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Top 5 Mistakes When Using Prepositions

Top 5 Mistakes When Using Prepositions

Prepositions and their rules can be really confusing to English learners because there are so many different ones, and choosing the correct preposition will sometimes depend on the word that comes before it and in some cases it will also depend on what comes after the preposition.

For example, we can use with or about after upset depending on the situation:

We use about + something:

“I’m upset about what he said.”

We use with + someone:

“I’m upset with him.”

Let’s look at another example. We say:

“I am in a relationship with him.”

But we say:

“I am married to him.” (...NOT I’m married with him)

So do you see how memorizing the rules won’t help you in this case? You might have read that we use about with upset so many times, but until you’ve produced a sentence with this combination multiple times, you won’t retain it. A good way to practice would be to make a list of 5 or 6 different combinations and create your own sentences with them 2 or 3 times a week. Practice them until you learn them and change the list once a month.

Now let's look at some of the most common mistakes English learners make with propositions.

1. interested + in

  • "I’m interested in this job."
  • "I’m interested about this job."
  • "I’m interested for this job."

2. afraid + of

  • "Are you afraid of spiders?"
  • "Are you afraid by spiders?"

3. depend + on

  • "I might go out tonight. It depends on how I feel."
  • "...It depends of how I feel."

4. married + to

  • "He's married to my sister."
  • "He's married with my sister."

5. good/bad + at

  • "I’m really bad at math."
  • "I’m really bad in math."

Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

Tips for Using Gerunds

Tips for Using Gerunds