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Posted by R. Berg on March 26, 2004

In Reply to: Preposition posted by Henry on March 26, 2004

: : : : : Which preposition would you use when saying:
: : : : : He writes __the blackboard (or __the wall) all the day.

: : : : I would use "on", but since I'm basically a frenchie, wait for additional advice...

: : : I'd use on too!

: : I agree with "on", is it possible to use over or after?

: You could write all over the blackboard ie the writing would cover it all. I don't think you could use after.

This is an interesting question because (my linguist friend said recently) in some languages, the word that translates to "on" in English is used only when something is resting on a horizontal surface. It means "on top of." In English, however, we say "He writes on the blackboard," "I put a coat of paint on the wall," "There's a spot on the bathroom mirror."