Inform of, on, about, or by? Here’s the Preposition with Examples

Have you ever been caught in a grammatical conundrum trying to decide whether you should use ‘inform of’, ‘on’, ‘about’, or ‘by’? You’re not alone. The choice between these prepositions can be tricky even for seasoned English language users. The quick answer is – it depends on the context and what follows after the verb “inform”. This article will delve into each usage with 20 real-life examples to help clarify this common question.

Understanding the Purpose of Prepositions

Prepositions are words that define relationships between different elements in a sentence. They provide context by indicating direction, location, or time among other things.

  • Direction: “I am headed to the store.”
  • Location: “She is at home.”
  • Time: “During summer.”

Using ‘Of’, ‘On’, ‘About’ and ‘By’

These four prepositions each have unique use cases:

  1. Of‘: Indicates possession or connection.
    • The cover of the book is blue.
    • He’s one of my colleagues.
  2. On‘: Refers to being above & touching, specific days/dates, or topics.
    • There’s a bug on your shoulder!
    • My birthday falls on Friday this year.
  3. About‘: Used to indicate subject matter; it can also mean ‘approximately’ when referring to numbers/time.
  • She wrote an interesting article about climate change.
  • I arrived at about 5 o’clock.
  1. By‘: Can refer to actions performed (by someone/something), proximity, or means of transportation/communication
  • This painting was done by Picasso.
  • My house is by the sea.

Remember these examples and you’ll be able to use prepositions like a pro!

Common Preposition Usage Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to prepositions, even native English speakers can slip up. Here’s a rundown of some common mistakes and how you can avoid them:

  • Inform about vs. inform on: ‘Inform on’ is often mistakenly used in place of ‘inform about’. Remember, we use ‘inform about’ when giving someone information: Correct: I informed him about the meeting. Incorrect: I informed him on the meeting.
  • Prepositions with time: When referring to specific times use ‘at’, for days and dates use ‘on’, and for longer periods like months or years, use ‘in’.
CorrectIncorrect
at 5pmin 5pm
on Mondayat Monday
in Februaryon February
  • Wait for vs. wait to: We say you’re waiting for something/someone but waiting to do something. Correct: She’s waiting for the bus. Incorrect: She’s waiting to the bus.

Remember these tips next time you’re unsure which preposition to go with!

Examples of Correct Preposition Usage

Let’s dive into different contexts where these prepositions are correctly used.

Inform Of

  • The doctor informed me of the risks involved in the surgery.
  • I was informed of the meeting tomorrow by my assistant.

Inform On

Note: ‘Inform on’ is typically used when someone is giving information about another person’s wrongdoing.

  • The whistleblower decided to inform on his corrupt boss.
  • She refused to inform on her classmates who were involved in cheating.

Inform About

  • Please inform me about your progress on the project next week.
  • The coach will inform us about any changes in the training schedule.

Inform By

This usage involves how or through what means a message or information is delivered.

SentenceExplanation
You will be informed by email once your package has been shipped.Here, ‘by email’ denotes how you’ll receive the information.
We were informed by phone that our reservation had been cancelled.In this instance, ‘by phone’ tells us through which medium we received this news

Remember, prepositions can be tricky and their usage often depends upon context and preference!

Wrapping Things Up

In the realm of English language and grammar, choosing the right preposition can significantly impact your statement’s clarity. Our discussion has shed light on how to use “inform of,” “on,” “about,” and “by” in sentences correctly. Keep these guidelines handy when you’re about to inform someone ‘of’, ‘on’, ‘about’ or ‘by’ something.

Let these 20 examples serve as a guidepost for future reference. Remember, mastering prepositions is not an overnight process but a continuous learning journey. Persistently practicing will make perfect – soon enough, using these prepositions will become second nature!

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