Sergey Sulimov


Sergey Sulimov



школа английского языка

The preposition to is the most common prepositions one in English. You will see it in almost every second sentence. However, it is important not to confuse the preposition with others and to use it correctly. Today we are going to talk about the preposition to use in English.

The preposition to to indicate direction or destination 

Use the preposition to when talking about moving from one place to another or pointing to a specific location. Indicators can be movement verbs: drive (ехать), walk (идти), go (идти), hike (ходить пешком, взбираться), fly (лететь), sail (плыть) etc.

I am heading to the entrance of the building. — Я направляюсь ко входу в здание.

We’re going to Liverpool next week. — Мы едем в Ливерпуль на следующей неделе.

However, there are a few exceptions where the preposition to is not used with motion verbs, namely go:

  • go abroad — ехать за границу;
  • go downtown — идти/ехать в центр города;
  • go home — идти домой;
  • go somewhere / anywhere — идти куда-либо.

After school, they go home. — После школы они идут домой.

Let’s go downtown tomorrow. — Давай съездим в центр завтра.

Another important exception is the verb arrive (прибывать). The preposition to is not used after it; the preposition at or in must be used, depending on the destination. The preposition to is not used after it, the preposition at or in must be used, depending on the destination.

The plane arrived in Moscow on time. — Самолет прибыл в Москву вовремя.

The preposition to to indicate to whom or what the action is directed 

In this case, the preposition to be used after these verbs, as give (дать), send (послать), and write (написать) to indicate the person or object you are contacting or sending something to.

She always sends postcards to friends when she travels. — Она всегда отправляет открытки друзьям, когда путешествует.

Please, give this book to him. — Передай, пожалуйста, эту книгу ему.

However, here too there is a nuance: if the action object, comes immediately after the verb, the preposition to is usually not used.

Send him a letter. — Отправь ему письмо.

The preposition to in time-related phrases 

There are several uses for this preposition. First, when you call time, and you need to tell how many minutes are left until the next hour.

It’s five to eleven. — Сейчас без пяти одиннадцать.

Во-вторых, предлог to означает «до» в конструкции «от… до…».

The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Магазин работает с 10 до 17.

Preposition to for numbers with approximate meaning 

The preposition to can be used when you are talking about an approximate number somewhere between a lower number and a higher number.

It’ll probably cost you thirty to thirty-five pounds. — Это, вероятно, будет стоить вам 30–35(от тридцати до тридцати пяти) фунтов.

Preposition to after nouns 

Nouns a number are followed by to. These include nouns expressing direction or destination, such as door (дверь), entrance (вход), road (дорога), route (маршрут), way (путь).

Do you know the way to the airport? — А вы знаете дорогу в аэропорт?

The preposition to can also be used after nouns referring to transport: bus (автобус), coach (карета), ferry (паром), flight (рейс), train (поезд).

The journey by bus to the house will take 10 hours. — Дорога на автобусе до дома займет 10 часов.

Nouns expressing reactions and responses are also accompanied by to. These include answer (ответ), reaction (реакция), reply (ответ), response (ответ), solution (решение).

Your reaction to what is happening is extremely strange. — Ваша реакция на происходящее крайне странная.

Persistent expressions with a preposition to

The preposition to is often involved in stable expressions, forming a whole with verbs, adverbs or adjectives. Usually, it is not easy to understand that this preposition is necessary here. You have to know these expressions in this combination. 

To with the verbs:

  • agree to — соглашаться на;
  • appeal to someone — обратиться к кому-либо;
  • boil down to something — сводиться к чему-либо;
  • get to something — добраться до чего-то;
  • happen to — случаться с;
  • listen to — слушать кого-либо, что-либо;
  • look forward to something — с нетерпением ждать чего-либо;
  • object to something — возражать против чего-либо;
  • prefer to — предпочитать чему-либо;
  • talk to — говорить с кем-либо.

Most of the crimes boil down to a question of money. — Большинство преступлений сводится к вопросу о деньгах.

We are looking forward to the holidays. — Мы с нетерпением ждем каникул.

 To with the adjectives:

  • addicted to — пристрастившийся, зависимый, склонный;
  • attentive to — внимательный к;
  • clear to — ясный кому-либо, для кого-либо;
  • close to — близкий к;
  • equal to — равный;
  • grateful to — благодарный кому-либо, чему-либо;
  • important to — важный для;
  • married to — женатый на / замужем за;
  • necessary to — необходимый кому-либо, чему-либо;
  • opposite to — противоположный кому-либо, чему-либо;
  • similar to — похожий, подобный, аналогичный;
  • useful to — полезный.

He is always so attentive to his wife’s requests. — Он всегда так внимателен к просьбам своей жены.

She is married to Peter, but they live in different cities. — Она замужем за Питером, но живут они в разных городах.

Other stable expressions with the preposition to:

  • to my sorrow — к моему огорчению;
  • to my surprise — к моему удивлению;
  • to some extent — в определенной степени;
  • to some purpose — небезуспешно, с некоторым успехом;
  • to the end — до конца;
  • to the point — относящийся к делу, по существу, уместно;
  • to the right (left) — направо (налево).

To my surprise, the trip went well. — К моему удивлению, поездка удалась.

I’m in a hurry, so come to the point. — Я тороплюсь, так что к делу.

In English, there are many rules, exceptions to these rules and features that may not be apparent at first glance. If you want to get good at it all, we invite you to a lesson at the EnglishPapa language school. You can sign up for a free trial lesson now.

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