Prepositions are tricky words, especially if you speak English as a second language. They\u2019re common, mostly short (e.g., at, in and on), and many have several uses, which can make it difficult to know which preposition to use.\n\nWe won\u2019t try to give a full explanation here (that would take a small book). But to help you avoid mistakes, here are six common preposition errors that you may want to watch out for in your own writing.\n1. From Morning to Night (In vs. At)\nWith \u201cin\u201d and \u201cat,\u201d the correct term may depend on the time of day! For example, in English we use \u201cin the\u201d with \u201cmorning,\u201d \u201cafternoon,\u201d and \u201cevening.\u201d But we usually use \u201cat\u201d when talking about the night:\nHelen goes running in the morning.\nTim goes running in the afternoon.\nShirley goes running in the evening.\nBob goes running at night.\nYou could go for a run \u201cin the night,\u201d but that sounds like something a sporty vampire would do. So make sure to use \u201cat\u201d with \u201cnight\u201d in your writing.\n2. Arrivals (In and At vs. To)\nYou can use the preposition \u201cto\u201d for discussing journeys (e.g., \u201cI\u2019m going to Tasmania\u201d). But with the word \u201carrive,\u201d we use \u201cin\u201d or \u201cat\u201d to describe reaching a destination. For instance:\nShe arrived in Tasmania just after lunch.\nHe arrived at the restaurant five minutes late.\nWhether to use \u201cin\u201d or \u201cat\u201d typically depends on the destination:\n\n \tUse \u201cin\u201d for cities, countries or other large areas.\n \tUse \u201cat\u201d for specific places (e.g., a library, a bar, or someone\u2019s house).\n\n3. Time, Days, Months, and Years (At, On, and In)\nWhen referring to a time or date, we use different prepositions depending on the situation. If you\u2019re talking about a time of day, the correct term is \u201cat\u201d:\nThe party starts at 9pm.\nFor a specific day or date, meanwhile, we use \u201con\u201d:\nThe party is on Saturday.\nAnd for a month or year, the correct preposition is \u201cin\u201d:\nWe\u2019re having a party in April.\nIn other words, the preposition depends on the time window in question.\n4. Of vs. Have\nIt\u2019s common to see the preposition \u201cof\u201d used alongside helper verbs like \u201cshould\u201d or \u201cmust.\u201d For example:\nI should of gone to bed earlier. \u2717\nHowever, this is an error. The correct word here isn\u2019t even a preposition.\n\nRather, it should be the verb \u201chave,\u201d which sounds a bit like \u201cof\u201d when spoken (hence the confusion). Thus, it should say:\nI should have gone to bed earlier. \u2713\n\n5. For vs. Since\nWhen talking about how long something has been happening, we use \u201cfor\u201d when referring to a length of time (e.g., a period of hours, days, or months):\nI\u2019ve been writing for six hours.\nBut if we\u2019re using a specific time as a point of reference, we use \u201csince\u201d:\nI\u2019ve been writing since breakfast.\nThe difference here is that the first refers to a measure of time, while the second refers to a fixed point in the past when the activity began.\n6. Talking About and Discussing\n\u201cTalking\u201d and \u201cdiscussing\u201d are similar activities, so people often treat these words as interchangeable. However, you should only use the preposition \u201cabout\u201d after \u201ctalking.\u201d For example:\nWe\u2019re talking about extreme sports. \u2713\nWe\u2019re discussing extreme sports. \u2713\nWe\u2019re discussing about extreme sports. \u2717\nTo make sure you\u2019ve used all the right terms in all the right places, try submitting a document for proofreading today.