Hey there, this is Teacher Ola Podcast episode 127. What Are You Waiting For? Questions With Prepositions

My name’s Ola and I am an online English teacher, I teach through one to one classes and I want you to know I believe you can eliminate your language blockade. It is 100% guaranteed. I’m not saying it’ll be given to you on a silver platter yet I know you can get there. I’ve overcome a massive blockade myself and I know how to do it. The secret word here is consistency. That is why I record this podcast’s episodes, and each comes with a little worksheet, a one-pager to help you digest and test what you’ve practised here. You can speak English with more confidence, slay that fear and enjoy new freedoms. Each episode helps you practice speaking, the practical part is always there, at the end of each episode.  You’ll boost your vocabulary, brush up your grammar, and improve your pronunciation.  Go to my website for full transcripts and worksheets to each episode. <They’re free> Happy learning!

Hello again, welcome back. If this is your first time here, welcome! I hope you’ll find what you need and stay with us. Today we are talking about one tiny grammar point. Tiny but tricky. Asking questions is tough, but asking questions with prepositions at the end is even worse. I hate to sound negative, I always believe that communication comes first. You get your confidence through practise and making mistakes but we albo always wanna improve, learn, evolve. I hope all I do here is to inspire you to grow, want more, get more, feel free and develop. So, this episode was in demand for a while, I got a few requests so here we are.

Before we jump in, don’t forget to stay till the end where you are going to practice. Check it ut because today it is not repeating sentences out loud. Secondly, please visit my shop and buy a worksheet set. Lastly, tell someone about my podcast. Preferably someone who needs to improve their speaking skills. Eliminate a language blockade. Finally, stay in touch with me. Follow me on Instagram, subscribe wherever you are, be it Spotify, iTunes or Youtube. Download worksheet 127, it’s waiting for you at teacherola.com/127. 

Let’s begin with one question, I’m fairly sure you know the answer. However questions with prepositions can be super tricky, this specific question somehow is easy. The question in question is: 

Czego szukasz? 

Say it again in English, say it out loud. 

What are you looking for?

Look. This question is really complicated. First of all, it’s an open question. You need to remember the order of the words. What are you, not what you are. And secondly, it contains a phrasal verb. To look for. Looking for. So we need to understand that the preposition doesn’t start the question like it does in Polish. For what are you looking? That’s incorrect. Or, another example: With who, about what, for what, from who and so on. I don’t want you to memorise or repeat those examples, because they’re incorrect. Of course, it is communicative. But not always! I’m here to explain the rule, show some highly useful examples, invite you to practice out loud and download a worksheet to practice. 

Listen to those examples:

What are you angry about?

Who are you angry with?

What are you looking for?

What is she afraid of?

Well, there’s not much theory really to present you here. All you need to do is ask a question in a standard way but push that preposition to the very end of that sentence. 

I believe we struggle so much with those questions just like we struggle with all kinds of questions. Asking questions is tough. First of all, when we are in school time for a lesson is limited, we don’t have time to ask questions. To be honest, there’s very little time for speaking. Usually, the speaking practice exists only in the form of reading the dialogue out loud, sort of role-playing but reading in fact. There’s sometimes little time to discuss sth in pairs, but in reality, it doesn’t work! Of course, sometimes it looks different but generally, there’s no time to waste on speaking. Horrible! But don’t get me going about the Polish educational system. We don’t wanna go there. 

As adults, I reckon we continue to avoid asking questions for the fact that we want to stay out of the limelight. Our comfort zone is called like so for a reason. When you approach someone and ask a question you wanna be understood. You are the person who gets all the focus here is. Ain’t that true? That when you’re asking a question people look at you, listen to you carefully, and that is not comfortable especially if you have a language barrier! We don’t know for sure how to make those questions and we are so self-conscious, afraid of making a mistake. That fear keeps us from taking action. Vulnerability. We don’t wanna be judged, exposed, but that’s not the topic of today’s episode! Getting back to questions with prepositions.

We use questions with prepositions when we want to ask about the element that in an affirmative, positive sentence comes after a preposition. Stay with me, I know how it sounds. But just look at the example:

I was waiting for Adam. for Adam. 

Adam is this element we wanna ask about so the preposition ‘for’ must come at the end of the question. ]

I was waiting for Adam 

changes into 

Who were you waiting for?

It is technically possible to start the question with a preposition but the problem is it is going to sound extremely formal. Like:

To whom the bell tolls?

For what purpose have you come here?

I mean, come on, in daily life you do not need that. 

Today’s practice will differ from what we normally have here. In a standard podcast episode, you would now expect some sentences to repeat ut loud. So, today that’s not gonna happen. Instead, I’ll give you an affirmative sentence about Adam and your task is to formulate a question about Adam, ok? So first you’ll hear a sentence, then there will be time for you to think of your question. Say the question out loud. Then you’ll hear the correct answer. Ok? 

Don’t repeat the sentence about Adam. Ask a question with a preposition at the very end? Please focus, don’t multitask it’s not gonna work, you’ll only waste your time and get frustrated as a result. Ok, let’s get down to it!

One. I’m laughing at Adam.

Who are you laughing at?

Two. I sold my Tesla to Adam. 

Who did you sell your Tesla to?

Three. They talked about Adam.

Who did they talk about?

Four. They have gone to Adam’s house.

Whose house have they gone to?

Five. My family doesn’t approve of Adam. 

Who doesn’t your family approve of?

Six. This journal belongs to Adam.

Who does this journal belong to?

Seven. I have never argued with Adam.

Eight. I pride myself in trying to be a good human to Adam.

What do you pride yourself in?

Nine. I sent these pictures to Adam.

Who did you send these pictures to?

Ten. I am complaining about Adam.

Who are you complaining about?

Good job! Thank yourself for showing up today. The hardest part is to show up. Now go to your inbox and grab the worksheet. If you’re not a member of TOPeople download the from teacherola.com/127. 

I hope you liked the episode, if you did, as always, please leave your rating in iTunes if you can.  Share, comment, like, do whatever you can to help this podcast stay afloat! 

If you want to hear more from me please show some support. Tell someone about this podcast and help me spread the message. All I want to do here is really just reach as many people with speaking English issues as possible and make them believe speaking fluently is for everyone.    

Be here next Wednesday, same time, same place we’ll talk about vocabulary. Thanks for listening,  take care. Happy learning. Stay fearless and say it out loud. Bye-bye!