Common Mistake in English | Use wrong preposition – Lesson 1

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Common Mistake in English and How to Avoid them.

Mistakes are often made by using the wrong preposition after certain words. The following list includes the words which most often give trouble:

This series has been designed to meet the requirements of students whose mother tongue is not English, Its main purpose is to help to correct the common mistakes to which foreign learners of English are liable.

We believe that you can speak English Correctly after avoiding these mistakes.

1. Absorbed (= very much interested) in, not at.

  • Don’t say: The man was absorbed at his work.
  • Say: The man was absorbed in his work.

2. Accuse of, not for.

  • Don’t say: She accused the man for stealing.
  • Say: She accused the man of stealing.

Note: Charge takes with The man was charged with murder.

3. Accustomed to, not with.

  • Don’t say: I’m accustomed with hot weather.
  • Say: I’m accustomed to hot weather.
  • Note: Also used to: He is used to the heat

4. Afraid of, not from.

  • Don’t say: Laura is afraid from the dog.
  • Say: Laura is afraid of the dog.

5. Aim at, not on or against.

  • Don’t say: She aimed on {or against) the target.
  • Say: She aimed at the target,

Note: Use the preposition at to denote direction: throw at. shout at, fire at, shoot at. Shoot (without the at) means to kill: He shot a bird (= he hit and killed it)

6. Angry with, not against.

  • Don’t say: The teacher was angry against him.
  • Say: The teacher was angry with him.

Note l: We get angry with a person but at a thing He was angry at the weather /not with the weather)

Note 2: Also annoyed with, vexed with, indignant with a person, but at a thing.

7. Anxious (= troubled) about, not /or.

  • Don’t say: They’re anxious for his health.
  • Say: They’re anxious about his health.

Note: Anxious meaning wishing very much takes for. Parents are anxious for their children’s success.

8. Arrive at, not to.

  • Don’t say: We arrived to the village at night.
  • Say: We arrived at the village at night.

Note: Use arrive in with countries and large cities. Mr Smith has arrived in London, (or New York,  India, etc)

9. Ashamed of, not from.

  • Don’t say: He’s now ashamed from his conduct.
  • Say: He’s now ashamed of his conduct.

Note: it isn’t correct to use ashamed of meaning shy. Ashamed means feeling shame or guilt about something. Shy means feeling nervous with someone.

Instead of saying: I’m ashamed (or shamed) of my teacher, say I’m shy of my teacher

11. Believe in, not to.

  • Don’t say: We believe to God.
  • Say: We believe in God.

Note: To believe in means to have faith in. To believe (without the in) means to regard something as true: I believe everything he says.