Travaux publics et Services gouvernementaux Canada
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12.02 Prepositional usage

The list below contains nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs that are often used with the wrong preposition or, in some cases, with some other, inappropriate part of speech. The correct usage is given in each case:

  • abide by a decision
  • abstain from a thing or from doing
  • accede to a request
  • accord (of one’s own)
  • accordance with (in)
  • accountable for something entrusted
  • accountable to one’s employer
  • acquiesce in
  • act on
  • agree on terms
  • agree to a proposal
  • agree to do (not accept to do)
  • allow for (take into consideration)
  • answer for (assume responsibility for an action or a thing)
  • answer to (account to a person)
  • aspire to (a position, fame)
  • associate with (not associate to)
  • avenge oneself on someone for something
  • averse to doing something
  • averse to violence
  • aware of
  • bear a resemblance to
  • begin by doing
  • begin from a point
  • begin to do
  • begin with an act
  • benefits of the benefactor
  • benefits to the beneficiary
  • bring a charge against
  • capable of
  • capacity for
  • centre on (not around)
  • circumstances (in the)
  • commend a person for work well done
  • commensurate with
  • compare to (only when used in the sense of liken to)
  • compare with (to note similarities and differences)
  • compliment on
  • comply with
  • concur in an opinion
  • concur with a person
  • conditions (live in squalid)
  • conditions (work under difficult)
  • conform to
  • conformity with (in)
  • consist in (definition: Memory consists in a present imagination of past incidents.)
  • consist of (material: The meal consisted of fish.)
  • consistent with
  • contend with a problem, a difficulty
  • contrast one thing with another
  • contrast to or with (in)
  • converge on
  • conversant with
  • correlate with
  • correspond to (resemble)
  • correspond with (communicate)
  • culminate in (not with)
  • default on a loan, a payment
  • defend against attack, accusation
  • defend from harm (ward off attack, keep safe)
  • delve into a question
  • depart from a practice, a procedure
  • deprive of
  • derive from
  • designate someone as
  • different from, to, than
  • differ with a person on a subject
  • disagree with a person
  • discourage from doing
  • dispense with
  • dissociate (or disassociate) oneself from
  • divest oneself of
  • effect (put into)
  • elaborate on
  • embark on a ship, a career
  • enamoured of
  • endowed with
  • excuse from doing
  • focus on (not around)
  • follow-up to (a)
  • forbid someone to do
  • free from or of
  • grasp of (have a good)
  • immune from an obligation, something unpleasant
  • immune to a disease
  • impinge on/upon (have an effect on, encroach upon)
  • impressed with or by
  • incapable of doing
  • indifferent to
  • indispensable for a purpose
  • indispensable to a person
  • infested with insects, vermin
  • infringe the rules (no preposition)
  • initiative in (take the)
  • initiative (on one’s own)
  • insight into
  • integrate into (incorporate)
  • integrate with (mix with)
  • intercede for someone with an authority
  • invest in stocks, shares, a business
  • invest with authority, an award, an office, an air of
  • join with a person or thing in something
  • keep abreast of the news, developments
  • labour at/over a task
  • labour for somebody, a purpose
  • labour under a disadvantage, a misapprehension
  • lay the blame for something on someone
  • levy on (impose a)
  • liable to dismissal, a fine
  • link to (in a physical sense)
  • link with (associate, connect with)
  • live off (the land, one’s produce)
  • live on an income
  • lodge a complaint with an authority against someone
  • look after business
  • look into a matter
  • look over an account
  • made from (original material transformed into something else)
  • made of (material or ingredients that go into making something)
  • made with (specifies one or more of the constituent parts)
  • moment (on the spur of the)
  • moment’s notice (at a)
  • oblivious of or to
  • opposite of (the)
  • opposition to (in)
  • order of (in the, of the)
  • originate in or with (not from)
  • parallel with or to
  • perpendicular to
  • persist in
  • perspective of (from the)
  • place to live in (not place to live)
  • point at a thing
  • point to a fact
  • prefer one to the other
  • preference for
  • preoccupied with
  • present someone or something to someone
  • present someone with something
  • preside over/at
  • prevent from doing
  • proceed against a person
  • proceed to (an act not previously started)
  • proceed with (an act already started)
  • prohibit from doing
  • provide against disaster
  • provide for an emergency
  • provide someone with something
  • provide something for someone
  • pursuance of (in)
  • pursuant to
  • put in/into place
  • reconcile to a thing, a state
  • reconcile with a person
  • reduction in pay
  • reference to (preceded by with, not in)
  • regard for a person (with/in regard to a subject)
  • regardless of whether something happens
  • register with
  • relieve one of a possession, a duty
  • remand in custody
  • remand (place on)
  • replace one person with another (but a person is replaced by another)
  • report for work
  • report on/upon (give information)
  • report to (complain about, inform of, answer to)
  • reproach someone/oneself for having failed to do
  • reproach someone/oneself with a shortcoming
  • research in a specialty
  • research in/into a question
  • responsibility for an action (assume)
  • responsibility of deciding, of a position
  • responsible to a person for an action
  • result from an event
  • result in a failure
  • result (the) of an investigation
  • revolve around
  • right of way
  • satisfaction in something (find, take)
  • satisfaction of (have the)
  • satisfied with something
  • secure against attack
  • secure from harm
  • secure in a position
  • speculate about
  • substitute for
  • suggest that he do (not suggest him to do)
  • suited for a job
  • suited to a purpose, each other
  • sympathetic to/toward
  • sympathize with
  • sympathy for (have)
  • take account of
  • take exception to
  • take into account
  • tamper with
  • tend to do
  • tend toward something (incline)
  • unconscious of
  • variance with a person on something (be at)
  • versed in
  • virtue of (by) (by means of)
  • virtue of (in) (on account of)
  • view of the circumstances (in)
  • view to doing something (with a)
  • wary of a danger
  • withhold from