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10 Common Mistakes in the Use of Prepositions

Published on Friday, June 08, 2018
10 Common Mistakes in the Use of Prepositions
It is a word used before noun or pronoun to show its relation with the other words of the sentence. There are several preposition words which govern and usually come in front of a noun or pronoun. Eg: on, in, with, at, before, into, onto, etc. Preposition expresses a relation to another word or element.


1. Verb placed immediately after preposition must be in gerund form. Eg:

  • He prevented me from drinking water. 
  • He insist on trying again. 

2. When object of preposition is an Interrogative Pronoun such as What, Who, Whom, Which, Where etc. ., the preposition usually takes end or front position. 

  • What are you thinking of? 
  • Who were you talking to? 
It used to be thought ungrammatical to end a sentence with preposition, but it is now well accepted.

3. When object of preposition is relative pronoun that, the preposition takes end position. 

  • Here is the magazine that you asked for. 
  • This is the dish that she is fond of. 

4. When object of preposition is infinitive (to + verb), the preposition is placed after infinitive. 

  • This is a good hotel to stay at. 
  • I need a pencil to write with. 

5. In some sentences, preposition is attached with the verb. These verbs take appropriate preposition with them. 

  • I hate being laughed at. 
  • This I insist on. 

6. In some cases preposition comes in the beginning. These are usually Interrogative sentences. 

  • By which train did you come? 
  • For whom was instructions given? 

Prepositions omitted

1. Some transitive verbs do not take prepositions with them. Such commonly used verbs are: reach, resist, resemble, afford, accompany, attack, assist, pick, pervade, precede, obey, order, combat, benefit, inform, violate etc. 
  • He ordered for a cup of tea. (Incorrect)
  • He ordered a cup of tea. (Correct)
  • India attacked on Pakistan. (Incorrect)
  • India attacked Pakistan. (Correct)
  • He informed to me yesterday. (Incorrect)
  • He informed me yesterday. (Correct)

2. If verbs showing movement like go, get etc. is used with home, we should not use any preposition before home. 
  • It took them three hours to get home. 
  • I went home by bus. 
If any pronoun/adjective/phrase is used immediately before home, the use of preposition is necessary. 
  • She returned to her husband’s home. 
  • I went to his home. 
The preposition at is also used with home. 
  • You can do this homework at home. 
  • We can stay at home. 

3. Verbs denoting command, request, invitation, and advice e.g. advise, ask, beg, command, encourage, implore, invite, order, recommend, remind, request, tell, urge, warn, can be followed directly by the person addressed without the use of preposition to. 
  • I advised her to wait. 
  • We urged him to try again. 
  • I reminded them that there were no trains after 8 P.M. 
  • She warned him that the ice was thin. 

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