10 Common Mistakes With Prepositions
Prepositions are the most common grammatical error in English. They can be tricky to use, but there are 10 rules that will help you avoid the most common mistakes. These 10 rules apply whether or not you have a preposition problem! Learn these simple tricks and practice them regularly so they become second nature.
1) Use “at” when referring to time periods of one day or less. For example: at noon, at midnight, at 9am.
2) Use “in” for all other time periods including future times. For example: in an hour (hour), on Monday (day), during summer (season)
.3) Be careful with expressions like “in back of,” which should only be used to refer to a physical location.
4) Use “until” when referring to time periods up until the moment of or including midnight. For example: wait until six o’clock, don’t go out until tomorrow morning, I’ll call you until tomorrow afternoon, don’t leave until Sunday night.
5) Be careful with expressions that sound the same as “until.” For example, expressions like “till tomorrow” or “til six o’clock” should not be used.
6) Use “for” when referring to physical lengths of time and distance, but use “to” for periods of time. For example: I stayed there for five days (length), we walked for three hours (distance), I’ve been waiting for a long time (period).
7) Use “of” when referring to quantity of non countable things. For example: a lot of water, one glass of wine, more homework.
8) Use “with” when referring to accompaniment, companionship or possession. For example: She’s with me, he’s with the CIA, I have homework with me.
9) Use “by” when referring to something occurring before a certain point in time. For example: Can you meet me by six o’clock?
10) Use “from” to express origin or departure of people and things. For example: Jane is from Seattle, she came from Chicago, I got it from him.
Note: Although there are exceptions to every rule, the rules above apply 90% of the time. If you follow them and practice your English regularly then your prepositions should become second nature!