Definitionspronunciation note: The preposition is pronounced (θruː
). In other cases, through is pronounced (θruː
)In addition to the uses shown below, through is used in phrasal verbs such as 'see through', 'think through', and 'win through'.
1. preposition To move through something such as a hole, opening, or pipe means to move directly from one side or end of it to the other. ⇒ The theatre was evacuated when rain poured through the roof at the Liverpool Playhouse. ⇒ Go straight through that door under the EXIT sign. ⇒ Visitors enter through a side entrance. ⇒ The main path continues through a tunnel of trees. Through is also an adverb. ⇒ He went straight through to the kitchen and took a can of beer from the fridge. ⇒ She opened the door and stood back to allow the man to pass through. 2. preposition To cut through something means to cut it in two pieces or to make a hole in it. ⇒ Use a proper fish knife and fork if possible as they are designed to cut through the flesh but not the bones. ⇒ Rabbits still manage to find a way in. I am sure that some have even taken to gnawing through the metal.
Through is also an adverb. ⇒ Score lightly at first and then repeat, scoring deeper each time until the board is cut through.
3. preposition To go through a town, area, or country means to travel across it or in it. ⇒ Go up to Ramsgate, cross into France, go through Andorra and into Spain. ⇒ ...travelling through pathless woods. ⇒ The couple set off in August from Morocco, drove through the Sahara, visited Nigeria and were heading for Zimbabwe. ⇒ ...and Sue Cook takes her family on a motoring trip through Cornwall.
Through is also an adverb. ⇒ Few know that the tribe was just passing through.
4. preposition If you move through a group of things or a mass of something, it is on either side of you or all around you. ⇒ We made our way through the crowd to the river. ⇒ Sybil's fingers ran through the water. ⇒ Nancy kept running, plunging through the sand. ⇒ He hurried through the rain, to the patrol car.
Through is also an adverb. ⇒ He pushed his way through to the edge of the crowd where he waited.
5. preposition To get through a barrier or obstacle means to get from one side of it to the other. ⇒ Allow twenty-five minutes to get through Passport Control and Customs. ⇒ He was one of the last of the crowd to pass through the barrier. ⇒ Traders generally travel safely through the border.
Through is also an adverb. ⇒ ...a maze of concrete and steel barriers, designed to prevent vehicles driving straight through.
6. preposition If a driver goes through a red light, they keep driving even though they should stop. ⇒ He was killed at a road junction by a van driver who went through a red light. ⇒ We drove through red traffic lights, the horn blaring. 7. preposition If something goes into an object and comes out of the other side, you can say that it passes through the object. ⇒ The ends of the net pass through a wooden bar at each end. ⇒ Zita was herself unconventional, keeping a safety-pin stuck through her ear lobe.
Through is also an adverb. ⇒ I bored a hole so that the fixing bolt would pass through.
To go through a system means to move around it or to pass from one end of it to the other. ⇒ ...electric currents travelling through copper wires. ⇒ What a lot of cards you've got through the post! ⇒ ...a child's successful passage through the education system.
Through is also an adverb. ⇒ It is also expected to consider a resolution which would allow food to go through immediately with fewer restrictions.
9. preposition If you see, hear, or feel something through a particular thing, that thing is between you and the thing you can see, hear, or feel. ⇒ Alice gazed pensively through the wet glass. ⇒ They could hear music pulsing through the walls of the house. ⇒ I am sure I can feel a vibration through the soles of my feet. 10. preposition If something such as a feeling, attitude, or quality, happens through an area, organization, or a person's body, it happens everywhere in it or affects all of it. ⇒ An atmosphere of anticipation vibrated through the crowd. ⇒ The melody that ran through his brain was composed of bad notes. ⇒ What was going through his mind when he spoke those amazing words? ⇒ A mood of optimism swept through the company and its customers. 11. preposition If something happens or exists through a period of time, it happens or exists from the beginning until the end. ⇒ We're playing in New Zealand, Australia and Japan through November. ⇒ Saga features trips for older people at home and abroad all through the year. ⇒ She kept quiet all through breakfast.
Through is also an adverb. ⇒ We've got a tough programme, hard work right through to the summer. ⇒ He worked right through.
12. preposition If something happens from a particular period of time through another, it starts at the first period and continues until the end of the second period. [US] ⇒ ...open Monday through Sunday from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. ⇒ During her busy season (March through June), she often completes as many as fifty paintings a week.regional note: in BRIT, use to 13. preposition If you go through a particular experience or event, you experience it, and if you behave in a particular way through it, you behave in that way while it is happening. ⇒ Men go through a change of life emotionally just like women. ⇒ ...a humorous woman who had lived through two world wars in Paris. ⇒ Why was I putting myself through all this misery? ⇒ Through it all, Mark was outwardly calm. 14. adjective [v-link ADJ] If you are through with something or if it is through, you have finished doing it and will never do it again. If you are through with someone, you do not want to have anything to do with them again. [+ with] ⇒ I'm through with the explaining. ⇒ Training as a marriage counsellor would guarantee her some employment once her schooling was through. ⇒ They were through. They wanted out. Forever. ⇒ I'm through with women. 15. preposition You use through in expressions such as half-way through and all the way through to indicate to what extent an action or task is completed. ⇒ A thirty-nine-year-old competitor collapsed half-way through the marathon and died shortly afterwards.
Through is also an adverb. ⇒ Stir the pork about until it turns white all the way through.
If something happens because of something else, you can say that it happens through it. because of ⇒ They are understood to have retired through age or ill health. ⇒ The thought of someone suffering through a mistake of mine makes me shiver.
17. preposition You use through when stating the means by which a particular thing is achieved. ⇒ Those who seek to grab power through violence deserve punishment. ⇒ You simply can't get a ticket through official channels. 18. preposition If you do something through someone else, they take the necessary action for you. ⇒ Do I need to go through my doctor or can I make an appointment direct? ⇒ Speaking through an interpreter, he called for some new thinking from the West. 19. adverb [ADV after v] If something such as a proposal or idea goes through, it is accepted by people in authority and is made legal or official. ⇒ It is possible that the present Governor General will be made interim President, if the proposals go through. ⇒ The secretary of state during the Nixon-Ford transition did not wish to push the proposals through. Through is also a preposition. ⇒ They want to get the plan through Congress as quickly as possible. 20. preposition If someone gets through an examination or a round of a competition, they succeed or win. ⇒ She was bright, learned languages quickly, and sailed through her exams. ⇒ All the seeded players got through the first round.
Through is also an adverb. ⇒ Nigeria also go through from that group.
21. adverb [ADV after v] When you get through while making a telephone call, the call is connected and you can speak to the person you are phoning. ⇒ He may find the line cut on the telephone so that he can't get through. ⇒ Smith tried to get through to Frank at Warm Springs the next morning. 22. preposition If you look or go through a lot of things, you look at them or deal with them one after the other. ⇒ Let's go through the numbers together and see if a workable deal is possible. ⇒ When you have finished your list of personal preferences, go through it again. ⇒ David ran through the agreement with Guy, point by point. ⇒ He, too, had a lot of paperwork to get through. 23. preposition If you read through something, you read it from beginning to end. ⇒ She read through pages and pages of the music I had brought her. ⇒ I only had time to skim through the script before I flew over here.
Through is also an adverb. ⇒ He read the article straight through, looking for any scrap of information that might have passed him by.
24. adjective [ADJ n] A through train goes directly to a particular place, so that the people who want to go there do not have to change trains. ⇒ ...Britain's longest through train journey, 685 miles. 25. adverb [adj ADV] If you say that someone or something is wet through, you are emphasizing how wet they are. [emphasis] ⇒ I returned to the inn cold and wet, soaked through by the drizzling rain. ⇒ She went on crying, and cried and cried until the pillow was wet through.
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