English Grammar Common errors in Prepositions| Exercises | Notes
ERRORS IN USE OF PREPOSITIONS
A preposition is a word used with a noun or pronoun to show its relation to some other word in a sentence.
PREPOSITIONS OF TIME
1. At is used
(a) with a definite point of time
e.g. I usually get up at 5 o’clock.
She leaves her house every day at 9 a.m.
(b) with festivals
e.g. He will come at Holi.
2. In is used :
(a) with the parts of the day, (with noon, use at), months, seasons and years
e.g. He takes a walk in the afternoon.
In summer the weather is warm.
(b) with the future tense referring to the period in which action may take place
e.g. You must be careful in future.
3. On is used : with days and dates
e.g. My brother will arrive on Monday.
My birthday is on the first of June.
4. By refers to the latest time at which an action will be over
e.g. The examination will be over by 5 p.m.
5. For is used with perfect continuous tense showing the duration of action
e.g. I have been here for three years.
6. Since is used with the point of time when action begins and continues :
e.g. He has been ill since last Tuesday.
Since 1980, Shalini has lived in Delhi.
7. From refers to the starting point of action.
e.g. This water came from a spring.
She came from USA.
PREPOSITIONS OF POSITION
1. At refers to an exact point.
e.g. The tourist stayed at the Tourist Hotel.
He studied at Oxford.
2. In refers to larger areas.
e.g. He lives in Bombay.
3. Between is used for two persons or two things.
e.g. Share these sweets between him and me.
It is a secret between you and me.
4. Among is used with more than two persons or things but before the word which starts with a consonant letter.
e.g. Divide the sweets among the three boys.
5. Amongst is also used with more than two persons or things but before the word which starts with a vowel letter.
e.g. Divide the sweets amongst us.
6. Above is used for higher than.
e.g. The sun rose above the horizon.
We were flying above the clouds.
7. Under is used for vertically below.
e.g. It is shady under the trees.
8. Below is used for lower than.
e.g. When the sun sets it goes below the horizon. Your work is below average.
9. Over is used for vertically above.
e.g. There is an aircraft coming over.
The bathroom is over the kitchen.
10. Beneath means a lower position.
e.g. the ground was slippery beneath her.
PREPOSITIONS OF DIRECTION
1. To is used to express motion from one place to another.
e.g. We walked to the river and back.
2. Towards refers to direction.
e.g. He saw me running towards him.
She glanced towards the mirror.
3. Into denotes motion towards the inside of something.
e.g. She fell into a ditch.
4. At refers to aim.
e.g. He aimed at the bird.
5. For denotes direction.
e.g. I will leave for Pune today.
The Minister left for the U.K.
6. Against shows pressure.
e.g. She cleaned the edge of her knife against the plate.
He leaned against a tree.
7. Off refers to separation.
e.g. He was wiping sweat off his face.
Kim fell off his chair in a swoon.
8. From refers to the point of departure.
e.g. The man parted from his friends.
We scrambled from our trucks and ran after them.
Other Uses of Preposition
1. About shows nearness.
e.g. I was about to go to bed when there was a knock at the door.
His father is about to retire.
2. Along stands for in the same line.
e.g. She led them along the corridor.
The current passes along the wire here.
3. After refers to sequence.
e.g. She came after me.
Soon after, Faraday began his researches into electricity.
4. Across means from one side.
e.g. He blew a cloud of smoke across the table.
She ran across the field.
5. Before stands for in front of.
e.g. A thief was brought before the judge.
The garage is before the road.
6. Behind means at the the back of.
e.g. She sat down behind the hedge.
The sun went behind a cloud.
7. Beyond means on the farther side of.
e.g. This is beyond his power.
Love is beyond all human control.
8. Beside means by the side of.
e.g.I sat down beside my wife.
9. Besides means in addition to.
e.g. He is guilty of five killings and more besides.
Besides being a teacher, he is a skilled crafts-man.
· abound with·
· abstain from
· according to
· accordance with
· accuse of
· accustomed to
· acquaint with
· acquit of
· adverse to
· affiliate to/with
· afflict with
· afraid of
· agree to/on
· aim at
· allude to
· alternate with
· alternative to
· angry with
· apply to (body)
· appreciation of
· apprise of
· approximate of
· arraign against
· arrest in
· arrive at/in
· ashamed of
· aspire to/after/at
· associate with
· assure of
· attribute to
· beset with
· beware of
· blink at
· boast of
· break off
· bungle over
· careful of
· cause of
· centre on
· charge with
· clamour for
· clamp on
· coerce into
· collide with
· comment on
· compatible with
· complain of’
· comply with
· compliment on
· composed of
· concur in
· condole with
· conducive to
· confer on
· confirmation of
· conform to
· congratulate on
· conscious of
· contiguity with
· converge on
· convict of
· co-opt to
· cope with
· correspond with
· converge on
· convict of
· co-opt to
· cope with
· correspond with
· cost of
· credit with
· criticism of
· cure of
effort in (—ing)
F, G, H
fed up with
J, K, L
|lash atlay siege to
live on (income)
pay a call on
SOME SPECIAL CASES
• absolve from (blame) / of (sin)
• admit to (hospital, place, class)
• appear for (examination)/at
• begin on (not from Sunday)
• blow down (the roof)/off (steam)/over (pass off)
• buy in (market, store)/at (shop)
• come/go by (bus, train)
• come into (conflicit with)
• compare with (one man height with another ’s)/to (one man’s height to a building)
• consist of (to denote the substance)/in (define the subject)
• deal with (somebody)/ in (goods)
• die of (disease)/from (other causes)
• differ from (to be different from)/with (to disagree)
• due to (used after a noun, not after a verb)
• entrust to (somebody a job)
• entrust (somebody) with a job)
• fill with (enthusiasm)/ in (a form) .
• fire at (when not hit)/on (when injured to killed)
• glad of (the news)/at (having arrived safe)
• hostility to/in hand (being attended to)/ on hand (in possession of)
• ingratiate (oneself) with
• inquire into (matter) / of (person)/about. often (thing)
• invest with (power/in (blank)
• key of (the door)/to (a problem)
• level (charge) against.
• look at (consider evidence)/to (somebody for aid)
• meeting (called) for (Sunday)
• motive in (doing)/for (an act)
• neglect of (duty)/in (doing a thing)
• nominated to (board)
• noted for (good things)
• owing to (used after a verb, not after a noun)
• part from (people)/with (things)
• preventive for priority
• put out (light)/off (trip)
• Shoot at (when injured)/in (leg, head)
• take up (job)/to (a hobby)
• taste of (sensation)/for (liking)
• tear off (remove)/up (to pieces)
• vest with (The P.M. is vested with power to …)/ in (Powers are vested in the P.M. to …)