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Hey guys, welcome to Fingtam languages this video is about the five step method that I've been using to learn prepositions,
which is one of the hardest things for me to learn in foreign languages. Now, just to refresh your memory,
prepositions are all those little words that show a
relationship between a noun or a pronoun and the rest of the sentence. If you've been watching my channel for a while
you know that I love experimenting with new methods for learning languages more efficiently,
and this is a method that I developed all on my own and I'm really proud of it because it requires little to no
studying at all.
It just requires you to listen to your favorite songs in your target language.
I'm using this technique to learn French, but it could easily be applied to any language that uses prepositions or postpositions.
Now, I created this method for learning prepositions simply because...
Prepositions are evil. It's like they exist only to make my life more difficult.
They never translate well into your native language,
so you're always stuck trying to figure out which preposition to use in any given situation.
You can usually recognize them when you hear someone else use them in speech,
but then when it comes time for you to speak you can never remember which is the right preposition to use and it's so frustrating.
For example, if you're a native English speaker
and you want to say "I dreamt about zombies," You can't just translate that preposition "about." In French
you have to say I dreamt of zombies and in Spanish you have to say I dreamt with
Zombies. And sometimes your choice of preposition is really important because I can change the meaning of the entire
sentence. If you're learning English and you want to say you are pissed off
but you accidentally say you are pissed on you're gonna have a lot of people laughing at you
unfortunately, there's no simple rule you can follow that'll help you easily decide which preposition to use a lot of times you just have to
memorize each
individual way that a given preposition can be used.
Prepositions can have tons of meanings. Wordreference.com lists
26 different ways that the word "in" can be used as a preposition and that's not even including the
hundreds of fixed expressions that they list for it like
"brother-in-law" and things like that.
So I'm sure by now you're wondering what my secret technique for learning prepositions is.
The first step is that you're gonna read through the lyrics of your favorite songs in your target language,
and make a note of every line that has a preposition in it.
You can see here that I looked up the lyrics
online to a French song and I just underlined all the
prepositional phrases that I found. When you've gone through a few songs, make a list of all the
prepositional phrases that you've encountered and be sure to note which songs you found them in. This list
I'm showing you here is just an example I made to illustrate the point.
Second step is to organize the lyrics that you found. You're gonna record all the prepositional phrases you've found,
organizing them so that all the lyrics that use the same preposition are grouped together.
After you've done this you might want to organize them by usage. So you see here
I have three uses of the preposition at all from the same song and they all mean basically the same thing.
I look at you. I look at the floor. I look at the world. It's all basically the same usage
So what I do now is I take all the repeated usages of any given
preposition and I put them all in the same row so that I can keep them together.
This isn't completely necessary, but it may be helpful.
Now you see here that I have another usage of the preposition "at" that is completely different than the previous ones.
He's not saying "I look at", he's saying "any time at all,"
Which is a totally different usage of the same preposition. So it gets its own row.
Step three is that you're gonna go through your spreadsheet and update it so that you give a reason for why you believe each
individual preposition was used. Here I noted that the preposition "at" is selected by the word
"Look." You can't say "I look in the floor" or "I look on the floor" or "I look with the floor."
It has to be "at" because that is the preposition selected by the verb "look."
I suppose you could say "I look for the floor,"
but that means something totally different. In this other context down here you see that "at" is
selected simply because it's just part of a fixed expression that can't be changed.
So that's what I wrote here.
Now you may not actually know why a given preposition was used
if this is your target language that you're learning and you haven't mastered the grammar yet.
You might be able to figure it out by going and looking on wordreference.com or in a dictionary.
But if you still don't understand, that's fine. I'll explain how to get around that in the next step.
Now that you're basically done with your spreadsheet you have a really useful tool that's
specific to the songs you're listening to and this is gonna serve as a really nice reference from here on.
This spreadsheet is actually pretty basic. The one I use for learning French is way more complex,
but I just wanted to share with you the basics of it so that you can modify the spreadsheet
however, you want in the future.
The fourth step is to get native speakers to look at it because you are not a native speaker,
so you don't know that your judgement of these prepositions is actually perfect.
And before you start using the spreadsheet as a tool for learning your language, you want to make sure it's correct.
I created my preposition list in Google Drive,
which makes it really easy to share with others.
Then all I had to do was copy and paste the link to share it on reddit.
I posted it to the French subreddit and the people there were really nice and gave me a lot of feedback.
You can see here that before I shared it on Reddit,
I highlighted some of the cells in the spreadsheet because I wasn't entirely sure if my interpretation was right or not.
Fortunately, with Google Drive, other people are able to comment directly onto my spreadsheet and give me comments and corrections.
The fifth step to the method is that you're gonna memorize the lyrics to all the songs that you used in your preposition spreadsheet.
I like to do this on LingQ because it's really useful to be able to see all the
definitions of the words that I'm reading,
but you could just look up the lyrics on Google or any other website and use those while listening to the song.
Then of course
there's one more thing you have to do in order to make this method effective and I don't really consider this a step,
But that is listening
Extensively. You've already studied the songs intensively when you're analyzing all the prepositions in the song and now you just have to listen a lot.
And from now on whenever you're speaking in a conversation in your target language
and you need to use a preposition you can think back to a specific song lyric that you recorded in your spreadsheet
that was written by a native speaker,
so you know
it's okay to say. And for some reason it's just easier to remember
phrases when they're in song lyrics. And every time you hear a new
preposition in a song it's like adding another arrow to your quiver.
Its ammunition that you can use whenever you need to call upon it in conversation.
So I hope this method is helpful for you guys in learning prepositions in your target language. If you have any comments questions concerns or
suggestions,
I would love to hear it down below because I'm always learning new things from my
subscribers. If you haven't subscribed yet you can do so by hitting the red subscribe button below and if you liked the video,
I'd really appreciate a thumbs up. So that's all I have to say today
Thanks for watching and I'll see you guys in the next one.
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How to learn prepositions in a foreign language

32 Folder Collection
Fingtam published on September 19, 2018
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