Hi there, Andrew here again for another episode of the Art of Business English. Today I want to share with you some preposition and word combinations that use the preposition AT. These combinations will make a great addition to your vocabulary and of course they will help you to be more descriptive, as well as better understand us natives.
This week I have divided the episode into four main parts. We will be looking at the following:
Ok, let’s get started by looking at what are prepositions and word combinations
As will become apparent, these structures lead with a preposition and are then followed by a noun. It’s a simple as that. Most people are more familiar with phrasal verbs, dependent prepositions and verbs followed by prepositions. This seems to be the most common focus, however, preposition + noun combinations are also very important.
I have done many episodes on collocations and dependent prepositions; however, we need to also look at the flip side of these.
As with collocations and phrasal verbs the meaning doesn’t really hold if we separate these two elements. Let me demonstrate with an example. Let’s take the preposition + noun example of “At once”. Together this means, immediately. So, if I say to you, I want you to come to my office at once, then I am telling you to come to my office now and to not wait a minute longer.
If we split these two, then alone they have different meaning. At, is a preposition of place and once, is an adverbial time expression. Put them together and they take on new meaning. Reverse the order of the words, once at, and they don’t make sense.
So, as you can see, preposition + noun combinations are very important to know, learn and understand.
Let’s take a look at a bunch of those that start with “at”.
Firstly, I will give you the list of collocations then we will look at their meaning. So, let’s start with our review of the preposition “at” + noun.
|At dawn||Al rayer el alba/al amanecer|
|At a distance||A distancia|
|At first||Al principio|
|At first sight||A primera vista|
|At a glance||De un vistazo/a simple vista|
|At a guess||Aproximadamente|
|At gunpoint||A punta de pistola|
|At home||En casa|
|At a later date||En un futuro|
|At last||Por fin|
|At the latest||Como tarde|
|At peace||En paz/De acuerdo|
|At a profit||Con ganancias|
|At random||Al azar|
|At risk||En peligro|
|At sea||En alta mar|
|At the same time||Al mismo tiempo|
|At a time of||En el momento que|
|At times||A veces|
|At work||En el trabajo|
Now that we have a list of the preposition “at” with nouns and we know the correct translation, let’s move on to the last part of the episode and take a look at some sample sentences in context.
|At dawn||The workers begin at dawn to avoid the heat of midday.|
|At a distance||Mary likes to keep her colleagues at a distance and not socialise too much.|
|At first||At first, the company went well, however the new manager was a disaster and the company is now filing for bankruptcy.|
|At first sight||At first sight, the financial statements look positive.|
|At a glance||At a glance, I would say this presentation needs more work.|
|At a guess||At a guess, there were maybe 50 people at the event.|
|At gunpoint||Bruce was held up at gunpoint on his last business trip to Rio.|
|At home||What time will you be at home after work so I can pop in?|
|At a later date||We Will have to address this issue at a later date. We don’t have the time now.|
|At last||We have finished the project at last. It was 2 months overdue.|
|At the latest||I Will need that report on my desk by Monday at the latest.|
|At once||John, I would like to see you in my office at once.|
|At peace||Jim and Brian have resolved their differences and are now at peace with each other.|
|At present||At present, the company is not ready to make any additional investments.|
|At a profit||I sold the inventory at a profit, despite offering a discount.|
|At random||We are selecting one lucky customer at random to win a prize.|
|At risk||If we don’t move this stock soon, we will be at risk of making a loss.|
|At sea||Sometimes I feel at sea without a rudder. I need to find some direction.|
|At the same time||We could run both campaigns at the same time.|
|At a time of||At a time of crisis, everyone must keep their head.|
|At times||At times being in business can be very stressful.|
|At work||I’ll be at work in anyone needs me.|
Well there you have it my friends, 22 proposition + noun combinations with the preposition “at”. I hope that these sample sentences have also given you some more context. I have tried to include some additional vocabulary and expressions in the examples to help you learn even more vocabulary.
If you’re a great student, then you can head over to the AOBE website and download a copy of the transcript to help you better study.
Andrew is the CEO and founder of the Art of Business English. Besides teaching and coaching native Spanish speakers in Business English, he is also passionate about mountain biking, sailing and healthy living. When He is not working, Andrew loves to spend time with his family and friends.
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