The subject of prepositions in Basic English is often asked. Here is a brief summary of what Ogden and others have said on the subject. Ogden calls his list of 21 prepositions, "directions" or "directives". These when combined with the 16 verbs make "operators". Operators can say hundreds of action words of standard English.
Basic English : International Second Language by Ogden
- Section One, A Short Guide to Basic English. Part One. 2 . The Basic Approach, 4. Prepositions. This section is not written in Basic English and is difficult for the learner to read. But it does have a list of 21 directions and a good picture of them.
- Section Two ; The System in Detail. Part One, The ABC of Basic English; A.. I. Simple Statements. 2 . Directions Here is a picture (in a 2nd window) of the directions.
Learning Basic English by Richards
- The 16 operators would, of course, be quite incapable of doing substitute work for the four or five thousand verbs in common use in English if they were not supported by the next group of words in the OPERATIONS column, the prepositions, or directives as Ogden prefers to call them.
- One of the reasons why Basic is so thrifty in its use of verbs is that we can do much in English by combining some verbs with another class of words called directives.
- Next comes a group of 20, readily recognized as the prepositions which Ogden prefers to call directives, and which, you have been using widely already in the analysis of full verbs. These are the troublemakers to foreigners learning English.
Basic English : A General Introduction with Rules and Grammar by OgdenChapter 3 Grammatical Principles The combination of the ten operators and the three operator-auxiliaries with the twenty directives immediately gives us equivalents of roughly 200 simple English verbs. Directives The root meanings of these words is made clear by the drawing.
The Basic Teacher by Lockhart
- Chapter 1. Item 6 . Prepositions Almost all prepositions in Basic are names of directions or positions in space.
- Chapter 3. Item 6 . Prepositions The fundamental use of of is as the sign for the relation of "belonging to" or "being owned by," . . to, from, at, with, across.
- Chapter 5. Item 6 . Prepositions The opposites before and after, though originally naming positions in space, are more importantly used to indicate position in time.
- Chapter 7. Item 5 . Prepositions Three more prepositions come into this Step. . . . about up and down
- Chapter 9. Item 4 . Prepositions The only new preposition in this Step is till, which is used only in connection with time.
- Chapter 11. Item 4 . Prepositions -- With -- together in space,
- Chapter 12. Item Adverbial Time Phrases The time qualification of a statement is frequently given by an adverbial phrase beginning with at, on, or in, and it is important to be clear how these are used.
- There is more in "The Basic Teacher", it is a good teaching book.
Basic English and Its Uses by Richards
Below the verbs in Column One come twenty words (about to with) whose peculiarity is that they handle positions and directions.
Techniques in Language Control by Richards and Gibson.The twenty prepositions groups immediately below them on the list Ogden prefers to call directives because they handle positional and directional relationships. This can be demonstrated if they are first used spatially. They are separated alphabetically from the other preposition-adverbs on the list for this reason. A large number of the uses of these often trouble-making little words can become intelligible when they are introduced as pointers to positions or directions of things that can be seen or acts that an be performed. (The milk is in the bottle ; I am putting a book on the table ; He is going to the door, etc.)
The ABC of Basic English by Ogden
The Basic Words
Universal Language Dictionary Project
|across (at/to the other side of)
|after (in the future of)
|before (in front of)
|in back of
|for (for the purpose of)
|for (in exchange for)
|from (out of)