Oxford School of English, Delhi

Oxford School of English , Delhi

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Common Preposition Mistakes in English

English is one of the easiest languages to learn. However, like all languages, it too is not immune to inconsistencies and idiosyncrasies that all too often baffle learners and fluent speakers alike. In this article, we explore some of the most common mistakes that people make in speech or in writing, in various contexts:

  1. Marriage

Sometimes we hear people say “I am married with her”/“I am divorced with him”. But, the correct way to say it is “I am married to her” and “I am divorced from him”.

  1. Anger

Another context that often confuses speakers when finding a preposition is that of anger. The correct way to say it is “I am angry about” a topic, but “I am angry at/with” a person.

  1. Discussions

We often use ‘talking’ and ‘discussing’ interchangeably. However, we talk about a topic, but discuss the same topic. “We were talking about spacecraft” and “We were discussing spacecraft.”

  1. In spite/Despite

‘In spite’ is said with of, but ‘despite’ is used without it. If your friend does not heed your advice, you can say “In spite of being warned, he went ahead with his plan”, or “Despite being warned, he went ahead with his plan.”

  1. Travel

If you’re planning a trip to Bali, you must avoid saying “I am travelling in Bali” and instead say “I am travelling to Bali.”

  1. Waiting

Very often the usages of ‘await’ and ‘I wait’ get confused. If you are expecting a reply from someone, you can say “I wait/I am waiting for his reply” or “I await his reply.”

  1. Day and Time

It is often heard from people that they will call you “at morning” or “in morning”. The correct way to say it is “I will call you in the morning”, but the only exception is night, in which case it will be “I will call you at night.”

  1. ‘For’ and ‘Since’

The word ‘for’ denotes the duration of time, while ‘since’ refers to the time when an activity began. So, if you want to express your displeasure at being kept waiting, you can either say “I’ve been waiting since noon” or “I’ve been waiting for five hours.”

Oxford School of English, Delhi