Prepositions are considered to be the most difficult grammatical chapter to be dealt with by the students preparing for different competitive examinations as they (Prepositions) do not follow any hard and fast rule to be used properly along with some words. Look at the following sentences:
- I am afraid of dogs. (not ‘I am afraid from dogs’ though ‘from’ seems appropriate.)
- The teacher asked a question to me. (not ‘The teacher asked a question from me’.)
- He has got off the cycle. (not ‘He has got down the cycle’ though ‘down’ also seems to be appropriate.)
- The villagers discussed the increasing robberies in the village. (not ‘The villagers discussed about/on/over the increasing robberies in the village.)
- The English left India bag and baggage (not ‘The English left India with bag and baggage)
- Rahul married Shila. (not ‘not ‘Rahul married with Shila’)
- Let me describe the place. (not ‘Let me describe about the place.)
In many cases, the derivatives of some particular words do not take similar Prepositions, such as;
- I differ with you on this matter.
- I am different from you on this matter.
- I have passion for a beautiful house in the lap of nature.
- I am passionate about a beautiful house in the lap of nature.
Some Prepositions go in line with some particular words used to show some different sense.
- He apologized to him.
- He apologized for the mistake committed.
- I agree with you.
- I agree to the proposal.
Some synonyms take different Prepositions
- She accused him of the diminutive supply of essential commodities.
- She charged him with the blame of the diminutive supply of essential commodities.
In some Phrases, the use of some particular Prepositions changes their meanings.
- I cannot put up with such an insult. (Tolerate)
- He put the robber to death. (killed)
- He came across a coin. (obtained a coin by chance)
- He came by a coin. (obtained a coin)
Some Prepositional Phrases, ending in ‘to’, are followed by a Gerund.
- We all reached there with a view to attending the motivation class.
- We all are looking forward to watching the cricket match between India and Pakistan.
- On the way to going to school, I saw a spectacle on the road-side.
All these confusions sprout fear among students about their appropriate use with some particular words. Moreover, their fear increases when they do not get any properly arranged materials on Prepositions. But fearing Prepositions does cause problems in solving the Cloze Tests, Rapid Fillers and Common Errors based on them.