Prepositions are function words like "to", "over", "through", "in".

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

72
votes
12answers
9k views

When is it appropriate to end a sentence in a preposition?

Like many others, I commonly find myself ending a sentence with a preposition. Yes, it makes me cringe. I usually rewrite the sentence, but sometimes (in emails) I just live with it. To, with... ...
32
votes
3answers
48k views

When should “into” be used rather than “in to,” and vice versa?

"Into" (one word) and "in to" (two words) are frequently confused. In what situations should the former be used? The latter?
22
votes
4answers
4k views

“between” vs “among”

Today I was cut off in the middle of the following sentence: "Between Cook, Strauss and Pietersen..." My friend said I was wrong; for more than 2 entities, among/amongst are used. Between is ...
20
votes
1answer
7k views

When should I use “in” or “on”?

As it is common with people from my country, I have an immense difficulty with prepositions in English, especially with the use of in and on. When the preposition indicates the position of the ...
8
votes
7answers
13k views

How can I explain to people that the phrase “off of ” is grammatically incorrect?

How can I explain to people that the phrase off of is grammatically incorrect? I‘ve heard this phrase used a lot, especially by Americans (though they aren't the only ones). In my understanding, ...
6
votes
5answers
15k views

Does “notified by [date]” include the end date?

I have read the Rules of a competition. The text of the Rules include a sentence as follows: As per stated in the Rules the entrants will be notified by May 30th 2010. Does the sentence above ...
3
votes
4answers
591 views

Avoiding “existential it” while referring to a past event?

I know the use of "existential it" is frowned upon, but I'm not entirely sure how to rephrase the following sentence to remove it: It is hard to tell what would have occurred if the battle had ...
28
votes
3answers
8k views

When are “because”, “since”,“for” and “as” interchangeable?

I am not a native speaker. On a previous question of mine, I thanked for an answer by saying: So the phrase is not an idiom, since it is applied in its literal sense. I consciously chose since ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

ON an American street, but IN a British one. Do the twain ever meet?

In the United States, we say that someone lives on a street, whereas I've noticed that British people say in. For instance: Bubba lives on Washington Street. Colin lives in Cavendish Avenue. I ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

“This question has been asked at Stack Overflow” vs. “on Stack Overflow”

How should I phrase it: This question has been asked at Stack Overflow. Or, This question has been asked on Stack Overflow.
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Origin/reason for the expression “on the bus” instead of “in the bus”

This is sort of a follow up to my question here. I was told a while ago that the reason why we use "on the bus" instead of "in the bus" is because back in the day buses were open, that is, they ...
14
votes
8answers
4k views

Do I travel “up” or “down” to London from north of the city?

I am travelling geographically down the country from north of the city of London. Do I state "I am travelling down to London" or do I state "I am travelling up to London" in reference to its capital ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

Which one is more correct: “works at a university” or “works in a university”?

My relative is a fairly big academic and works at a university. Is this correct? or should I have used in instead?
5
votes
2answers
8k views

“Studying PhD at the university” or “studying PhD in the university”?

Which of these two sentences is correct: I am studying PhD at the university. I am studying PhD in the university. Should I use "at" or "in"? Or is there no difference?
-3
votes
3answers
385 views

On/in its semantics?

Please help me in choosing the right preposition in the below sentence: The returned values seem a bit confusing on/in its semantics, Here I'm talking about returned values of a computer ...
11
votes
5answers
8k views

“In the Internet” vs. “on the Internet”

When should I use "in the Internet" and when "on the Internet"?
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Usage of the verb “provide”

Does the verb "provide" always have to be used with "with"? For example, Can you provide me with some good examples? Can you provide me some good examples? Can you provide some good ...
11
votes
5answers
16k views

What does 'ten of six' mean in regard to time?

I am referring of course to the expression describing time. Today a corporate trainer (From north Philadelphia) that is teaching a class at my company used it in the context that the current time was ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Correct usage of ‘on’, ‘at’ and ‘in’ from a foreigner’s point of view

As a foreign English speaker who never really studied too much English grammar other than the basics at high school, I am often struggling to use the correct form in certain phrases. At being ...
5
votes
2answers
956 views

“Where are you now at?” — grammatically correct?

Should I say "Where are you at now?" or "Where are you now at?" Which is grammatically correct? And is there any difference in meaning between the two?
3
votes
3answers
713 views

“At” vs. “in” before verb

In a document I found the following sentence: listeners are more accurate at understanding speech spoken in their own accent... Would it be an error to use "in" instead of "at"? Actually in ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “of ” necessary in “all of ”?

Listen to all your fans vs Listen to all of  your fans OR Name all the states vs Name all of  the states What part of language is of  in these examples? Is it necessary or ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

Is “To whom could we direct our questions to?” grammatical?

I was wondering which of these sentences are proper? If we have further questions with regards to x&y, to whom could we direct our questions? If we have further questions with regards to ...
20
votes
6answers
19k views

Which is correct: “prefer X to Y” or “prefer X over Y”?

Many say that "prefer X to Y" has a more formal ring to it than "prefer X over Y". Are there any dialects where you wouldn't use "prefer X to Y" in colloquial speech at all? Conversely, are there any ...
11
votes
3answers
39k views

“Solution for” or “solution to” a problem?

I need to find a solution to/for this problem. Can to and for be used interchangeably here? Is one of them just plain wrong?
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How to combine in a sentence two verb–preposition pairs that have the same object?

Examples: Data can be imported to and exported from the application. Data can be imported and exported from the application. Data can be imported to the application and exported from it. ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

Rule for using “for” vs. “to”

A Brazilian friend speaks English very well, but has a very unique habit: it seems often that she needs to use "for" but she instead uses "to", and vice-versa. For instance: The present is to ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

“Between A and B” or “from A to B”

Suppose we are talking about the numbers 1, 2, ... , 10. When we use the phrase between 1 and 10, do we include the end-points 1 and 10? Is there any difference if we say from 1 to 10 instead?
4
votes
2answers
5k views

“In college” versus “at college” versus “at university” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which one is more correct: “works at a university” or “works in a university”? It seems that only in the U.S. one says that they are or were "in ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it correct to use “all this” instead of “all of this”?

I frequently see people write "all this", instead of "all of this". Is this a grammatically correct phrase? My intuition tells me that it's wrong (the spoken phrase "all this" is really a contraction ...
21
votes
4answers
9k views

“Sit in a chair” vs. “sit on a chair”

What is the correct usage? I know you sit 'on' a sofa/couch. What about chair?
10
votes
2answers
23k views

“Covered with” vs. “covered in” vs. “covered by”

I want to find out the differences in meaning among covered by, covered in, and covered with. For example, what is the difference between: covered with blood covered in blood or the ...
37
votes
4answers
76k views

What is the difference between “till” and “until”?

What is the difference between till and until? When to use till or until? Please explain with examples.
18
votes
11answers
31k views

“Based on” instead of “based off of”

I sometimes see cases where off is followed by of, and it sounds awkward to me. For example, I would prefer This story is based on a true story. to This story is based off of a true story. ...
15
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the distinction between “among” and “amongst”?

It seems amongst is quite often used as a synonym for among but it is supposed to sound more distinguished. Is there any difference in the meaning?
9
votes
4answers
26k views

“On website” or “at website”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: This question has been asked at/on SO? Which sentence is grammatically correct? The papers are freely available at the journal website. The papers are freely available ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

“All our X” vs. “all of our X”

Is the word "of" optional in this instance? Is either of these considered preferable to the other? Taste all our delicious treats. Taste all of our delicious treats.
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Preposition usage: on, in, and at

Which is correct, "I worked on a project" or "I worked in a project?" Should I say "when I was at the university I studied math" or "when I was in the university I studied math?"
11
votes
4answers
5k views

Is it correct to say “the bird is in the tree” or “on the tree”?

In the children's rhyme: Johnny and July sitting in a tree K I S S I N G First comes love Then comes marriage Then come children in a baby carriage They are said to be sitting in a tree. ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the correct usage of “while” and “whilst”?

When should whilst be used instead of while? For example, should I use the first or the second sentence? They don't do this whilst they do that. They don't do this while they do that. What ...
10
votes
7answers
18k views

“In time” versus “on time”

Which one is correct: Submit your work in time. Submit your work on time.
3
votes
2answers
296 views

Where to place 'only' relative to prepositions?

I know that questions about the placement of 'only', are often asked here; accordingly, I searched for an answer to my question before posting it. Question Where are focusing adverbs placed relative ...
0
votes
1answer
932 views

Is “in [some period]” different from “within [some period]”?

Q1: "I'll finish this job within 5 days" definitely means the job is expected to cost 5 days or less. However, does "I'll finish this job in 5 days" mean exactly the same? Q2: Can we say, "I'll ...
13
votes
6answers
41k views

Difference between “at” and “in” when specifying location

I am used to saying "I am in India.". But somewhere I saw it said "I am at Puri (Oriisa)". I would like to know the differences between "in" and "at" in the above two sentences.
7
votes
4answers
15k views

Proper usage of “since” and “from” with regard to duration of time

When you returned, I had been at home since 10 minutes. When you returned, I had been at home from 5 minutes. In such sentences, is it correct to use since or from? When since is used?
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Why “step into a car” but “step onto a plane”

Why do we say stepped into a car with cars but can't say the same with planes? Instead we say stepped onto a plane.
7
votes
1answer
4k views

When to use “to” and when “for”?

Examples: It is important to me. It will be good for you. This sounds stupid to me. I'll make it comfortable for you. I'll make it available to you. Any rules here, dear native ...
4
votes
3answers
22k views

Which one is right — “He works at company X” or “in company X ”?

I usually use "at a company" but I have encountered some articles using "in a company", "in XYZ firm" or "in an organization". Which one is right?
1
vote
1answer
1k views

“All X” vs. “all of X” vs. “all the X”

Is there any difference between "all X", "all of the X", "all the X"? E.g., all friends all of the friends all the friends
7
votes
2answers
428 views

Where can I find a list of ways to get rid of the preposition “of”?

I'm learning English. Unfortunately I have some obstacles in writing and speaking. In particular I often note that there are too many "of"-s in my sentences. For instance I want to get rid of them in ...