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Common Errors Made While Using Prepositions.

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04 Sep 2018

 

In the speaking task of the IELTS you may be asked what you favorite is or where you went to on our last trip? Answering such questions without the use of  Prepositions is almost impossible. It is not the usage of Prepositions that brings down the band though. It is the incorrect usage of Prepositions which changes the meaning of your written as well as spoken sentences which makes you lose out on the band you had aimed for.

How will Prepositions help in the IELTS?

One of the elements of English grammar is a prepositions. In simple terms, prepositions are words that help a person talk about the exact position of a thing or person.It also helps to talk about he precise time.

Look at these sample prompts and the responses of Prepositions:

Sample prompt:

Describe your favorite restaurant.

You should say:

  • where it is located
  • what kind of cuisine they serve
  • what does the place look like

b.

Sample prompt:

Describe a party or event you recently attended 

You should say:

  • what the party was for
  • who was the host
  • what was the best part about it

and what was your relationship with the host

Your responses to these questions could be something like

“My favorite restaurant is Shiv Sagar. It has many branches at various location around the city but I prefer the one located at Vile Parle. They Pav Bhaji served there is just out of the world.”

or

“The last party I attended was a colleague’s felicitation party. It was held on the terrace of our firm’s building.The best part about it was the food and the music.It was held in the hours after work last Friday”

The two sample responses makes use of the words like “at”,”around”, “there” and “on” for talking about the location and the time of the restaurant and the party. Incorrect usage of these Prepositions will change the meaning of the sentences completely and hence you are likely to get a lower band that what you are aiming for.

So what are the common errors that the students usually make?

Common errors made by students:

  Prepositions are words that express locations in time and space.   Prepositions indicate relationships between nouns and other words.

For example:

Which school did you got to?

Instead of answering

“I went to school at…..” you should answer “I did my shcooling from…….”

Try to avoid constructing sentences with redundant prepositions.

Let us look at few more common mistakes made while using prepositions.

  1. Prepositions and ‘Ask’

– We should use  the verb ‘ask’ with the preposition ‘for’ to ask somebody to give something.

-We should use ‘ the verb ‘ask’ without the preposition ‘for’ to ask somebody to say something.

for example if asked a question like

Sample prompt:

When was the last time you asked someone for help?

you should say:

  • whom did you ask for help
  • why did you ask for help
  • what did you need help with

and did the person help you or not

If you say

I asked for some money from my friend”   it is correct, but

I asked some money from my friend” it is incorrect.

B. Prepositions and ‘Prevent’

The word ‘prevent’ cannot be followed by the preposotion ‘to’.  It should be followed by the preposition ‘from’ and a verb with ‘-ing’ form.

For example:

Sample prompt:

“Have you ever been in any accident?”

You should say

  • what happened in the accident
  • who was with you
  • when did it happen 

and how did you survive it?

The response

“I prevented the two vehicles to colliding but it was very late and the car was out of control by then” is incorrect

whereas

“I prevented the two vehicles from colliding but it was very late and the car was out of control by then” is correct

C. Prepositions and ‘Meet’

a. The verb ‘meet’ normally means ‘come face to face with somebody or something’.  If it is used in this way, it cannot be used with the preposition ‘with’.

Look at the following example for better understanding:

Sample prompt:

Have you ever met a celebrity or a famous person?

You should say

  • who the person was
  • what is the person famous for
  • how did you happen to meet him/her

and what did you like the most about that person after meeting him/her?

If your response is

“I met with Amitabh Bacchan once at a charity event organized by our firm. He is a larger than life personality” it is incorrect. Whereas,

” I met Amitabh Bacchan once at a charity event organized by our firm. He is a larger than life personality” it is correct

b. The phrase ‘meet with’ – meaning ‘to experience’ can be correctly used as follows.

Sample prompt Prepositions :

“Have you ever been in any accident?”

You should say

  • what happened in the accident
  • who was with you
  • when did it happen 

and how did you survive it?

The response

“I met with an accident while on the way to work one day” is correct. Whereas

“I met an acident while on the way to work one day” is incorrect.

 

Vocabulary exercise of Prepositions :

A. Objective:  learning to identify the errors in the use of prepositions

Directions: Choose the sentence with correctly used Prepositions for each question below:

1.

a. She asked my pen

b. She asked for my pen

2.

a. The walls prevented rain water from entering the house.

b. The walls prevented rain water to enter the house.

3.

a. I met an accident today.

b. I met with an accident today.

4.

a. We insisted on them staying.

b. We insisted to them staying.

B. Objective: Learning to use the correct  Prepositions

Directions: Fill in the gaps in the following sentences with an appropriate preposition from the box

to   an   at    with   from  in  by

1. I’m going…Edinburgh…….Tuesday……a friend.   Would you like to come……us?

2. Are you going……..train?

3. Are you….some sort of trouble?

4. How do you communte ______ your place to work?

5. She’s really looking forward ________ meeting you.

 

Answers:

A.

1. She asked for my pen

2.The walls prevented rain water from entering the house.

3. I met with an accident today.

4. We insisted on them staying.

B. 

1, to, on, with, with

2. by

3. in

4. from

5. to

 

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