Common mistakes in IELTS – Using the wrong preposition (Part 2)
41. Insist on, not to
Don’t say: He always insisted to his opinion.
✓ Say: He always insisted on his opinion.
Note: Persist takes in –> We persisted in his silly ideas.
42. Interested in, not for
Don’t say: She’s not interested for her work.
✓ Say: She’s not interested in her work.
Note: Also take an interest in –> She takes a great interest in music.
43. Jealous of, not from
Don’t say: He’s very jealous from his brother.
✓ Say: He’s very jealous of his brother.
44. Leave for a place, not to a place
Don’t say: They’re leaving to England soon.
✓ Say: They’re leaving for England soon.
45. Live on, not from
Don’t say: He lives from his brother’s money.
✓ Say. He lives on his brother’s money.
Note: Feed on –> Some buds feed on insects.
46. Look at, not to
Don’t say: Look to this beautiful picture.
✓ Say: Look at this beautiful picture.
Note: Also gaze at stare at, etc. But look after (= take care of), look for (= try to find), look over (= examine), look into (= examine closely), look on of upon (= consider), look down on (= have a low opinion of), look up to (= respect), look out for (= expect), look forward to (= expect with pleasure), look to (= rely on)
47. to, not with
Don’t say: Angela was married with a rich man.
✓ Say: Angela was married to a rich man.
Note: Also engaged to –> Sally was engaged to Peter for a year before they got married.
48. Opposite to, not from
Don’t say: Their house is opposite from ours.
✓ Say: Their house is opposite to ours.
Note: “Opposite ours” is also correct
49. Pass by a place, not from a place
Don’t say: Will you pass from the post-office?
✓ Say: Will you pass by the post-office?
Note: Also “past the post-office” is correct.
50. Play for a team, not with a team
Don’t say: He plays regularly with that team.
✓ Say: He plays regularly for that team.
51. Pleased with, not from
Don’t say:The teacher is pleased from me.
✓ Say: The teacher is pleased with me.
Note: We say pleased at or pleased with if an abstract noun or a cause follows –> They were pleased at (or with) what he said; They were pleased at (for, with) her results.
52. Popular with, not among
Don’t say: John’s popular among his friends.
✓ Say: John’s popular with his friends.
53. Prefer to, not from
Don’t say: I prefer a blue pen from a red one.
✓ Say: I prefer a blue pen to a red one.
Note: Also preferable to –> This car is preferable to my old one.
54. Preside at or over, not in
Don’t say: Who presided in the last meeting?
✓Say: Who presided at (or over) the last meeting?
55. Proud of, not for
Don’t say: He’s very proud for his promotion.
✓ Say: He’s very proud of his promotion.
Note: We say take pride in –> A craftsman tikes a pride in his work.
56. Rejoice at or in, not for
Don’t say: We rejoiced for her success.
✓ Say: We rejoiced at (or in) her success.
57. Related to, not with
Don’t say: Are you related with Simon in any way?
✓ Say: Are you related to Simon in any way?
Note: Also relation to –> Is he any relation to you?
58. Repent of, not from
Don’t say: He repented from his crime.
✓ Say: He repented of his crime.
Note: Repentance takes for –> He feels repentance for his sift.
59. Satisfied with, not from
Don’t say: Are you satisfied from your marks?
✓ Say: Are you satisfied with your marks?
Note: Also content with, delighted with, unhappy with, happy with, displeased with, dissatisfied with, disgusted with
60. Similar to, not with
Don’t say: Your house is similar with mine.
✓ Say: Your house is similar to mine.
61. 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 –> A bird sometimes perches (= sits) on a tree.
62. 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.
63. 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 –> Queen Elizabeth is succeeded to the throne in 1952. Also one person can succeed another.
64. 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
65. 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 –> I’m quite certain of it.
66. 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
67. 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 –> Dogs are suspicious of strangers.
68. 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
69. 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 –> The prisoner was bound to the stake.
70. Tired of, not from
Don’t say: The boys are tired from eating boiled eggs.
✓ Say: The boys are tired of eating boiled eggs.
71. Translate into, not to
Don’t say: Translate this passage to English.
✓ Say: Translate this passage into English.
72. Tremble with cold, etc., not from cold, etc.
Don’t say: The man was trembling from cold.
✓ Say: The man was trembling with cold.
Note: Also shake with and shiver with –> The thief was shaking with fear.
73. Warn (a person) of danger, not about danger
Don’t say: They were warned about the danger.
✓ Say They were warned of the danger.
Note 1: Use warn about for specific things –> They warned us about the bumps in the road.
Note 2: We warn a person against a fault –> His teacher warned him against breaking the rules.
74. Write in ink, not with ink
Don’t say: I’ve written the letter with ink
✓ Say: I’ve written the letter in ink.
Note: We use in when we are referring to the final work –> ” The drawing was done in charcoal. Dora writes her fatten in green ink.” When we are referring to the instrument used we use with –> ” The children are learning to write with a pen. Helen prefers to paint with a thin brush.”