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Learn English: Using prepositions to explore Australia's coastline

A man and a kangaroo standing on the beach
The man and the kangaroo are standing on the beach. 'On' is a preposition.

ABC Open: Dan Battley

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Australia is an island country, which means that it is surrounded by water. The coastline of Australia is over 30,000 kilometres long. In this lesson, you will test your understanding of prepositions of place and direction through example sentences about the Australian coastline.

Prepositions usually go before a noun or pronoun. They are useful because they indicate the relationship between the noun or pronoun and other words (such as the subject) in a sentence.

All of the following examples are in the first person voice, so the prepositions indicate the relationship between the speaker and 'the beach', 'the water', 'the coast' and 'the sand'.

Can you identify the prepositions in each of these examples?

'Near' is the preposition. The speaker's 'dream' is to live a short distance from 'the water'.

Bondi beach and the Icebergs swimming pool
Bondi Beach and the Icebergs swimming pool are an iconic part of Australia's coastline.

ABC: Allison Chan

'By' is a preposition. The speaker wants to relax and unwind by being next to 'the water'. This does not necessarily mean that they want to be physically in the water.

'On' is also a preposition. It shows the relationship between 'the waves' and 'the beach'. The speaker loves the sound of the waves making contact with the sand on the beach.

'Down' is a preposition. It means that the road trip is going to go south along the coast.

The coastline of Kiama in NSW, Australia
To go 'down' the coast, means to go 'south'. To go 'up' the coast, means to go 'north'.

Unsplash CC: Steven Foster

'Up' is a preposition. It means that the speaker to travelling north along the coast.

'At' is a preposition that shows that the speaker's current location is at 'the beach'.

'In' is also a preposition. It shows that the speaker had spent time swimming or surfing in 'the water'.

'On' is also a preposition. It shows that the speaker is physically sitting or lying on 'the sand'.

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