Common mistakes with prepositions
Incorrect: He asked a holiday.
Correct: He asked for a holiday.
Use ask with for to ask somebody to give something.
Use ask without for to ask somebody to tell something.
Incorrect: Due to illness, I could not go to school.
Correct: Owing to illness, I could not go to school.
Both due to and owing to mean ‘because of’. Some people believe that it is incorrect to use due to at the beginning of a clause, but the structure is common in educated usage.
Incorrect: He was prevented to come.
Correct: He was prevented from coming.
Prevent cannot be followed by to. It is followed by from + -ing form.
The loud noise prevented me from sleeping.
Incorrect: I met with your friend.
Correct: I met your friend.
Meet means ‘come face to face with somebody or something’. With this meaning it is used without with.
Meet with means ‘experience’.
He met with misfortune. (NOT He met misfortune.)
Incorrect: She insisted to pay.
Correct: She insisted on paying.
Insist cannot be followed by to. It is followed by on + -ing form.
Incorrect: Let’s go for riding.
Correct: Let’s go riding.
Go is used with an –ing form in a number of expressions referring to sporting and leisure activities. No preposition is used in this structure.
Incorrect: We went a walk.
Correct: We went for a walk.
The structure ‘go for a / come for a’ is used in a number of fixed expressions referring to sporting and leisure activities.