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

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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... ...
52
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11answers
13k views

What is the difference between “it's up to you” and “it's down to you”?

I see both "It's up to you" and "It's down to you" in conversations. So what's the difference?
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4answers
50k views

'Made of' vs. 'Made from'

What is the basic difference between "made of" and "made from." Both expressions are used in English. For instance, "This chair is made of wood," and "Cream is made from milk." Though the question is ...
39
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4answers
99k 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.
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7answers
5k views

Why use “of” in the phrase “delivered of a baby”?

With all the "Royal baby" craze comes something that really confuses me. All the news media used pretty much the same sentence to make the announcement: The Duchess of Cambridge has been ...
34
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3answers
63k 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?
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4answers
10k 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 ...
28
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5answers
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What are the historical processes of preposition coining in English?

RegDwight's excellent answer showing the historical usage of despite got me thinking about the processes by which new prepositions are coined. Prepositions are generally considered a closed class, and ...
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3answers
20k views

Is it “despite” or “despite of”?

Should I always use 'despite' instead of 'despite of'?
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9answers
3k views

Beer is made ___ yeast, water, hops, and malted barley

Which is the correct answer to fill in the gap in "Beer is made ____ yeast, water, hops and malted barley"? of from with out of I am leaning toward '2'. "Made from" can be used to describe a ...
24
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4answers
2k views

“Bad with something” or “bad at something”?

In a question on Spanish.StackExchange, a question came up about expressing that you are bad at remembering or doing something. Is one "bad at something" or "bad with something" (nouns)? What about ...
23
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4answers
5k 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 ...
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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.
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4answers
12k 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?
21
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6answers
24k 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 ...
21
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8answers
9k views

Is it correct to say “on accident” instead of “by accident”?

There is a great chasm on these phrases in the US. The great divide seems to be currently centered at the age of 40. The younger generation has began shifting to "on accident" for unknown reasons. ...
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1answer
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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 ...
20
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11answers
37k 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. ...
19
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6answers
5k views

What does “I am married with three kids” mean?

Where did this come from? It sounds nasty to me (I am not a native speaker). But it seems correct. Can somebody explain this?
17
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3answers
4k views

“Make something out of” or “Make something with”?

So there was a fill in quiz I had to do, and there was a question it says: Bill can make a doghouse _ paper. That's cool. I filled in 'out of'. Bill can make a doghouse out of paper. And ...
17
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6answers
64k views

“Call me through/at/on this number”

What is the difference between the following when referring to telephone calls? Please call me on this number. You can reach me on this number. Please call me at this number. You can reach ...
17
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5answers
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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 ...
16
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4answers
8k 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?
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3answers
3k 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 ...
15
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2answers
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Why is 'to' not used before 'home'?

While learning English, I was taught not to put 'to' in front of 'home'. I.e. "go to home" is incorrect, you should say "go home". Is there a reason (maybe historical) for this?
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4answers
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“Fill out a form” or “fill in a form”

Does one fill out a form or does one fill in a form? I've gotten different answers from the people I've asked. Google search results: fill in a form — 14,200,000 fill out a form — ...
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3answers
38k views

“proficient <in/at/with>” What is the correct usage?

Which preposition is correct in the phrase "proficient in/at/with English"?
14
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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 ...
14
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3answers
39k views

“Thru” vs. “through”

Could anyone explain the differences between "thru" and "through"? Is the difference only in spelling? Is "thru" some sort of slang?
14
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3answers
6k views

“In order to…”, “To…” or “For…”

What preposition should we use to start a sentence where we first explain a purpose and then a method to achieve it? Example 1 Purpose = pass the exams Method = study a lot In order to pass the ...
13
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4answers
806 views

Two children from/with/by my ex-husband

Are all of the following sentences OK? I have two children with my ex-husband. I have two children from my ex-husband. I have two children by my ex-husband. Do they mean the same ...
13
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4answers
2k views

Why “half past” and not “half to”?

When telling time and 30 minutes has gone past an hour, we say “half past”. For instance, half past 4 or half past 5. Why can’t we also say “half to”. For instance, half to 5 or half to 6? Shouldn’t ...
13
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7answers
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Logical meaning of the word “understand”

To understand something means to be aquainted with it, to know it very well, know how it "ticks". This is one of the basic words that has a direct "meaning" in mind. However, if we "dissect" it, is ...
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3answers
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“Need of” vs. “need for”

Is "need of religion" grammatically incorrect as opposed to "need for religion"? Or "need of salt" vs. "need for salt"?
13
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7answers
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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.
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6answers
14k views

Which is correct: “bored of”, “bored by”, “bored with”?

I have been asked by a young friend, "Which is correct: bored by, bored of, or bored with?" My instinct is to say that "bored of" and "bored by" are fine, but "bored with" sounds like she is being ...
12
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5answers
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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 ...
12
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3answers
46k 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?
12
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3answers
14k views

“Translate into” vs. “Translate to”

Does one translate a word or phrase into another language or to another language? For example: Translate the following phrase to Spanish. Translate the following phrase into Spanish.
12
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6answers
29k views

“on the train” or “in the train”?

Which of these is correct: "I am on the train" or "I am in the train"?
12
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3answers
6k 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?
12
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4answers
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“At” or “in” the office?

When do you use at the office? And when do you use in the office? What's the difference between the phrases?
12
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6answers
1k views

“Toward” or “towards” – what would a native speaker use?

In this question we learn that toward and towards are interchangeable, but that the former is somewhat more typical of U.S. English and the latter of British English, although there is some indication ...
12
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5answers
6k 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
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3answers
2k 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 ...
12
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5answers
10k views

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

When should I use "in the Internet" and when "on the Internet"?
11
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3answers
10k views

“I am on it” vs. “I am at it”

What are the differences between I am on it and I am at it? What does the latter mean? I found the definition of the former on Urban Dictionary and understand that it means I'm going to solve it ...
11
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7answers
23k views

“In time” versus “on time”

Which one is correct: Submit your work in time. Submit your work on time.
11
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4answers
672 views

Using “apologize” without “for”

Is it grammatically correct to use "apologize" as a verb without the preposition "for"? apologize: to make a formal defense in speech or writing. "I apologize the event." Wouldn't this ...
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2answers
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Meaning and usage of “be of”

I see such sentences all the time and I'd like to learn more about their grammatical structure (e.g. how they are described in grammatical terms), their meaning and how to use them in different ...