I am often bump in the "of" preposition in different sentences. Here are some of these:

The new professor is of Turkish descent.

He is a citizen of Russia.

I dream of visiting Europe.

Here are examples when you wish to use the "of" preposition but need to use another one:

The new computer from the tech giant.

The Nile is the longest river in the world.

The girl recovered from her illness.

What the global rule one can follow to not make mistakes in speech construction?

  • 4
    There are no global rules (or, more accurately, the global rules that exist are partial and inconsistently applied). The use of prepositions (or equivalent) is one of the most idiosyncratic parts of a language - certainly of English, and of all other languages I am at all familiar with.
    – Colin Fine
    Mar 28, 2018 at 23:47
  • That is like saying when do I use the genitive in Russian?
    – Lambie
    Apr 28, 2018 at 13:59

1 Answer 1


A good dictionary is a great help. Make sure to consult it when you have doubts.

As for your examples, it's possible to say not only "of Turkish descent" but also "Turkish by descent".

You can dream of or about visiting Europe, and you can actually say "river of the world"(http://www.primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk/rivers/longest.htm).

You can only recover from something and be a citizen of some country (of shows the relationship of belonging between one thing and another (a citizen and a country)).

In the phrase "the new computer from the tech giant", from shows the origin of the computer (we use from for the same reason saying furniture from Spain or I am from Canada).

All in all, sometimes it's possible to find a logical explanation for the use of certain prepositions, but sometimes we'd better just remember something as a prepositional phrase.

  • Mostly I agree with your answer, but "the new computer of the tech giant", and "furniture of Spain" cannot be entirely ruled out. Nor equally, can the alternative genitive "The tech giant's new computer" and "Spain's furniture".
    – WS2
    Jun 23, 2018 at 14:43

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