Unnecessary prepositions

February 18, 2014pdf

Sometimes we use prepositions where they are not necessary. While expressions like ‘check up on’ and ‘as from’ are not exactly considered incorrect, they should be avoided in academic and formal writing.

Study the examples given below.

Incorrect: If we don’t hurry, we will miss out on the show.

Correct: If we don’t hurry, we will miss the show.

To miss out on is to fail to participate in something. This expression is not exactly wrong; however, you can express the same idea using miss.

Incorrect: Are you able to meet with me in the morning?

Incorrect: Are you able to meet up with me in the morning?

Correct: Are you able to meet me in the morning?

To meet with something is to experience trouble, danger or difficulty unexpectedly.

She met with an accident yesterday. (NOT She met an accident yesterday.)

In other cases, meet should be used without a preposition.

Incorrect: There will be no more chemistry lessons this term, as from Monday.

Correct: There will be no more chemistry lessons this term, from Monday.

Incorrect: Will you please separate out the good mangoes from the bad ones?

Correct: Will you please separate the good mangoes from the bad ones?

Incorrect: Do not throw things out of the window?

Correct: Do not throw things out the window?

Of is totally unnecessary here.

Incorrect: Where are you going to?

Correct: Where are you going?

The preposition to is almost always dropped in questions after where. But note that to cannot be dropped in the short question Where to?

‘Could you send these parcels off for me?’ ‘Where to?’

Free Grammar Guide: "120 Deadly Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes."