Preposition Choice Exercise (250)

Choose the preposition that best fills the blank in each of the following sentences.

  • After living abroad for twelve years, my brother has returned ___ our home town.

  • Everyone tried to stop him, but the dog got away from us and leapt ___ the lake.

  • The weather was so balmy that soon everyone was swimming ___ the lake with the dog.

  • Struck by the rock that came through the window, the union organizer fell from his chair ___ the floor.

  • Much to the child’s dismay, the kite landed ___ the roof.

Answers and Explanations

1. After living abroad for twelve years, my brother has returned to our home town.

Toward is used when the motion is in progress; to signifies that the motion has reached its destination; into is used when the thing in motion is seen to enter from one place into another.

2. Everyone tried to stop him, but the dog got away from us and leapt into the lake.

In shows that the object is within the limits of a space; into suggests entering into one place from another; in this context, from land into water. Onto signifies motion from one place to a position on top of something.

3. The weather was so balmy that soon everyone was swimming in the lake with the dog.

In shows that the swimmers are within the limits of a space.

4. Struck by the rock that came through the window, the union organizer fell from his chair to the floor.

Onto is also acceptable in this context, but what makes to the preferable choice is the presence of from which is often paired with to.

5. Much to the child’s dismay, the kite landed on the roof.

In the context of location, on indicates that something is on a surface.

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