I always think for ownership or assignment we should use an "of" word.
For example, I think this phrase is correct: The door of his room but, I read a story book of Longman and I saw this phrase: The door to his room.

Why does "to" come here instead of "of"?

  • 1
    With buildings and material objects it is normally to - the window to the front bedroom, the floor to the balcony is wet, the spare wheel to the car is missing etc. With people, animals etc. it would normally be of - he wore a ring on the third finger of the left hand. But there must already be a lot more on this site concerning this matter.
    – WS2
    Dec 30, 2016 at 8:07
  • For transitional spaces, we generally use to - the door to his room = the door that leads into his room. The carpet of/in his room, the door to his room.
    – John Feltz
    Dec 30, 2016 at 12:50
  • @JohnFeltz Yes. If the thing is only a temporary fitment, such as a carpet, it would more likely call for of/in. But definitely the floor to the room is damp.
    – WS2
    Dec 30, 2016 at 23:14
  • @WS2 I'm far more likely to say The floor of the room is damp. Google Ngrams agrees.
    – verbose
    Jan 29, 2017 at 22:19
  • @verbose I would agree that I am exaggerating to say definitely. The floor of the room is certainly possible.
    – WS2
    Jan 30, 2017 at 0:12

1 Answer 1


It is not about choosing one or the other. Both make sense and can be correct, but they make sense differently.

The door of the room refers to the door being a property of the room. It is perfectly fine to think in that way. In this case, the sense is that the room has parts that belong to it or attributes that characterize it. These might include a door, window, walls, floor, ceiling, and even various furnishings.

The door to the room refers to the door as a portal or entryway to the room: a way to enter or exit it. In this sense, it is not thought of as part of the room but as something that relates the room to its exterior.

  • How about the near-side wing mirror to the Toyota is broken?
    – WS2
    Dec 30, 2016 at 23:17
  • @WS2: How about it? Is it a joke? Would you say that, or would you say ...of the Toyota? (I would, or I'd just say the Toyota's driver-side....)
    – Drew
    Dec 31, 2016 at 0:49
  • I'm not sure what I would say off the cuff. But certainly to is a possibility with any of these - particularly the floor to the garage is wet. But of or in are also likely.
    – WS2
    Dec 31, 2016 at 9:03
  • 1
    @WS2: Certainly more than one preposition (of, to, for,...) is possible in many contexts, and in some contexts different prepositions mean nearly the same thing.
    – Drew
    Dec 31, 2016 at 17:34

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