10 Common Mistakes with Verbs & Prepositions in English


Hi, I'm Rebecca from www.engvid.com . In this lesson, we'll be looking at ten common mistakes

that are made when using verbs and prepositions.

Now, of course, what's a verb?

It's the word in the sentence that shows the action.

And a preposition is that little word that sometimes drives you a little bit crazy, like

in, on, at, to, with, before, after, and so on.


So, usually in English, there are three kinds of mistakes that people make when using verbs

and prepositions, okay?

Sometimes, because of your language, okay, because of your native language and because

your native language is different from English, perhaps, there are three kinds of ways in

which mistakes are made.

Sometimes, people make a mistake because they add a preposition when there is no preposition


Sometimes, they don't add a preposition when we need a preposition.

And sometimes, they use the wrong preposition when we use a different one in English.

So, let's find out exactly what happens in your case, okay?

Now, we're going to look at these ten common verbs, but I have actually designed a course

which has grammar mistakes like these, expressions, vocabulary, prepositions, and pronunciation

and lots of other kinds of mistakes.

And if you want to work on your mistakes in general, then you can check out that course.

It'll be in the lesson description, okay?

Check that out if you wish.

But for now, let's work on these verbs and prepositions.

So, first of all, there are ten sentences on the board, and there are ten mistakes.

So, all of these have a mistake.

So, if you're speaking like this, then remember - or writing like this, remember it's wrong

and we're going to fix it right now.

So, let's see if you can help me with that.

The first one: I called to my friend.

So, what's wrong with that?


So, what's wrong here is that we don't say that.

We say, we just say, "I called my friend."

Say it after me: I called my friend.

I called my boss.

I called my parents.


So, in this case, we have to take out the preposition that was used, okay?

As I said, sometimes we take it out, sometimes we add it, sometimes we change it, alright?

And maybe you make a different mistake, but even if you're using a different preposition,

that's wrong too.


So, we just say, "I called somebody", okay?

Next: We're waiting his email.

So, what's wrong there?

Can you fix it?

Let's do that.

We're waiting for his email.


We're waiting for his email, okay?

So here, what was wrong?

We needed to add a preposition, okay?

We needed to add a preposition here.

We're waiting for his email.

So, you can be waiting for something.

You can be waiting for someone, okay?

So, that's the way we fix that one.

Let's look at number three: They reached to an agreement.

What's wrong there?

Try to figure it out.

So, we should say, "They reached an agreement."

So here also, we're taking out the preposition, okay?

They reached an agreement.

Say it after me: They reached an agreement.



Number four: She's listening the music.

She's listening - what should it be?

She's listening to the music.


So, here we need to add a preposition.

Listen to, we always say in English, listen to.

This is not the case in a number of languages, so be careful and check whether your language

actually is different from English here, okay?

This is a very, very common mistake.

So, say it after me: She's listening to the music.



Number five: Did you contact to the manager?

That's wrong also.

It should be what?

Again, we're taking it out this time.

Did you contact the manager?

Did you contact the client?


So, after contact, we don't need any preposition, alright?

Did you contact the manager?

Say it after me: Did you contact the manager?


It's helpful, very helpful to repeat it after me for a few reasons.

One is for the pronunciation and the second is to help you learn the grammar, right?

So that your ears can hear you saying the right thing and your brain can also learn

faster by listening as well as seeing.


And speaking.


Number six: We discussed about the project.

What's wrong there?

Okay, here.

We don't need that word.

We just say, "We discussed the project."

We discussed the idea.


Say it after me: We discussed the project.

We discussed the project, okay?

Good, good for you.

Next, number seven: I'm arriving to London tomorrow.

That's wrong.

Very common mistake, okay?

It must be because, in a lot of languages, that is the preposition that is used after

"arrive", but that is not the preposition that is used in English.

So, we should say, "I'm arriving in London", okay?

So here, we just had to correct it.

We had to change the preposition.

We still use a preposition, but we use this particular preposition and maybe not the preposition

that's being used in your language, okay?

So, "I'm arriving in London tomorrow."

Now, this particular verb, arrive, is actually used so often that I have a special lesson

which is just about this verb.

And it's about sometimes we say "arrived at", like if we say arrived at a specific place,


Arrived at the airport.

But we say "arrived in" a city, arrived in a country, arrived in a continent.


So, if you want to know more about that particular one, watch that other lesson, okay?

That will help you to really get that right, because we use this word and this verb a lot,


Next, number eight: Have you answered to their question?

That's also wrong.

So, what should it be?

Have you answered their question?


So, we're taking it out there.

Have you answered their question?

Have you answered their email?


So, say it after me: Have you answered their question?


And again, we've used different verb tenses here, sometimes we've used present simple,

I think, or present continuous.

Past simple, present perfect, doesn't matter which verb tense we use.

We're still going to have verbs and we're going to have prepositions or no prepositions,



So, repeat this one after me: Have you answered their question?


Now, when you're saying this also, please remember to say the ending, okay?

Especially in certain languages, a lot of my Spanish students have a little difficulty

saying the endings of the words, so make sure you're paying attention to that.

Because otherwise, it will sound like, "Have you answer your question?"

And that would then make somebody think that you're not speaking English correctly, and

maybe you actually know that it's "Have you answered", but you need to hear it, you need

to say it, okay?

Next, number nine: Did he tell to you something?

That's wrong.

Very common mistake.

A lot of my Indian students make this mistake, and several others.

So, what's wrong with that?

How can we fix it?

It should be this way: Did he tell you something?

You tell someone something, okay?

We don't need the "to", so we're taking out the "to".

Did he tell you something, okay?

Say it after me: Did he tell you something?

Did he tell you something?

Good, okay?

And the last one: We went in bus.

That's wrong.

How can we fix it?

We went - we use a different preposition here - we went by bus, okay?

So here, we're going to change the preposition.

We went by bus.

In fact, we use "by" for various modes of transportation.

We went by bus.

We went by train.

We went by plane, okay?

We went by subway, okay?

There is only one exception.

If you walked, then we say, "We went on foot."

Not by foot, but on foot.

We went on foot.

By bus, by train, by plane, and so on, okay?

So, these are ten very common mistakes with verbs and prepositions.

Now, here we just corrected them.

Now, let's really make sure that you know them by reviewing them and using them correctly,


Looking at what their correct forms are.

Let's do that next.

Okay, now let's really lock these down, okay?

These verbs and prepositions, or verbs and no prepositions, okay?

But on this board, there will be verbs and the correct prepositions.

Everything here is correct, okay?

So, what can you do?

Well, repeat it after me, okay?

Repeat it with me, that will be even better, okay?

So, let's go with number one: I listened to the teacher.

Next: I listened to the lecture.

Get used to saying "I listened to", okay?

I listened to the song.



So, always put to after listen, alright.

Next, number two: I waited for her response.

The next sentence, let's say it together: I waited for Mary.

I waited for the call.


So, as you can see here, you can wait for something like a response, a call, or you

can wait for someone, alright?

Like Mary.

The same here, right?

You can listen to someone, like the teacher, the professor and so on.

Or, you can listen to something, like a lecture or a song, alright?

So, pay attention to the different ways in which we can use these verbs as well.

Next, say it with me: I arrived at the airport.

I arrived at the café, okay?

So, as I mentioned, "arrived at" is for a specific place.

But here, we say, "I arrived in Paris."

I arrived in Brazil.



And again, there's that special lesson just on arrived, okay?

So, because there are more examples with arrived than just the ones I've shown you here.

So, if you really want to lock that one down, watch that other lesson as well.

Number four: I went by train.

I went by taxi.

Do you remember the one which was an exception, where we don't say "by"?

I went on foot.

Okay, good.


So, with these, we use prepositions.

Now, let's look at the six that we learned before.

Let's review them and really learn them very well.

Those are the ones without any prepositions at all in English.

Let's look at those.

Alright, so this time, we have six verbs with no prepositions, okay?

So, in case you're adding prepositions or your brain feels like putting in that preposition,

resist, don't do it, okay?

And repeat and read with me, okay?

So, let's go with the first one: I called my colleague.

Who is a colleague?

A colleague is somebody who works with you, okay?

I called my colleague.

I called the office.

I called room service.


If you're in a hotel and you want something to eat or drink and you have a little bit

of money, then you can call room service and they will bring it up to you, alright?

Next, number six: I reached home safely.

Or, I reached the security guard.

So, you see here that the meaning is a little bit different, right?

So here, you reached somewhere.

You reached a place, right?

I reached the office.

I reached home.


But here, you reached someone.

When you say I reached someone, it means I managed to connect with them.

I managed to call them.

I managed to contact them, okay?

So, I reached the security guard, okay?

So remember that we can use reached in these different ways.

And the same up here, you can see that you called someone, like your colleague, but you

called some place, like the office or room service.


Number seven: I discussed the proposal.

I discussed their offer.

I discussed politics.



So, these are ways that you can use discuss, the most important thing is don't use any

preposition after the word discuss.


Next, number eight: I contacted the client.

Or, I contacted the police.


So again, no preposition, okay?

That's basically it.

That's it for all of them here.

No preposition after these very common verbs, alright?

Next, number nine: I answered the enquiry.

Enquiry is like a formal word for question - that somebody is asking for information

about something, okay?

That's an enquiry.

It can be spelled with an E or can be spelled with an I, depending on British or American

English, alright?

Or, I answered the student.

I answered the professor, okay?

I answered my boss, okay?

I answered the email.

So, you can answer someone or you can answer something, as we can see here.


And number ten, the last one for now: I told him to call me later.


So again, you tell someone something, okay, with no preposition.

Or, another example, read it with me: I told them to come over sometime.

I told them to come over sometime.

Usually when we say "to come over", it means to come to my house, okay?

So, come over, we're talking about my place, my house, my home, okay?

To come over and come over and visit me.

Come and visit me.


So, this is a very common one also.

Be careful of how you're using "to tell" someone, not tell to, tell someone directly, okay?

So here, we have sort of reviewed and hopefully, you know, consolidated in your mind these

ten common verbs and the prepositions that do or do not follow them, okay?

So, what do you do next to make sure that you know these?

So, you can watch the video again, alright?

You're welcome to do that, it helps.

Watch after a couple of days, see how you do.

Watch again at the end of the week, that can help.

That's one way, that's something that some students do.

The other thing is you can go to our website, www.engvid.com and right away, you can do

a quiz on that, on these, on these ten specifically, just to make sure that you've really got them,


Because you don't want to keep on learning these lessons and watching them forever.

You want to watch these lessons with a purpose, right?

To master these things and to move forward and to take your English higher with each

lesson that you watch, okay?

That's the idea.

That's the goal.

The other thing you can do, as I mentioned earlier, is these are just some of the common


And I've put together all of them in a course, and if you wish, you can improve a little

bit every single day.

That's why my course is called "Correct Your English Errors in 10 Minutes a Day".

So, every day, by correcting one error, just imagine how far you can go, okay?

So, the other thing, subscribe if you haven't already.

Please do that, and that way you will keep getting new lessons when you ring the bell,

so that whenever there is a new lesson, you will be informed, alright?

Thanks very much for watching.

Clearly, you're one of those serious students who is going to make progress, because you

watched all the way to the end.

Congratulations, okay?

I'm sure you're going to go far, and you already are, because you've learned all of this lesson,

and not just, "Yeah yeah, I know that", okay?

I know people do that sometimes, but not you.

You're serious and you're making progress.

Good for you.

Bye for now.

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