What is the best preposition at/for/on to use in sentences like these:

Configure CoS queue parameters at interface


Configure CoS queue parameters for interface


Configure CoS queue parameters on interface

These sentence fragments are help messages for CLI commands in the networking device. Articles are intentionally omitted to shorten them.


What should the prepositions be if I use Set and Enable instead of Configure?

Enable 'something' on interface


Set 'something' on interface


Meaning of these fragments is the following: There is a device and it has some ports (I call them interfaces). There are some parameters that can be configured for the particular interface. There are some parameters that can be enabled on the interface. There are some attributes that can be set on the interface.

  • 1
    All of these are sentence fragments. What is the full intended usage of any of these? Mar 4, 2015 at 14:18
  • Updated the question
    – Konstantin
    Mar 4, 2015 at 14:23
  • Then what do you mean by "interface" here? Do you mean interface as a coding construct, or something involving a user interaction, or possibly something else? This really needs context.
    – Robusto
    Mar 4, 2015 at 14:28
  • @Robusto, in my case interface means Ethernet port
    – Konstantin
    Mar 4, 2015 at 15:48
  • Different prepositions change the meaning. You must say what you intend the sentence [fragment] to mean in order to determine which preposition gives that meaning.
    – Andrew Leach
    Mar 4, 2015 at 16:18

2 Answers 2


As an (ex) network engineer, I would use on for the "enable" case, and generally use for in the "QoS parameters" case.

The rationale is that in the former I am performing an action directly on the interface, but in the latter I am performing actions on settings of the interface.


Out of the three suggestions you provide, for is the word that best describes your meaning.

Configure CoS queue parameters for interface
[Use this option to] configure CoS queue parameters for [the] interface[.]

However, because the parameters belong to the interface, it might also be appropriate to say:

Configure interface CoS queue parameters
[Use this option to] configure [the] interface['s] CoS queue parameters[.]

Additionally, if your help message will always apply to a CLI, interface might be redundant.

Configure CoS queue parameters
[Use this option to] configure CoS queue parameters[.]
  • Ian, thank you for the reply. In my case the interface word isn't redundant because there are some global settings and some setting for the particular interface.
    – Konstantin
    Mar 4, 2015 at 15:47
  • Is the interface to CoS generally (and queue parameters are set there), or just to managing the CoS queue in particular? Respectively, would “Configure CoS interface queue parameters”, or “Configure CoS queue interface parameters”, be clear to your users?
    – Raven
    Dec 29, 2022 at 8:28

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