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CDS General English Spotting the Error Preposition Study Material

CDS General English Spotting the Error Preposition Study Material

CDS General English Spotting the Error Preposition Study Material
CDS General English Spotting the Error Preposition Study Material

CDS General English Spotting the Error Preposition Study Material: A career in Defence Services is the much sought after occupation today for those young and courageous youths of the country who are willing to dedicate their lives to defend the country and its people, the Combined Defence Services Examination is the first test before they can join one of the defence forces in the world i.e. the Indian Armed Forces.
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Spotting the Error Preposition study Material



Preposition is a word that connects a noun, pronoun to another word, especially to a verb, another noun or an adjective.

Some Important Prepositions

  • ‘In’ is used for bigger places (towns, cities, countries) while ‘at’ is used for smaller places.

          e.g. – I live at Shastri Nagar in Meerut.

  • In/ Into ‘In’ is used in speaking of things at rest. ‘Into’ is used in speaking of things in motion.

        e.g. – He is shopping in the market.

He jumped into the well.

He is falling in love.

He is in the office.

The snake crawled into the hole.

The cup broke-off into a hundred pieces.

  • ‘On’ denotes position, ‘upon’ denotes movement.

          e.g. – The cat is on the table.

The cat pounced upon the mouse.

  • ‘With’ denotes the ‘instrument’ and ‘by’ denotes the ‘agent’.

        e.g. – The letter was written by him with his pen.

The music was generated by/ with a guitar/

The murder was committed by him with a pistol.

The ball was hit by the batsman with his bat.

  • ‘Ago’ refers to past time while ‘before’ denotes precedence between two events.

      e.g. – Long ago, there was a King named Rama.

Ram existed before Mahabharata was fought.

He came before me.

The train arrived before the scheduled time.

India achieved independence 69 years ago.

  • ‘Above’ and ‘below’ merely denote position while ‘over’ and ‘under’ also carry a sense of covering or movement.

      e.g. – We live below the roof.

Sky is above us.

Train is running under the bridge.

The train is standing below the bridge.

The bird is flying over the pond.

A wire is passing above the building.

I was wearing two sweaters under the jacket.

  • ‘Under’ is used before a noun to indicate that a person or thing is being affected by something or is going through a particular process.

      e.g. – I’m rarely under pressure and my co-workers are always     nice to me.

  • ‘Under’ can mean junior in ranks.

      e.g. – He is under me.

  • If something happens ‘under’ a particular person or government, it happens when that person or government is in power.

      e.g. – There will be no new taxes under his leadership.

  • If someone does something ‘under’ a particular name, he uses that name instead of his real name.

      e.g. – The patient was registered under a false name.

  • ‘Beneath’ has the same meaning as ‘under’, but it is better to use it for abstract meanings.

      e.g. – Beneath the festive mood, there is an underlying apprehension.

Everybody thought that she was marrying beneath her.

Many find themselves having to take jobs far beneath them.

  • Difference between ‘on time’, ‘in time’ and ‘in good time’.
  • ‘On time’ signifies absolutely right time, neither before nor after.

      e.g. – The flight is on time.

  • ‘In time’ means you are not late for the event.

      e.g. – I arrived just in time for my flight.

  • ‘In good time’ means with comfortable margin.

      e.g. – I arrived at the airport in good time.

  • Difference between at the beginning/at the end and in the beginning/ in the end
  • ‘At the beginning’ means literally at the beginning.

      e.g. – India scored fast at the beginning of the match.

  • ‘At the end’ means literally at he end.

      e.g. – At the end of the book, you’ll find the bibliography.

  • ‘In the beginning’ (or at first) means in the early stage. It implies that later there was a change.

      e.g. – Sachin was nervous in the beginning, later he settled down.

  • ‘In the end’ (or at last) means eventually/ after sometime.

      e.g. – At first he was scared, but in the end he started enjoying.

  • No preposition is placed after the following verbs when they are used in active voice. Order, request, reach, attack, resemble, emphasize, accompany, discuss, investigate, comprise, enter (come into), flee (a Place), join, affect, board, etc.

      e.g. – Our forces attacked on the enemy fort.

We reached at the station on time.

We resembles to his father.

He accompanies with her wherever she goes.

The police are investigating into the case.

The teacher emphasized on morality.

I don’t want to discuss about the problem with you.

  • Omit ‘to’ after verb of communication such as advice, tell, ask, beg, command, encourage, request, inform, order.

      e.g. – I advised to him to study hard.

I commanded to him to leave.

I ordered to him to bring me something to eat.

  • ‘Till’ is used in particular time while ‘until’ is used for indefinite time.

Only ‘until’ is used at the starting of a sentence.

      e.g. – We shall work until we fell down.

We shall work till sunset.

   Till/ until 30, he was a bachelor.

  • ‘Till’ is used for time while ‘upto’ for place.

e.g. – We shall work till 5pm.

We walked till/upto the station.

  • The same preposition should not be used with two words unless it is appropriate to each of them.

      e.g. – It is different and inferior to the other.

It is different from and inferior to the other.

Her dress does not add but detract from her appearance.

Her dress does not add to but detracts from her appearance.

  • ‘Since’ and ‘from’ are used before a noun or phrase denoting some point of time but whereas ‘since’ is preceded by a verb in some perfect tense, ‘from’ is used with other tenses except the perfect tense. For refers to a period of time, not to a point of time, and should not be replaced by since or from.

      e.g. – I haven’t done anything since yesterday.

He has been here since nine o’clock.

I started my shop from 1st January.

I shall start work from July.

He will join the office from tomorrow.

I have been practicing for ten days.

  • Regarding the phrases of time, morning, afternoon and evening are preceded by the preposition ‘in’ whereas dawn, daybreak, noon, midday and midnight are preceded by the preposition ‘at’. Besides, when these time phrases are qualified by ‘last’ or ‘next’, they are not preceded by any preposition.

         e.g. – I like to roam around in the evening.

          I’ll see you at night.

         The sun is hottest at midday.

         I met him last evening.

Across/ Through

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  • e.g. Walk across a road and pass through a tunnel.

Between/ Among ‘Between’ is used while referring to two persons/things whereas ‘Among’ is used for more than two.

  • e.g. – Between the two of you, who is stronger?
  • The sweets are to be distributed among ten friends.

Beside/ Besides ‘Beside’ means by the side of, whereas ‘Besides’ means in addition to.

  • e.g. – Besides eating, he is also watching T.V.
  • You were sitting beside him.

From/ Between ‘From’ is normally used with to/till whereas ‘Between’ is used with and.

  • e.g. – He works from nine to six (or nine till six).
  • The meeting was scheduled to be held between 2 pm and 3 pm.

Within/In ‘Within’ means before the end of time, whereas ‘In’ means at the end of time.

  • e.g. – He will return in five minutes.
  • He will return within five minutes.

SPOTTING THE ERRORS of Preposition Practice set



Directions (Q. Nos. 1-30) Which part of the given sentence has an error? In case, there is no error, choose option (d)

  1. The widely publicized manifesto (a)/ of the new party is not (b)/ much different than ours. (c)/ No error (d)
  2. I was taken with surprise (a)/ when I saw (b)/ the glamorous Appu Ghar.(c)/ No error (d)
  3. Man needs security (a)/ and leisure (b)/ of free thinking. (c)/ No error (d)
  4. This watch is (a)/ superior and more expensive (b)/ than that. (c)/ No error (d)
  5. It was apparent for everyone (a)/ present that if the patient did not receive (b)/ medical attention fast he would die. (c)/ No error (d)
  6. He knows very well (a)/ what is expected from him (b)/ but he is not able to fulfil all the expectations.(c)/ No error (d)
  7. My brothers has (a)/ ordered for (b)/ a new book. (c)/ No error (d)
  8. That Brutus, who was his trusted friend (a)/ had attacked on him (b)/ caused heart break to Julius Caesar. (c)/ No error (d)
  9. Bhuvan was (a)/ blind with (b)/ one eye. (c)/ No error (d)
  10. The doctor attended (a)/ to (b)/ the patient very quietly. (c)/ No error (d)
  11. I was shocked to hear (a)/ that his father (b)/ died of an accident. (c)/ No error (d)
  12. I must start at dawn (a)/ to reach the station (b)/ in time. (c)/ No error (d)
  13. None could dare (a)/ to encroach (b)/ on his rights. (c)/ No error (d)
  14. The father brought the sweets (a)/ and distributed them (b)/ between his five children. (c)/ No error (d)
  15. Raman developed the habit (a)/ for sleeping late (b)/ when he was staying in the hostel. (c)/ No error (d)
  16. It is the duty of every right thinking citizen (a)/ to try to make (b)/ the whole world a happier place to live. (c)/ No error (d)
  17. The top- ranking candidates (a)/ will be appointed in senior jobs (b)/ in good companies. (c)/ No error (d)
  18. My niece has been married (a)/ is one mile (b)/ the richest man of the town. (c)/ No error (d)
  19. The venue of examination (a)/ is one mile (b)/ further up the hill. (c)/ No error (d)
  20. The doctor referred the patient (a0/ for the OPD (b)/ without examining him. (c)/ No error (d)
  21. On a holiday Madhu prefers (a)/ reading than going (b)/ out visiting friends. (c)/ No error (d)
  22. People who are (a)/ averse with (b)/ hard work generally do not succeed in life. (c)/ No error (d)
  23. Vishal is one year junior (a)/ than (b)/ Madan in our office. (c)/ No error (d)
  24. They walked (a)/ besides (b)/ each other in silence. (c)/ No error (d)
  25. Our Mathematics teacher often emphasizes (a)/ on the need (b)/ for a lot of practice. (c)/ No error (d)
  26. Please put away (a)/ the candle before (b)/ you leave (c)/ No error (d)
  27. All the doctors were puzzled (a)/ on the strange symptoms (b)/ reported by the patient. (c)/ No error (d)
  28. The detective says that (a)/ there is no chance for finding (b)/ the person who wrote these letters. (c)/ No error (d)
  29. In urban society the social circle is limited (a)/ with the family but in the village (b)/ it encompasses the entire village (c)/ No error (d)
  30. Being most loquacious among here brothers and sisters (a)/ she related a good many tales (b)/ in each breath. (c)/ No error (d)


  1. (c) In formal writing, ‘different form’ is generally preferred, to ‘different than’. Hence, we would replace ‘than’ by ‘from’.
  2. (a) The preposition ‘with’ should be replaced by ‘by’ to make the sentence correct.
  3. (c) ‘Security’ and ‘leisure’ are needed ‘for’ free thinking. Hence, we would replace ‘of’ by ‘for’.
  4. (b) The preposition ‘to’ must follow the word ‘superior’ in the given sentence to make it grammatically correct.
  5. (a) The preposition ‘for’ in part (a) of the sentence does not make sense. It should be replaced by ‘to’ to make the sentence correct.
  6. (b) The preposition ‘of’ should be used instead of ‘from’ in the given sentence.
  7. (b) ‘For’ in part (b) of the sentence is not needed. It should be deleted.
  8. (b) The preposition ‘on’ in the sentence is not needed. We need to delete it to convey the correct meaning of the sentence.
  9. (b) ‘Blind in one eye’ is the correct usage. Hence, we should replace ‘with’ by ‘in’.
  10. (d) No error
  11. (c) ‘Of’ is used when the cause is a disease. In the given sentence, we should use ‘in’ in place of ‘of’.
  12. (d) The sentence is correct.
  13. (c) ‘Upon’ is the right conjunction that should be used with ‘rights’. Hence, we replace ‘on’ by ‘upon’.
  14. (c) As per the rule, ‘among’ should be used when more than two persons are involved. Hence, we replace ‘between’ in the given sentence by ‘among’.
  15. (b) ‘For sleeping late’ does not make sense in the given sentence. It should be replaced with ‘of sleeping late’.
  16. (c) The sentence is not complete unless we add ‘in’ after ‘live’.
  17. (b) The correct usage is ‘appointed to’. Hence, we would replace ‘in’ by ‘to’.
  18. (b) As per the right usage, ‘you are married to someone’ and not ‘with someone’. Hence, we replace the preposition ‘with’ by ‘to’.
  19. (a) The preposition ‘of’ needs to be replaced by ‘for’ to make the sentence grammatically correct.
  20. (a) ‘For’ is incorrect. It should be replaced by ‘to’ to make the sentence grammatically correct.
  21. (b) ‘Than’ should be replaced by ‘to’ to correct the sentence.
  22. (b) ‘With’ is not used with ‘averse’. So, we replace it by ‘to’.
  23. (b) ‘Than’ is not the right preposition that should be used with ‘junior’. It should be replaced by ‘beside’ to correct the sentence.
  24. (b) ‘Besides’ should be replaced by ‘beside’ to correct he sentence.
  25. (b) We need to remove ‘on’ to rectify the sentence.
  26. (a) ‘Put away’ does not convey the right meaning. It should be changed to ‘put off’.
  27. (b) ‘On’ should be replaced by ‘at’ in order to make the sentence correct.
  28. (b) ‘For’ should be replaced by ‘of’ to make the sentence correct.
  29. (b) ‘With’ should be replaced by ‘to’ to rectify the sentence.
  30. (a) ‘Among’ should be replaced by ‘of’ to rectify the sentence.



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