LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||11/FEV/2007 11:39 PM|
If you want to say that a certain element is a member of a group or an organization, the most common would be the expression belong to. In this case, you can imply that the group "owns" the element. For example:
He belongs to a political party.
My whole family belongs to that club.
To say that an object is a possession of a person, the phrasal verb belong to is also the best choice. As a variation, the object could also belong to a bigger object. Examples:
The shirt belongs to my brother.
Do you know who all that money belongs to?
The video card belongs to the computer.
If you want to say that an object is in the right place, or a person is in the right group or community, then the verb belong could be followed by the prepositions in, or, at, on, or even by adverbs, like there, here, outdoors.
The book belongs on the table.
This chair belongs outdoors.
You don't belong in here.
If you want to say that an element is different from others, but should nonetheless be classified in the same group for a specific reason, then belong with may be the best choice. In this case, you can assume that there is a natural association between distinct elements. In other words, the element can be placed alongside with different elements because a certain characteristic groups them as elements of the same kind:
In a library, Dickens belongs with Hardy and Austen. [*]
The pen belongs with the pencils.
I belong with you.
[This last example is probably more romantic than the counterpart using the preposition "to". To me, it means that the two people involved are different individuals, but what they feel for each other makes them "birds of a feather", that is, puts them in the same group of lovers.]
I hope this was not too confusing. Although I must confess that even I got confused while writing the post. I suggest you read the following threads too:
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