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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152
votes
12answers
35k 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... ...
22
votes
5answers
144k views

Does “notified by [date]” include the end date?

I have read the Rules of a competition. The text of the Rules include a sentence as follows: As per stated in the Rules the entrants will be notified by May 30th 2010. Does the sentence above mean ...
50
votes
7answers
81k 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 ...
53
votes
3answers
199k 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?
30
votes
2answers
30k views

When should I use “in” or “on”?

As it is common with people from my country, I have an immense difficulty with prepositions in English, especially with the use of in and on. When the preposition indicates the position of the ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Avoiding “existential it” while referring to a past event?

I know the use of "existential it" is frowned upon, but I'm not entirely sure how to rephrase the following sentence to remove it: It is hard to tell what would have occurred if the battle had been ...
19
votes
7answers
104k views

How can I explain to people that the phrase “off of ” is grammatically incorrect? [closed]

How can I explain to people that the phrase off of is grammatically incorrect? I‘ve heard this phrase used a lot, especially by Americans (though they aren't the only ones). In my understanding, ...
18
votes
4answers
23k views

Origin/reason for the expression “on the bus” instead of “in the bus”

This is sort of a follow up to my question here. I was told a while ago that the reason why we use "on the bus" instead of "in the bus" is because back in the day buses were open, that is, they didn'...
7
votes
3answers
24k views

Correct usage of ‘on’, ‘at’ and ‘in’

As a foreign English speaker who never really studied too much English grammar other than the basics at high school, I often struggle to decide what is the correct preposition to use in certain ...
23
votes
5answers
22k views

ON an American street, but IN a British one. Do the twain ever meet?

In the United States, we say that someone lives on a street, whereas I've noticed that British people say in. For instance: Bubba lives on Washington Street. Colin lives in Cavendish Avenue. I ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

Where to place 'only' relative to prepositions?

I know that questions about the placement of 'only', are often asked here; accordingly, I searched for an answer to my question before posting it. Question Where are focusing adverbs placed relative ...
98
votes
8answers
18k 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 ...
36
votes
10answers
291k 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
10k views

Semantics of “on” versus “in”

Please help me in choosing the right preposition in this sentence: The returned values seem a bit confusing on/in its semantics, Here I'm talking about returned values of a computer programming ...
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 ...
57
votes
5answers
43k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
211k views

Which one is right — “He works at company X” or “in company X ”?

I usually use "at a company" but I have encountered some articles using "in a company", "in XYZ firm" or "in an organization". Which one is right?
14
votes
2answers
12k views

How to combine in a sentence two verb–preposition pairs that have the same object?

Examples: Data can be imported to and exported from the application. Data can be imported and exported from the application. Data can be imported to the application and exported from it. ...
125
votes
3answers
461k 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.
35
votes
6answers
98k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
7k views

“How big of a problem” vs. “how big a problem”

Quite a few phrases in English are constructed like so: How [adjective] a [noun]...? This is the question form of the construction, which is often answered with the negative: Not that [...
23
votes
3answers
198k views

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

When do we use "at" and "in" with "arrive" talking about place, not time?
34
votes
4answers
186k 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.
38
votes
4answers
11k 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.
29
votes
7answers
621k views

Difference between “at” and “in” when specifying location

I am used to saying "I am in India.". But somewhere I saw it said "I am at Puri (Oriisa)". I would like to know the differences between "in" and "at" in the above two sentences.
31
votes
5answers
386k 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)?
11
votes
4answers
142k views

Proper usage of “since” and “from” with regard to duration of time

When you returned, I had been at home since 10 minutes. When you returned, I had been at home from 5 minutes. In such sentences, is it correct to use since or from? When since is used?
10
votes
5answers
29k views

“like I” or “like me”?

In high school we learned to say "than I" and "as I" because you could potentially add an "am" to the end of the sentence. Examples: "She is smarter than I." (Think: "...than I am.") "He is as tall ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

“The queen of England's crown” or “The queen's of England crown”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “My wife and I’s seafood collaboration dinner” What is the correct way of these two sentences? The queen of England's crown The queen's of England crown Strictly ...
51
votes
5answers
345k views

“In the Internet” vs. “on the Internet”

When should I use "in the Internet" and when "on the Internet"?
19
votes
5answers
106k views

What does 'ten of six' mean in regard to time?

I am referring of course to the expression describing time. Today a corporate trainer (From north Philadelphia) that is teaching a class at my company used it in the context that the current time was '...
10
votes
5answers
56k views

Is there any difference between “talk to someone” and “talk with someone”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Speak to” vs. “Speak with” Well, the question is in the title. I always had the impression that "talk to someone" refers to situations when some ...
29
votes
5answers
21k views

What is the distinction between “among” and “amongst”?

It seems amongst is quite often used as a synonym for among but it is supposed to sound more distinguished. Is there any difference in the meaning?
13
votes
4answers
47k views

Usage of the verb “provide”

Does the verb "provide" always have to be used with "with"? For example, Can you provide me with some good examples? Can you provide me some good examples? Can you provide some good ...
10
votes
5answers
25k views

Which one is more correct: “works at a university” or “works in a university”?

My relative is a fairly big academic and works at a university. Is this correct? or should I have used in instead?
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Should we use “like” as a conjunction?

I know that like is a preposition but why not using it as conjunction? Examples: It's as if I'm walking on air It's like I'm walking on air What is the difference?
10
votes
8answers
106k views

Does “until [date]” mean “before that date”?

What does until mean in the following? You need to deliver this product within 2 days (until August 18, 2011) to meet your deadline and get paid. Does this mean that I have to deliver the ...
43
votes
7answers
377k views

“In time” versus “on time”

Which one is correct: Submit your work in time. Submit your work on time.
22
votes
2answers
176k views

“Studying PhD at the university” or “studying PhD in the university”?

Which of these two sentences is correct: I am studying PhD at the university. I am studying PhD in the university. Should I use "at" or "in"? Or is there no difference?
54
votes
6answers
200k 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 ...
53
votes
4answers
287k 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 ...
23
votes
5answers
277k views

“In a while” vs. “for a while”

I recently got a message that says Haven't heard anything from you in a while. I always thought that the right way to say this would be to use for insdead of in. Are both versions correct? Would ...
35
votes
4answers
645k 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?
4
votes
3answers
4k views

“At” vs. “in” before verb

In a document I found the following sentence: listeners are more accurate at understanding speech spoken in their own accent... Would it be an error to use "in" instead of "at"? Actually in this ...
9
votes
4answers
6k views

Is there any rule about splitting phrasal verbs?

I thought of this question right after I posted a tweet about a service upgrading me to a free student account since I am in college. I said "That really helps a broke college student out." I actually ...
9
votes
4answers
6k views

“In” vs. “after” for future talk

The class will be over in 10 minutes. The class will be over after 10 minutes. I know the first is correct but why?
6
votes
3answers
42k views

Is “To whom could we direct our questions to?” grammatical?

Which of these sentences are proper? : If we have further questions with regards to x&y, to whom could we direct our questions? If we have further questions with regards to x&y, to whom could ...
4
votes
2answers
71k views

“In college” versus “at college” versus “at university” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which one is more correct: “works at a university” or “works in a university”? It seems that only in the U.S. one says that they are or were "in ...
44
votes
3answers
267k 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?
26
votes
3answers
385k 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".