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

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

1. Sit at a desk etc, not on a desk etc.

  • Don’t say: The bank manager was sitting on his desk.
  • Say: The bank manager was sitting at his desk.

Note: Also sit at a table. But on a chair, on a bench, on a sofa, etc, in an arm-chair, in a tree or up a tree.

Example: A bird sometimes perches (= sits) on a tree

2. Spend on, not for.

  • Don’t say: I spend a lot of time for my computer.
  • Say: I spend a lot of time on my computer.

3. Succeed in, not at.

  • Don’t say: I hope he’ll succeed at his work.
  • Say: I hope he’ll succeed in his work.

Note: A person succeeds to a property, a title, or an office:

Example: Queen Elizabeth II succeeded to the throne in 1952. Also one person can succeed another

4. Superior to, not from or than.

  • Don’t say: This is superior from (or than) that.
  • Say: This is superior to that.

Note: Also inferior to, junior to, senior to, subsequent to, prior to.

5. Sure of, not for.

  • Don’t say: I’m quite sure for her honesty.
  • Say: I’m quite sure of her honesty.

Note: Also certain of

Example: I am Quite certain of

6. Surprised at or by not for.

  • Don’t say: Harold was surprised for the loud bang.
  • Say: Harold was surprised at/by the loud bang.

Note: Also astonished at/by, amazed at/by, alarmed at/by, puzzled at/by, shocked at/by

7. Suspect of, not for.

  • Don’t say: I suspect Kate for stealing the pen.
  • Say: I suspect Kate of stealing the pen.

Note: Also suspicious of

Example: Dogs are suspicious of grangers

8. Take by, not from.

  • Don’t say: Robert took his brother from the hand.
  • Say: Robert took his brother by the hand.

Note: Also: hold by, catch by, seize by, snatch by, grasp by.

9. Tie to, not on.

  • Don’t say: The girl tied the string on the kite.
  • Say: The girl tied the string to the kite.

Note: Also bind to

Example: The prisoner was bound to the state’

10. Tired of, not from.

  • Don’t say: The boys are tired from eating boiled eggs.
  • Say: The boys are tired of eating boded eggs.