Questions tagged [prepositions]

Prepositions are function words like "to", "over", "through", "in". The meaning of a sentence can be dramatically altered by choosing the wrong preposition. Questions need to include enough information for the intended meaning to be deduced.

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6
votes
3answers
3k views

“[…] up with which I will not put.”

Okay, I'm probably being a bit slow here, but I don't quite understand this story: Supposedly an editor had clumsily rearranged one of Churchill’s sentences to avoid ending it in a preposition, and ...
14
votes
2answers
140k views

Which phrase is correct, “dependent on” or “dependent upon”?

Which sentence is correct? My project is dependent upon your project completing. My project is dependent on your project completing.
10
votes
3answers
82k views

Which preposition should I use here: “thinking of” or “thinking about”?

Thinking of getting an external keyboard Thinking about getting an external keyboard Which one is grammatically correct and why?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What preposition should I use here: “written of me” or “written about me”?

... having reviews and articles written of me in The New York Press. or ... having reviews and articles written about me in The New York Press.
9
votes
3answers
8k views

Why is it “wide *of* the mark” instead of “wide *off* the mark”?

One says that something is "off the mark". For instance, an opinion or comment. But when it is way off, why is it "wide of the mark" instead of "wide off the mark"?
12
votes
3answers
70k views

What general rules govern the usage of “by” versus “through”?

What general rules govern the usage of by versus through? For example, which is correct in each of these cases: My house is heated by/through gas. I'll send it to you by/through mail. I'll pay ...
-2
votes
1answer
5k views

Outside my control or outside “of” my control [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Outside” or “outside of”? Do we need "of" preposition in this expression? The defeat was certainly less glorious and vastly outside my control. ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Verb preposition for “be at odds”

I found "be at odds" in some examples and in each example the proposition -which is used for it- is different: They're at odds over the funding of the project. Her version of events was at ...
12
votes
2answers
15k views

Using “to” twice in a row

In the sentence "Who should I talk to to learn about that?" my grammar checker says I have a repeated word. I admit that it sounds a little awkward, but I'm not sure it's incorrect. I realize I could ...
4
votes
2answers
27k views

“In this year” versus “this year”

"In this year": Can anyone argue that the preposition in is unnecessary here, maybe even a hypercorrection? (Are there any situations where in is necessary?) Edits Some examples: How many days are ...
24
votes
3answers
54k views

“Denoted by” or just “denoted”?

In a mathematical context (explaining a formula just written) the following seems unobjectionable: "The set of unitary polynomials has been denoted by P". My question is whether it sounds right to ...
10
votes
6answers
23k views

Which of these is correct: “Sheila is now in Facebook” or “Sheila is now on Facebook”?

Can I also use in when referring to someone who is already a member of Facebook?
4
votes
1answer
3k views

What preposition do I use — on, to, for, — when writing “stand for election” for a group?

Hopefully this is a simple question, although possibly too simple for this site - if so I apologise! Which, if any, are acceptable phrases: ...stand for election on a place on the group ......
12
votes
6answers
40k views

“Solution to” vs. “solution of ”

What is the difference between saying solution to the problem and saying solution of the problem? Are they both equivalent, or is there some difference?
3
votes
3answers
447 views

Can the word “majors” used as a verb be followed by “on”?

Which of the following is correct? Are both acceptable? "Acme construction majors on quality remodeling and renovation." "Acme construction majors in quality remodeling and renovation."
2
votes
1answer
109 views

“vote” vs. “vote on”

Please tell me, what is the difference between vote and vote on
4
votes
2answers
4k views

“Stressful to” vs. “stressful for”

Which preposition, for or to, is correct in below sentence? It is less stressful [for/to] a child than an adult to learn a foreign language.
4
votes
0answers
177 views

“Ending with” vs “ending in” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “End with” vs. “end in” In one of my letters, I used the phrase "card number ending with 5612". It was pointed out by our analyst that this was a ...
2
votes
3answers
107 views

The X is on vs the X is at? What would you describe this variation as?

"The Knight is on D1." and "The Knight is at D1." Semantically the sentences mean the same thing. They are describing the position of a knight on a chessboard. The document I am writing contains a ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

“where's that to?”

In Plymouth, and other areas of Devon, it is common to suffix the question "where's that?" with to. e.g. Steve: I'm off to see Rita. Dave: Oh yeah? Where's Rita to? or Steve: I'm off to ...
13
votes
6answers
26k views

What preposition should one use with “redundant”?

I realize it's usually better to just say "A and B are redundant". But, I've also seen A is redundant with B ... to B ... of B all with basically the same intended meaning. Are any of these more (...
17
votes
10answers
17k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
11k views

“for about one year” or “for around one year”

Which of the following sentences is correct or better? I have been using this software for about one year. I have been using this software for around one year. Searching in Google gives 14 ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Until + tense / “since” or “for”

Is any of these sentences correct? Until I played again 2 months ago, I had not played to this game for 5 years. Until I played again 2 months ago, I had not played to this game since 5 years. ...
3
votes
1answer
10k views

Article written “in” or “on” a journal?

Is an article "written in a journal" or "written on a journal"?
5
votes
2answers
3k views

“Copyright on” or “Copyright to”?

What is the difference between "Copyright on something" and "Copyright to something", if any? Can I also say "I have rights on something" or only "I have rights to something" is correct?
4
votes
2answers
472 views

Using “that” before a preposition

It's correct to say: Here's a nice recording, which I think you will like listening to. Here's a nice recording that I think you will like listening to. What about these? Here's a nice ...
5
votes
4answers
18k views

“By” vs “Per”. Which one should I use on expressions like “P&L/Geography” or “VaR/Asset”?

In the finance field, it is quite common to express some measures in relation to some grouping criteria. Some groupings can be temporal (year, month, etc.) and others like greography, asset class (e.g....
1
vote
3answers
623 views

“excursion over city” vs “excursion around city”

Is there any difference in phrases usage? Which one is better for title of a story? The story is about tourists.
1
vote
4answers
117k views

How do you differentiate “thru”, “threw”, “through”, and “thorough”?

How do I know which word to use in the correct context? How do I recognize these words when hearing them? Examples: Jimmy threw the ring at Emiko. Elvis walked through the door. John ...
2
votes
4answers
18k views

Usage of “expect to” and “expectation to/of”

I've written: I expect to see you on Monday. I'm counting the days. To improve it, I've changed it in: With the expectation to see you on Monday, I'm counting the days. A friend told me: ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What’s the meaning of “hit him round the head”?

Dudley was sniffling in the back seat; his father had hit him round the head for holding them up while he tried to pack his television, VCR, and computer in his sports bag. (Harry Potter 1, Scholastic ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Prepositional phrases on the internet

Is there any online dictionary or database of prepositional phrases? What I would like is to enter e. g. "justification" and it would give me: "justification to somebody", "justification of something",...
1
vote
8answers
1k views

“Almost until 1900” or “until almost 1900”: which one is correct?

Although various eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American poets had professed an interest in Native American poetry and had pretended to imitate Native American forms in their own works, it was not ...
2
votes
2answers
424 views

What is the difference between “whack somebody around the shins” and “whack somebody on the shins”?

At Dudley’s fifth birthday party, Aunt Marge had whacked Harry around the shins with her walking stick to stop him from beating Dudley at musical statues. (Harry Potter 3, Scholastic Paperbacks p18) ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

“Collect in” vs. “collect among”

Is there a preference between "in" and "among" in the following sentence? The data consist of test scores collected in/among students participating in an international survey.
18
votes
4answers
368k views

“I'm home” or “I'm at home”

The second form looks more correct to me, but the first expression is present in several titles of movies and songs. Which form is preferable?
12
votes
4answers
35k views

Does “apropos” take a preposition? How do you use this word, anyway?

Which is more correct: Apropos of your earlier comment, I decided to.... or Apropos your earlier comment, I decided to... Actually, apropos is so fancy a word, even I, a word maven if I do ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the correct usage of “tell” here?

Which sentence is grammatically correct: I will tell your consultant. or I will tell to your consultant.
23
votes
3answers
196k views

When do we use “arrive at” versus “arrive in”?

When do we use "at" and "in" with "arrive" talking about place, not time?
4
votes
3answers
7k views

“…must have taken ‘after’ his daddy.”

I read this phrase: My son cracks me up. He's had me laughing all day long. Must have taken after his daddy. I want to know what after means in this construction, and if there is some formal ...
11
votes
3answers
58k views

What's the better preposition to use with “love” — “love for” or “love of”?

He had always had a fond love of literature. Love of something or love for something? What's the correct preposition to be used with love, in the above context?
5
votes
1answer
114k views

'May I speak to…' vs 'May I speak with…' vs 'May I talk to…' [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Speak to” vs. “Speak with” What is the difference between “speaking” and “talking”? What is the ideal opening line for a phone conversation? In my ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

“Plugging in X” vs. “plugging X in”

Does one say Plugging in that value into the previous equation... or Plugging that value in the previous equation... or something else?
1
vote
2answers
10k views

To use “to” or not to? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Gerund or infinitive: When to use which? You like to read books. You like reading books. The second second sentence seems to be better than the first. Why is that? ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

The sentence with the most prepositions at its end — does it really work?

What did you bring that book that I don't want to be read to from out of about 'Down Under' up for? I was wondering whether this sentence is actually correct and if it is, whether someone could ...
26
votes
6answers
213k views

“At the beginning” or “in the beginning”?

Are both expressions "At the beginning" "In the beginning" valid and equivalent? The first "seems wrong" to me, but it has more Google results.
0
votes
3answers
27k views

“Too much time has passed.”

Too much time has passed. Is this grammatically correct? Wouldn't it be better to say Too much time has passed by. or Too much time has gone past.
4
votes
3answers
20k views

Why is it a “night on the town” and not “night in the town”?

Question as in the title. I commonly use the phrase "out and about in town" in speech. I'm not sure if my usage is correct because of the "night on the town" phrase.
5
votes
2answers
21k views

What's the difference between “onto” and “on to”

What's the difference between "onto" and "on to" and where should they be used, etc?