Archive for the ‘Common Mistakes’ Category

Common Errors with Prepositions

November 18th, 2009 in Common Mistakes, English Grammar, Vocabulary, Words

Incorrect: He is ill since last week.
Correct: He has been ill since last week.
Incorrect: He has been working since two hours.
Correct: He has been working for two hours.
Incorrect: I have not played cricket since a long time.
Correct: I have not played cricket for a long time.


When reckoning from a particular date we use ‘since’. Examples are since last Friday, since May, since morning, since July 8th. But note that we always use ‘for’ for a period. Examples are: for a week, for a long time, for two hours etc.

Incorrect: This paper is inferior than that.
Correct: This paper is inferior to that.
Incorrect: He is junior than me.
Correct: He is junior to me.
Incorrect: He is superior than you in strength.
Correct: He is superior to you in strength.


The comparatives senior, junior, superior, inferior etc., are followed by to, and not than.

Incorrect: He rides in a cycle.
Correct: He rides on a cycle.
Incorrect: He rides on a car.
Correct: He rides in a car.
Incorrect: He sat in a table.
Correct: He sat on a table.
Incorrect: The cat is in the roof.
Correct: The cat is on the roof.


Use ‘on’ when the meaning is clearly ‘on top of’. For example, on a horse, on a bicycle, on a table, on the roof etc. Use in when ‘on top of’ is not appropriate. For example, in a car, in an airplane etc.

Incorrect: There was a match between team A against team B.
Correct: There was a match between team A and team B.
Incorrect: The meeting will be held between 4 pm to 6 pm.
Correct: The meeting will be held between 4 pm and 6 pm.


Between is followed by and, not to or against.

Incorrect: The First World War was fought during 1914 – 18.
Correct: The First World War was fought between 1914 and 1918.
Incorrect: There was a fight with John and Peter.
Correct: There was a fight between John and Peter.
Incorrect: England grew prosperous between Queen Victoria’s reign.
Correct: England grew prosperous during Queen Victoria’s reign.


Two events or people should be mentioned if you want to use between.