. Get medical treatment if you develop a reaction after using a natural remedy. Even the most gentle of natural treatments can cause a reaction in some people. If you notice irritation or the signs of an allergic reaction after using natural treatment for sunburn, stop using the remedy immediately and see a doctor.[9]
    Treat Sunburn with Natural Remedies Step 9 Version 2.jpg
    • Seek emergency medical care if you develop severe allergic reaction symptoms such as rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, or if you feel like your throat may close up.
    • If you develop a painful rash, go to the emergency room or an urgent care clinic.
  3. Consult a doctor if you develop blisters on your body. Severe sunburn can include red skin and small blisters on the surface of your skin. If you develop big blisters over a portion of your body, it could lead to serious infection.[10]
    Treat Sunburn with Natural Remedies Step 10.jpg
    • Do not attempt to pop or drain the blisters, or you could get an infection.
    • Avoid putting cream on the blisters.
  4. Seek emergency treatment if you develop a skin infection. Look for pus, swelling, or red streaks leading from any blisters that develop. They could be signs of an infection and can be very dangerous. Go to an emergency room or an urgent care clinic immediately for emergency treatment.[11]
    Treat Sunburn with Natural Remedies Step 11.jpg
    • Untreated infections can lead to serious health issues and death.
    • Do not attempt to drain any blisters that may be infected.
  5. Get emergency medical care if you develop fever, chills, or dehydration. Being in the sun for too long can cause you to become dehydrated. If you develop symptoms of dehydration, you need to get to an urgent care clinic or an emergency room quickly.[12]
    Treat Sunburn with Natural Remedies Step 12.jpg
    • Call an ambulance if you cannot drive to an emergency room.
    • Symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, dizziness, headache, sleepiness, rapid breathing and heart rate, and dark-colored urine.
  6. Go to a dermatologist if you develop new moles on your skin. Moles can sometimes become cancerous. Sunburn damages your skin and can lead to the development of cancer cells. When you’re treating your sunburn, keep an eye on any moles that you have. If you develop new ones or your changes in your existing moles, make an appointment to see a dermatologist.[13]
    Treat Sunburn with Natural Remedies Step 13.jpg
    • If your existing moles get larger, change shape, or become raised, go to a dermatologist.
    • See a doctor immediately if your moles become painful or swollen.
    • Pay attention to the color of your moles. If any of them turn darker or lighter, see a dermatologist.


  • Although sunburns are itchy and painful, they usually go away within 1 week on their own.
  • Topical treatments like essential oils, oatmeal, baking soda, and witch hazel are sometimes recommended for healing sunburns, but they are not scientifically proven and can actually cause skin irritation.


  • Seek medical attention if your symptoms don’t go away within 1 week.[14]


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Saturday, 30 May 2020

How to Learn Prepositions

Compared to nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, prepositions—which identify relationships between things in sentences—are harder to categorize and often more difficult to learn. Because there isn’t much logical order in the way prepositions are used in the English language, memorization is an important part of learning them. Fortunately, this memorization can include drawing pictures, listening to podcasts, and playing “Simon says,” among other things! Also note that, while the primary focus here is on prepositions in English, most of these suggestions are applicable for other languages as well.


[Edit]Using Learning Aids

  1. Utilize images to help you visualize prepositions. Combining text and images helps to reinforce what you’re learning and can make it easier to remember specific prepositions. Either use learning aids that include both text and images, or create your own as you work on prepositions.[1]
    Learn Prepositions Step 1.jpg
    • For younger learners, for instance, try worksheets that include a sentence using a preposition and a corresponding image to color—such as an image showing “The cow jumped over the moon.”
    • You might buy, download, or make flash cards that contain an image on one side and a corresponding sentence using one or more prepositions on the other side.
  2. Refer to preposition charts that use categories and examples. Prepositions are easier to “digest” when they’re broken down into smaller “chunks.” Instead of trying to memorize a random list of prepositions, download or make preposition charts that are broken down by category. Make sure the charts provide lots of examples as well![2]
    Learn Prepositions Step 2.jpg
    • A chart might use categories like “Time” and “Place.” Note that a single preposition like “on” can appear in multiple categories—“on Wednesday” (time) and “on the table” (place)—which makes the inclusion of specific examples very helpful.
    • Look over the charts regularly, but don’t try to just memorize everything in them. Instead, use them to write your own sample sentences, draw corresponding pictures, and so on.
  3. Use quizzes and learning drills you find online. There’s no magical shortcut to learning prepositions—it takes time, patience, and practice. Frequent, brief drills and quizzes may help you get a firm grip on the most commonly-used prepositions and prepositional phrases in English. Check out well-known, well-respected e-learning sites and apps for free quizzes and drills.[3]
    Learn Prepositions Step 3.jpg
    • A quiz might be as simple as picking the right preposition usage from 4 options, or filling in the blank in a sample sentence with the correct preposition. But simple quizzes can really work!

[Edit]Hearing, Reading, and Writing Prepositions

  1. Listen to podcasts, audiobooks, and similar sources. Many aspects of the English language don’t follow a logical pattern, and prepositions definitely fall into that category. This doesn’t mean that memorizing list after list of prepositions is your only alternative, though. Instead, listen carefully to how strong English speakers use prepositions in context.[4]
    Learn Prepositions Step 4.jpg
    • Podcasts and audiobooks are great listening options, because you get to listen at your own pace to speakers who typically have a strong command of English. That said, listening to anyone using the language helps to build your familiarity with different prepositions and their usage.
  2. Repeat to yourself the prepositional phrases you identify. When you pick out a preposition while listening, quietly say the phrase or the entire sentence. Additionally, visualize what is being described while you repeat the words.[5]
    Learn Prepositions Step 5.jpg
    • For instance, if you hear “He put his coat in the closet,” repeat it to yourself and picture a man putting his coat in the closet.
    • Alternatively, jot down the phrases or sentences you identify. You can also make quick sketches—for instance, of a stick figure putting a coat into a closet.
  3. Read widely in the language you’re learning. The more you read, the more prepositions you’ll encounter, recognize, and remember. Use any reading material that’s appropriate for your age and reading level—and that you also find interesting![6]
    Learn Prepositions Step 6.jpg
    • Read slowly and carefully so you can pick out the prepositions.
  4. Highlight the prepositions you find. Use an actual highlighter, if possible, on written pages, or a digital highlighter for e-texts. Alternatively, jot down the preposition and where you can find it in the text.[7]
    Learn Prepositions Step 7.jpg
    • If you’re not sure if you’ve found a preposition, ask yourself the following about the whole prepositional phrase: Does it establish a “when,” “where,” or “how” relationship among people, objects, locations, or actions within the sentence? For instance, in “She likes to go to the store,” the first “to” isn’t a preposition, but the second “to” is.
  5. Sort by preposition and write complete sentences from the text. Once you’ve highlighted the prepositions in your reading passage, grab a notebook and write down each separate preposition—“in,” “under,” “at,” and so on—at the top of its own page. Then, write down each sentence in the text that uses that preposition.[8]
    Learn Prepositions Step 8.jpg
    • For example, your “on” page might include sentences like “Joe went on vacation last week,” “He wrote his phone number on a scrap of paper,” and “They got on the boat with a bit of trepidation.”
    • This exercise helps you to recognize and eventually memorize different ways in which common prepositions are frequently used.

[Edit]Learning with Games and Activities

  1. Try the activity “look at me now” alone or with others. This simple but helpful activity involves nothing more than describing—to yourself or others—your situation in the present moment. So long as your description goes beyond the most basic details, you’ll have to choose and use at least one preposition in the process.[9]
    Learn Prepositions Step 9.jpg
    • You may want to make a game out of how many prepositions you can use: “I am sitting” (0); “I am sitting in my chair” (1); “I am sitting in my chair at home” (2); “I am sitting in my chair at home on a rainy day” (3).
    • This is a useful activity at home alone and in a classroom setting. As a teacher, you might ask the class at different times during the school day, “OK, who wants to give us a “look at me now” update?”
  2. Play “Simon says” to introduce different prepositions. Most of the common commands in this game—“Simon says put your hand on your head,” “Simon says stand on one foot,” “Touch your nose with your finger,” and so on—use one or more prepositions. While playing with a group of friends or in a classroom, you’ll hear and start to recognize how prepositions are used in English.[10]
    Learn Prepositions Step 10.jpg
    • Alternatively, you might play a variation on this game in which the goal is to follow the commands only when the correct preposition is used—for instance, “Stand on one foot” versus “Stand at one foot.”
  3. Have fun with charades or quick-drawing guessing games. While describing what the person is acting out or drawing, you’ll probably have to use one or more prepositions. As a variation on the game, you might have different individuals or teams compete to see who can use the most prepositions to describe what’s being acted out or drawn.[11]
    Learn Prepositions Step 11.jpg
    • To reinforce what’s being learned, write out the answers, circle the prepositions, and underline the prepositional phrases.


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