Search Content

English Bites!

engbites1English Bites! are practical, bite-sized tips to help you improve your English for work. Published twice a week, the articles include useful advice covering different aspects of business English including grammar, vocabulary, writing, speaking as well as fun topics. It'll take just a few minutes to read each tip. You can subscribe to English Bites! from the Newsletters link above. After that, you'll receive notifications of all new tips by email.

Common Errors with Phrasal Verbs (Part 2): Unnecessary Prepositions

27 May 2022

grammFrequently a preposition is used with a verb where it is not needed. This may happen because of confusion between a regular transitive verb which is not a phrasal verb, and a similar noun which does require a preposition. For example:

X  We should discuss about the proposal.

We should discuss the proposal.

This error may be due to confusion between the verb discuss (transitive; no preposition) with the noun discussion (countable, and often followed by about):

We should have a discussion about the proposal.

Stress can be either a verb (transitive) or a noun (usually uncountable), so it may be even more confusing.

X   We must stress on the importance of employee safety.

  We must stress the importance of employee safety.

  We must place stress on the importance of employee safety.

Here are some similar examples. Pay attention to the differences between the transitive verb and the verb + noun + preposition pattern.

X  I want to emphasise on team spirit.

I want to emphasise team spirit.

I want to place emphasis on team spirit.


X  Mr Lee demanded for an apology.

Mr lee demanded an apology.

Mr Lee issued a demand for an apology.


X  I have requested for a new assignment.

I have requested a new assignment.

I have made a request for a new assignment.


X Did you order for 120 reams of A4 paper?

Did you order 120 reams of A4 paper?

Did you place that order for 120 reams of A4 paper?


X  Andrew will contact with the suppliers tomorrow.

Andrew will contact the suppliers tomorrow.

Andrew will make contact with the suppliers tomorrow.

Sometimes two verbs have similar meanings, but one is phrasal and the other is not.

I would like you to consider about my suggestion.

I would like you to consider my suggestion.

I would like you to think about my suggestion.

Out is sometimes used unnecessarily. Note the following examples:

X  Please list out the names of the employees.

Please list the names of the employees.


X  We have sold out over one thousand units this month.

We have sold over one thousand units this month.

Sometimes out is used with sell, usually in the passive form. In this case it means ‘all the items have been sold; there is nothing left.’

  I am afraid the D-52 model is completely sold out.

OR      

  We are sold out of the D-52 model.
 

开发你的词汇量

Questions to Dr English 11

Common Errors with Phrasal Verbs (Part 1): Missing Prepositions

Tips for Business Presentations

Telephone Communication Problems: Useful Language for Clarifying the Message

Telephoning: Politely Declining Requests

Avoid Referring to the Subject Heading

Tips to Make your Writing More Polite

Leaving Clear Voicemail Messages

Giving and Receiving Verbal Instructions: Functional Language

Direct vs Indirect Questions

Common Errors with Verb + Infinitive/Gerund

“Although” vs “Though” vs “Despite” vs “In Spite of”

Creating a Vertical List from a Paragraph Block

Business Grammar: Noun + Preposition Combinations

Telephoning: Buying Time – Useful Language

Language for Expressing Likes, Dislikes and Preferences

Short Email: Informing and Notifying

When to Start a New Paragraph

Menu