Comparison of English and Arabic system:
In English there are three prepositions “on, in and at” that are used to indicate positioned point in time and one preposition “during” to indicate positioned period of time. In Arabic, however,”fii” is used to indicate the meaning and the uses of all the above English prepositions. Thus is equivalent to:
1- On: an equivalent of “ala and fii” in Arabic language. It indicates a positioned point in time and is used with phrases that refer to days and dates since these are perceived as a “surface” or “line”. For example:
2- I arrivedon time. (An exact point in time)
3- I workon Sundays.
4-In : an equivalent offii in Arabic language. It indicates a positioned point in time and is used with phrases that refer to parts of days (with the exception of “at night”, “at midday” … etc.), month, years etc. as these are perceived as an “area”, e.g. in the morning”. It is also used to denote an unspecified point during a period of time e.g. “In the evening” = “during the evening”.
5-At: indicates a positioned point in time and is used with hours, as these are perceived as a “point” e.g. “At 3 o’clock”, also and exceptionally in “at night” as night is seemingly perceived as a point. Its an equivalent offii in Arabic language.
6- During: an equivalent of fii in Arabic. It indicates the passage of a period of time
7- E.g. “during the journey”, as the time during which the journey took place is perceived as an imaginary line, similar to the journey’s route.
Arabic does not differentiate between all the above range of usages, becausefii indicates both a point in time and a Period of time. Unlike fii,“ Ila andmin” , which Indicate movement toward or away from a specific point in time, indicate the same Concepts as their English equivalents “to” and “from”. Toward or away from a Specific point in time, indicate the same concepts as their English equivalents“to ” and“from”.
8-For indicates duration of time and is also used to express movement. It’s Arabic Equivalent is “li” , which has the same meaning and usage.
9-Into “to” indicates movement and “in” indicates no movement in English, with fii equivalent to both in Arabic.
10- 7.Unlike “fii” ,“ila” indicates movement of an object towards a point. It therefore has both the meaning and the range of usage of its English equivalent“to” , for Example:
Bassam wentto the seashore.
11- 8- like fii,“min” has several different English equivalents. It indicates separation from aPoint, from an area or volume and also, from a line or surface. Thus it translates the English prepositions “ from”, “away from”, “out of” and “off.”
9.Ala an English equivalent to ala is “ on, over, above and onto”. “On” indicates locative
Surface, is usually used to express a relation ship between two thinks but can touch it.
Unlike on, “over” and” above” is used to express a relationship between two things but doesn’t touch it. Onto, “on”, indicates surface locative and “to”, indicates movement directive.
10.bi its also equivalent to Arabic” fii” and “in and at” in English.
11.Li this Arabic preposition is equivalent to the English prepositions “to and for”.