Correct use of some prepositions

Some words which differ slightly in form or meaning from one another take different prepositions after them.


He has no desire for name or fame.

He is desirous of becoming a great actor.

Similarly we say:

Confidence in but confident of

He has great confidence in his abilities.

He is confident of winning.

Sensible of but sensitive to

He is sensible of the danger he faces.

The eyes are sensitive to light.

Fond of but fondness for

She is fond of his daughter.

She has great fondness for her daughter.

Dispense with but dispose of

I intend to dispense with the service of my servant.

I intend to dispose of my old car.

Neglectful of but negligent in

A good worker is never neglectful of his duty.

He was found to be negligent in his work.

Note the correct use of prepositions in the following expressions.

Incorrect: Stand from constituency

Correct: stand for a constituency

Incorrect: meet success

Correct: meet with success

Incorrect: Professor in Stanford University

Correct: Professor at Stanford University

Verbs of motion require the preposition to after them.

He went to the garden. (NOT He went in the garden.)

Throw the ball to me.

But when some injury is meant, to is replaced by at

The dog ran at me. (= The dog attacked me.)

He threw the stone at the dog. (= He threw the stone at the dog with the objective of injuring it.)