Using the Wrong Preposition
Most common collocation mistakes which usually Non-native English learners commit.
Deprive of, not from:
Don’t say: Nelson Mandela was deprived from his freedom.
Say: Nelson Mandela was deprived of his freedom.
Die of an illness, not from an illness:
Don’t say: Many people have died from Malaria.
Say: Many people have died of Malaria.
NOTE: People die of illness, of hunger, of thirst, of or from wounds; from overwork, by violence, by the sword, by pestilence, in battle, for their country, for a cause, through neglect, on the scaffold, at the stake
Different from, not than:
Don’t say: My book is really different than yours.
Say: My book is really different from yours.
Disappointed by, about or at, not from:
A- by/at/ about:
Don’t say: Phillipa was disappointed from the low mark she got in test.
Say: Phillipa was disappointed by/about/at the low marks she got in the test.
B- with/ in:
Don’t say: Jane was disappointed from her son.
Say: Jane was disappointed with/in her son.
NOTE: Before a person we use with or in, before a thing we use at, about or by and before a gerund we use at: Keith is very disappointed at not winning the prize.
Divide into parts, not in parts:
Don’t say: I divided the cake in four parts.
Say: I divided the cake into four parts.
NOTE: A thing can be divided in half or in two: Paul divided the apple in half (or in two).
No doubt (n) of or about, not for:
Don’t say: I’ve no doubt for his ability.
Say: I’ve no doubt of/about his ability.
NOTE: Doubtful of: I’m doubtful of his ability to pass.
Dressed in, not with:
Don’t say: The woman was dressed with black.
Say: The woman was dressed with black.
NOTE: The woman was in black is also right.
Exception to, not of:
Don’t say: This is an exception of rules.
Say: this is an exception to rules.
NOTE: We say with the exception of: She like all her subjects with the exception of physics.
Exchange for, not by:
Don’t say: He exchanged his collection of match boxes by some foreign stamps.
Say: He exchanges his collection of matchboxes for some foreign stamps.
NOTE: In exchange for: He gave them his old car in exchange for a new one.
Fail in, not from:
Don’t say: he failed from maths last year.
Say: He failed in maths last year.
Full of, not with or from:
Don’t say: The jar was full with/from oil.
Say: The jar was full of oil.
NOTE: Fill takes with: jane filled the glass with water.