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Confused Words OF & FROM

This is a big request. More often than not, English students aren’t quite sure whether to use the prepositions of or from. Today’s lesson is about commonly confused words of and from.

When to use OF

It’s a long list of situations calling for the preposition of, but we’ll mention a few. We normally use OF:

to say that something is related to something else:

  • Thomas is a very good friend of mine.
  • The books of Dostoyevsky.
  • This is a photo of my family.

Confused words OF and FROM

to say that something is a part of something:

  • Simon is a member of the school board.
  • This is the lid of the jar.

with measurements and amounts:

  • Take a spoonful of syrup every morning.
  • British people eat 10 kilos of chocolate every year on average.

with numbers:

  • They spent thousands of dollars on the research.
  • Hundreds of people died in the last night’s earthquake.

Confused words OF and FROM

When to use FROM

Plenty are situations to use from in but we’ll look at some most common ones. We use FROM:

to say where something starts:

  • The train from London arrives in ten minutes.
  • Sandra took the sandwich from her bag and began to eat it.

 to tell the origin:

  • Sara is from Oxford.
  • David comes from Spain.                

Confused words OF and FROM

for distance:

  • It is two and a half hours from Cambridge to London.
  • Tea will be served from 1 to 3.

to show the cause of something:

  • They were tired from a long walk.
  • Peter suffered from insomnia.

The difference between OF and FROM

As you can see, there is a clear difference between the two prepositions, but there can be some confusion with the prepositional phrases made of and made from. Should you say that something is made of something or made from something? You can read more about when to use made of and made from on this link.

Confused words OF and FROM

We can conclude that the main difference between of and from is that of refers to possession while from refers to distance.

  • Garreth is a good friend of mine who comes from Yorkshire.
  • I love to read novels of J.K. Rowlings, who is originally from Scotland.

Also, the preposition from is often followed by the preposition to:

  • The motor race goes from Aviemore to Edinburgh.
  • The banks are open from 8 to 4.
Confused words OF and FROM
Confused words OF and FROM

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