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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163 votes
12 answers
42k views

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... ...
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134 votes
3 answers
495k 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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  • 1,717
104 votes
8 answers
23k views

Which is correct: "__ is different from __" or "__ is different than __"?

As someone who learned English later on in life, I was taught that different from is the correct grammar to use: this is different from that. However, it seems these days everyone uses different than ...
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  • 1,253
99 votes
7 answers
328k views

"Compared with" vs "Compared to"—which is used when?

Is only one of them correct? Are they used in different situations? Or are they interchangeable?
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  • 1,129
89 votes
5 answers
725k views

"Consist in" vs. "consist of"

I would like to clarify this once and for all: What is the correct use of "consist in" vs. "consist of"? "Meditation consists in/of attentive watchfulness." "The ...
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  • 1,320
76 votes
12 answers
156k 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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  • 853
71 votes
5 answers
636k views

"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 — 7,000,000
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  • 1,552
71 votes
4 answers
9k views

Meaning of "has a ____ to it"

People talking about how something will be perceived sometimes use the phrase "to it". For example people sometimes say "It will have a nice color to it." instead of just it will have a nice color. Or ...
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  • 957
70 votes
13 answers
231k 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. ...
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67 votes
3 answers
423k 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?
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  • 1,493
65 votes
5 answers
472k views

"In the Internet" vs. "on the Internet"

When should I use "in the Internet" and when "on the Internet"?
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  • 1,095
65 votes
1 answer
203k views

Independent/independently of/from

Which of these are correct, and why? Suggestions for rephrasing it are also welcome. [noun] was developed independently of [noun] [noun] was developed independently from [noun] [noun] was developed, ...
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  • 753
63 votes
6 answers
250k 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 ...
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61 votes
3 answers
361k 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 ...
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61 votes
3 answers
845k views

"Agree on" vs. "agree with" vs. "agree to"

What are the differences between "agree on", "agree with" and "agree to"?
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61 votes
2 answers
654k views

"provide" vs. "provide with"

I am wondering if the following sentence is correct: We add the information their study provides with to our article. The context is: their study provides with some information. And we add the ...
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  • 797
61 votes
4 answers
48k 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 ...
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  • 685
60 votes
7 answers
96k 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. He said that for more than two entities, among/amongst are used, and ...
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  • 1,511
57 votes
11 answers
19k views

What does 'for' mean in 'We are done for'?

There is an English expression do for, which means to kill, to execute, to ruin, to defeat etc. and this expression seems to always be used in passive voice: e.g.) We are done for. I understand this ...
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  • 663
56 votes
7 answers
540k views

"In time" versus "on time"

Which one is correct: Submit your work in time. Submit your work on time.
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  • 1,541
53 votes
6 answers
711k 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 me at ...
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52 votes
3 answers
201k 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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  • 5,867
51 votes
5 answers
19k views

Why do we say "under the grill", not "above" or "on" the grill?

I found this sentence in a textbook. It's I cooked the fish slowly on / under the grill. According to the author, the correct answer is under. I also used Google. It turns out that there is more ...
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  • 631
47 votes
8 answers
10k views

Why do the titles of scholarly works sometimes begin with the word "on"?

For example, one of the articles in volume 183 issue 1 (January 2016) of Annals of Mathematics is titled "On the fibration method for zero-cycles and rational points". Why not just call it "The ...
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47 votes
5 answers
436k views

Get hold of, get ahold of, get a hold of

Under what circumstances would you prefer one of the following over the other two? Get hold of Get ahold of Get a hold of
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  • 713
46 votes
6 answers
386k 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.
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  • 1,010
46 votes
4 answers
302k views

Expressing an opinion: to me or for me?

Which one should be used? To me, it makes no difference, but I'm not really sure why. vs For me, it makes no difference, but I'm not really sure why.
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  • 921
46 votes
3 answers
238k views

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

Which preposition is correct in the phrase "proficient in/at/with English"?
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46 votes
2 answers
312k views

"As a side note" vs. "on a side note"

What is the difference between "as a side note" and "on a side note"? Are they interchangeable? Which one is preferred over the other?
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  • 13.3k
45 votes
5 answers
85k views

What's the difference between 'allow' and 'allow for'?

To be precise, I know that allow means to permit, and allow for is more like to make something possible, to enable, to make a provision for, but I'm still in doubt when I have to decide whether to use ...
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44 votes
4 answers
786k views

"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?
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44 votes
5 answers
213k views

What is the difference between "by contrast" and "in contrast?"

Can anyone explain the difference between by contrast and in contrast?
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  • 441
43 votes
4 answers
599k views

Difference between "think of" and "think about"

Is there a difference between "think of something" and "think about something"? I've also met "have heard of/about something".
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  • 559
43 votes
9 answers
86k 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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  • 1,705
43 votes
4 answers
239k views

On vs At with date and time

This must be a simple question for a native speaker. I know that we use "on" with dates: I'll see you on January 1st. And we use "at" with times: I'll see you at 17:30. But what preposition has to ...
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43 votes
6 answers
129k views

Is “of ” necessary in “all of ”? [duplicate]

Listen to all your fans Name all the states vs Listen to all of  your fans Name all of  the states What part of language is of  in these examples? Is it necessary or optional, correct or ...
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  • 626
42 votes
7 answers
42k 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 delivered ...
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  • 471
40 votes
4 answers
14k 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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  • 1,011
39 votes
5 answers
525k views

"With who" vs. "with whom"

Is this correct? The person with whom I'm doing the project should be here soon. If it is, is with always a dative preposition (like mit in German)?
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  • 1,033
39 votes
2 answers
325k views

"On a page" or "in a page" for a web page

Which is the correct usage: Something on a page OR Something in a page By page, I mean a web page, not a physical book page.
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39 votes
3 answers
339k views

"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"?
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  • 649
39 votes
3 answers
425k views

"Congratulate for" vs. "congratulate on"

Which is correct? I congratulated him for coming first in the race. I congratulated him on coming first in the race.
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38 votes
4 answers
106k views

Is it "despite" or "despite of"?

Should I always use 'despite' instead of 'despite of'?
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  • 999
38 votes
1 answer
444k views

"Scheduled on" vs "scheduled for"

What is the difference between the following two expressions: My interview is scheduled on the 27th of June at 8:00 AM. My interview is scheduled for the 27th of June at 8:00 AM.
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  • 13.3k
38 votes
3 answers
77k 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 ...
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37 votes
9 answers
13k views

Is “I am getting married with my sister” ambiguous?

I have seen the following sentences in a book given to us during our training period at The Regional Institute of English, Bangluru I got married to Priscilla. I got married with Priscilla ...
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37 votes
10 answers
404k views

"By foot" vs. "on foot"

Which one is correct? I go to school by foot. I go to school on foot. Are there instances when the expression by foot is preferred? My last question is the following: Why is the ...
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  • 1,541
36 votes
5 answers
2k views

Regional dialect or just improper grammar? Eating on leftovers or just eating leftovers

On several occasions I have heard white people from the deep south part of the United States (Louisiana to Georgia) say that they will be eating ON leftovers, instead of just eating leftovers. For ...
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  • 4,036
36 votes
10 answers
212k views

Acceptable uses for "associated with" or "associated to"

I've read that both are acceptable but "associated with" is superior. Is there ever a time that "to" is acceptable? Does it matter at all? I'm writing copy for a public website and want to make ...
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35 votes
2 answers
733k views

"Angry with" vs. "angry at" vs. "angry on"

Which is the most appropriate/correct usage? Are you angry on me? Are you angry with me? Are you angry at me?
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