Use of Prepositions in OET Writing Sub Test

Even advanced learners of English find it difficult to make use of prepositions in the right way. 

Prepositions are simple words that are usually placed before nouns.  Or sometimes in front of the gerund verbs. 

Examples: On, to, for, from, since, at, in, etc.  

The toughest part is there are hardly any rules with respect to the usage of prepositions. The best source to learn more about prepositions is a dictionary. You can check the use of the prepositions and learn them off by heart.  

Use of prepositions 

  • On Monday 
  • At 7 pm 
  • For three weeks 
  • Since last Monday. 
  • In June / In summer 
  • In the morning/afternoon/evening
  • In 2020
  • In two hours
  • At the weekend
  • At half past five
  • Since 1920
  • Before 2004
  • Fifteen to five (4:45)
  • From Tuesday to/till Saturday 
  • Until Friday/Saturday/Sunday
  • By 7 o’clock.

Common mistakes  

Candidates often make mistakes in use of prepositions. These mistakes can be of three types. 

Mistake 1 

Missing Preposition

Test takers do not add the preposition where it is needed. The preposition in the sentence will be missing. 


Incorrect: I talked him about this last week (missing preposition)
Correct: I talked to him about this last week. 

Mistake 2 

Using Wrong Preposition 

Candidates make use of wrong prepositions in the sentence that can actually alter the meaning of the sentence as well. 


Incorrect: We're meeting again on Sunday.
Incorrect: He was talking about the doctor 

Correct: We were meeting again on Sunday. 
Correct: He was talking to the doctor. 

Mistake 3 

Use of Unnecessary Preposition 

Incorrect: I'll telephone to you tomorrow. 
Correct: I will telephone you tomorrow (preposition such as to is not needed here). 

Simple Exercise on Preposition:

Make use of the correct preposition to correct the following sentences.

The doctor decided to put the patient to sleep within a strong narcotic. 
The woman burnt her hand at the hot frying pan.      
We have no spare beds on the hospital at the moment.    
The doctors examined the tissue on the microscope.     
It is necessary that the needles used at injections for the patients should be sterilized.      
He is recovering about flu.  
The patient was given to a pain-killing injection.
The hospital has decided to install a new apparatus through the cancer department.      
His lips were cracked of the cold.   
The girl’s little finger was crushed ……. the door.   
This report submitted by the NIBT quotes the number of cases of brain tumor from thousand patients tested.   Per
This type of wool can irritate to the skin. 



with, on, in, under, for, from (to is not needed), in, from, by, per, (to is not needed)   

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