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What is the difference between the prepositions ''to'' and ''at?''

asked 2017-07-28 23:58:12 -0400

Zehra gravatar image

What is the function and the reason to use ''to'' and ''at'' in the following sentences: a. Don't yell at me b.*Don't yell to me.
c. Don't speak to me. d. *Don't speak at me.

Why is a and c true but not b and d false?

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answered 2017-09-20 22:45:41 -0400

Now, I am not an expert on this subject but I kind of know the basic answer to your question. I just might not do the best job at explaining it...

It is because of thematic relations

If you consider the difference between the following examples it might make sense:

a. Don't throw that at me b. Don't throw that to me

In example a, "me" is the direction In example b, "me" is the recipient or experiencer (it's a bit hard to figure out exactly which one it is but it doesn't really matter).

This is the same for your examples. Essentially, one yells in a direction (such as towards something or someone), whereas one speaks to a recipient or experiencer.

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Asked: 2017-07-28 23:58:12 -0400

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Last updated: Sep 20 '17