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Prepositions often confused

384. For and At. (Price.)

(a) For.
✖️Don't say: I bought a book at fifty pence.

✔️Say: I bought a book for fifty pence.

(b) At.
✖️Don't say: I can't buy it for such a high price.

✔️Say: I can't buy it at such a high price.

Use "for" if the actual sum is mentioned, use "at" if the actual sum isn't given.

Note: If the weight or measure follows the price, use "at" with the actual sum: That velvet is available at £5 a metre.

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Prepositions often confused

385. Between and Among.

(a) Between.
✖️Don't say: There was a fight among two boys.

✔️Say: There was a fight between two boys.

(b) Among.
✖️Don't say: Divide the apple between you three.

✔️Say: Divide the apple among you three.

Use "between" for two only. Use "among" for more than two.

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Prepositions often confused

386. Beside.

✖️Don't say: Charlie was standing just besides me.

✔️Say: Charlie was standing just beside me.

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Prepositions often confused

387. Except for Besides/As well as

✖️Don't say: I have other books except these.

✔️Say: I have other hooks besides/as well as these (=in addition to these).

Note: Except means "leave out": Everyone is present except John.

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Prepositions often confused

388. By for With.

✖️Don't say: The man shot the bird by a gun.

✔️Say: The man shot the bird with a gun.

When you want to show the means or the instrument with which the action is done use "with". "By" denotes the doer of the action: The bird was shot by the man.

Note: The following take "by" and not "with": by hand, by post, by phone, by one's watch, by the hour, by the dozen, by the meter.

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Prepositions often confused

389. From for By.

✖️Don't say: Mary was punished from her father.

✔️Say: Mary was punished by her father.

Use "by" (not from)after the passive form to show the doer of the action.

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Prepositions often confused

390. From for Of or In.

✖️Don't say: He's the tallest from all the boys.

✔️Say: He's the tallest of all the boys.
Or: He's the tallest boy in the class.

Precede adjectives (or adverbs) in the superlative degree by "the" and follow them by "of" or "in".

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Prepositions often confused

391. For for About

✖️Don't say: The teacher spoke for bad habits.

✔️Say: The teacher spoke about bad habits.

Don't use "for" in the sense of "about". The chief use of "about" is to convey the idea of being in favour of. If we say that the teacher spoke for bad habits it's like saying that he/she spoke in favour of bad habits!

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Prepositions often confused

392. Since for For.

✖️Don't say: She's lived here since two years.

✔️Say: She's lived here for two years.

Place the preposition "for" before words or phrases denoting a period of time: for three days, for six weeks, for two years, for a few minutes, for a long time. Use it with any tense except the present.

Note: "For" is often omitted. We can say: I've been here for two years or I've been here two years.

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Prepositions often confused

393. From for Since.

✖️Don't say: Ian's been ill from last Friday.

✔️Say: Ian's been ill since last Friday.

Place the preposition "since" before words or phrases denoting a point in time: since Monday, since yesterday, since eight o'clock, since Christmas.
When we use since, the verb is usually in the present perfect tense, but it may be in the past perfect: I was glad to see Tom. I hadn't seen him since last Christmas.

Note: "From" can also denote a point in time, but it must be followed by "to" or "till": He works from eight o'clock till one o'clock without a break.

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Prepositions often confused

394. After for In.

✖️Don't say: I may be able to go after a week.

✔️Say: I may be able to go in a week.
Or: I may be able to go in a week's time.

When speaking of a period of time in the future, use "in", and not "after". Here "in" means "after the end of".

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Prepositions often confused

395. In for Within.

✖️Don't say: I'll come back in an hour - if you mean before the end of an hour.

✔️Say: I'll come back within an hour.

"In" means after the end of, "within" means before the end of.

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🔴Have another look...🔴

Use of certain prepositions

Prepositions of Place:

TO and AT
Use TO for movement from one place to another. Example: I walk to school every day.
Use AT to denote position or rest.
Example: He's waiting at the door.

IN and INTO
IN denotes position or rest inside something.
Example: The pencil is in the box.
INTO denotes movement towards the inside of.
Example: They walk into the room.


Prepositions of Time:

AT, IN, ON
Use AT with the exact time.
Example: She arrived at 8 o'clock in the morning.
Use ON with days and dates.
Examples: On Sunday we go to church. My birthday is on the third of December.
Use IN with a period of time.
Example: In summer the weather is warm.

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Verbs often confused

396. Shall and Will.

(a) To express simple futurity:

In the first person:
✖️Don't say: I will go tomorrow if it's fine.
✔️Say: I shall go tomorrow if it's fine.

In the second person:
✖️Don't say: She tells me you shall go tomorrow.
✔️Say: She tells me you will/'ll go tomorrow.

In the third person:
✖️Don't say: He shall go if he has permission.
✔️Say: He will/'ll go if he has permission.


(b) To express something more than simple futurity:

In the first person:
✖️Don't say: I have determined that I shall go.
✔️Say: I have determined that I will/'ll go.

In the second person:
✖️Don't say: You will/'ll go out if you are good.
✔️Say: You shall go out if you are good.

In the third person:
✖️Don't say: My mind is made up: he will/'ll go.
✔️Say: My mind is made up: he shall go.

To form the simple future, use "shall" with the first person and "will" with the second and third persons. "Will" in the first person denotes resolution or personal determination, and "shall" in the second and third persons denotes either a command or a promise.

Note: "Should", the past tense of "shall", and "would", the past tense of "will", have the same differences of meaning and use as the present forms "shall" and "will": I was afraid that I should fail. I promised that I would help him.

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Verbs often confused

397. Shall and May.


Distinguish between:

(a) May I shut the door? and (b) Shall I shut the door?

May I shut the door? Means that I wish the door closed and I ask your permission to shut it.
Shall I open the door? Means that I want to know whether you wish the door closed.

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Verbs often confused

398. Say and Tell.

✖️Don't say: He told, 'I will/'ll go home.'
He told that he'd go home.

✔️Say: He said, 'I will/'ll go home.'
He said that he'd go home.

Use "to say" (1) when referring to a person's actual words, and (2) in indirect speech if the sentence doesn't contain an indirect object.

Note: Common idioms with "say" and tell:
Say a prayer. Who says? I must say! You can say that again! If you say so!
Tell the truth. Tell a lie. Tell a story. Tell the time. Tell your fortune. Tell someone your name.

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Verbs often confused

399. Make and Do.

(a) Make
✖️Don't say: The carpenter did a large table.
✔️Say The carpenter made a large table.

(b) Do
✖️Don't say: You must make your work carefully.
✔️Say: You must do your work carefully.

"To make" primarily means to construct or manufacture something, while "to do" mean to accomplish a thing.

Note: Common exceptions with make and do:
(a) To make a mistake, to make a promise, to make a speech, to make an excuse, to make haste, to make fun of, to make progress, to make a noise, to make a bed(= to prepare the bed for sleeping on)
(b) To do good, to do evil, to do your best, to do your duty, to do someone a favour, to do wrong, to do a puzzle, to do business, to do away with, to do gymnastics, to do exercises.

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Verbs often confused

400. Lie and Lay.

(a) Lie
✖️Don't say: I'm going to lay down for an hour.
✔️Say: I'm going to lie down for an hour.

(b) Lay
✖️Don't say: Please lie the exam papers on the desk.
✔️Say: Please lay out the exam papers on the desk.

Lie (= to rest) is an intransitive verb and never has an object.
Lay (= to put) is a transitive verb and always requires an object.
Their principal parts are lie, lay, lain, and lay, laid, laid.

Note: Lie, lied, lied is to tell an untruth: He has lied to me. Lay, laid, laid also means to produce eggs: The hen has laid an egg.
(Idiom: Lay the table is to prepare the table for a meal.)

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Verbs often confused

401. Sit and Seat.

(a) Sit
✖️Don't say: We seat at a desk to write a letter.
✔️Say: We sit at a desk to write a letter.

(b) Seat
✖️Don't say: He sat the passengers one by one.
✔️Say: He seated the passengers one by one.

Use "sit" as an intransitive verb. "Seat" is a transitive verb and requires an object. Very often the object of "seat" is a reflexive pronoun: He seated himself near the fire. The principal parts of the two verbs are: sit, sat, sat, and seat, seated, seated.

Note: Don't confuse "sit" with "set", which usually means: to place. Common idioms with "set": to set the table, to set on fire, to set off (or out), to set a trap, to set a clock, to set a price, to set your heart on, to set free, to set an example, to set a broken bone, to set to work (= to start work).

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Verbs often confused

402. Rise and Raise.

(a) Rise
✖️Don't say: Val raises very early in the morning.
✔️Say: Val rises very early in the morning.

(b) Raise
✖️Don't say: She rose their salaries too often.
✔️Say: She raised their salaries too often.

"Rise" is an intransitive verb and means to go up, stand up, or get out of bed. It doesn't require an object. Raise is a transitive verb and means to lift up something. Their principal parts are: rise, rose, risen, and raise, raised, raised.

Note: "Arise" is often used for "rise", but it is better to use arise only in the sense of begin :A quarrel (a discussion, an argument, a difficulty, etc.) may arise. This is formal but is still used.

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2021/03/02 19:23:24
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