Prepositions: some common mistakes

Prepositions are words used to describe a relationship between other words in a sentence. They are small words; still, they cause a great deal of confusion. In this lesson we will take a look at some of the most common mistakes in the use of prepositions.

Since and for

These prepositions are often confused. Since is used to reckon from a particular date. For is used for a period.

  • Incorrect: I am ill since three months.
  • Correct: I have been ill for three months.
  • Correct: I have been ill since May.

When since / for indicates time, the verb in the main clause should be in the present perfect or past perfect tense.

  • Incorrect: This is my first time to play tennis since a long time.
  • Correct: I have not played tennis for a long time. / This is my first game of tennis for a long time.

The adjectives inferior, superior, prior etc

The adjectives inferior, superior, senior, junior, prior etc. take the preposition to, not than.

  • Incorrect: She always felt inferior than her younger sister.
  • Correct: She always felt inferior to her younger sister.
  • Incorrect: This material is superior than that.
  • Correct: This material is superior to that.

The verbs resemble, enter, discuss, marry etc.

The verbs resemble, enter, discuss, lack, approach and marry are followed by direct objects without prepositions.

  • Incorrect: This resembles to that.
  • Correct: This resembles that.
  • Incorrect: Your mother lacks of tact.
  • Correct: Your mother lacks tact.
  • Incorrect: We are now approaching to Victoria Terminus.
  • Correct: We are now approaching Victoria Terminus.
  • Incorrect: He reached to Singapore.
  • Correct: He reached Singapore.
  • Incorrect: She married to/with her boss.
  • Correct: She married her boss.