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 English Grammar for ESL learners 


OF - FROM



Many learners find it difficult to know when to use ‘of’ and when to use ‘from’ in English.
Very often this comes from the fact that in a number of languages the same preposition
is used for both 'of’ and ‘from’.
The clarifications below are intended to serve as a guide for English learners.

  OF   

  • ‘Of’ for possession :

    To denote possession, the apostrophe followed by s ('s), (for example: Tom's), is used
    for living things or groups and institutions.

    • Tom's house.
    • The dog's tail.
    • The government's policy.

    ‘Of’ is used when referring to inanimate objects, to mean that something belongs to something else.

    • The roof of the car.
    • The title of the book.
    • The name of the game.

  • 'Of' is used in certain expressions such as :
    It is nice (good /kind /generous /silly /stupid etc.) of (somebody) to do (something).

    - It was nice of you to invite me.
    - It was generous of Tom to pay for lunch.
    - It was stupid of Sam to leave the window open.

  • ‘Of’ is used after adjectives :
    There is no real pattern – you need to learn them as you meet them. Here are some examples, but please remember that this is not a complete list :

    - afraid of
    - ashamed of
    - aware / unaware of
    - capable of
    - fond of
    - proud of
    - sure/certain of
    - tired of

  • 'Of’ is used after certain verbs :
    Again, this is not a complete list, but here are some examples :

    - accuse (somebody) of something
    - complain of
    - dream of
    - hear of
    - remind (somebody) of someone/something
    - think of

  FROM 

  • ‘From’ is used to refer to origins :

    'From' is used to indicate that something originates or comes from something else or
    some person. For example,

    - Kate comes from England
    - The passage is from a poem written by Lord Byron.

  • From - To / From - Until :

    'From' is used with the prepositions 'to' and 'until' to mark the beginning and ending point of an action in time. For example,

    - I work from 9 to 5 every day.
    - We will be in London next week from Tuesday until Friday.

  • 'From' after adjectives :

    ‘From’ is seldom used after adjectives but in British English we find :

    - different from

  • ‘From’ is used after certain verbs :
    This is not a complete list, but here are some examples :

    - borrow from
    - disappear from
    - discourage from
    - prevent from
    - protect from


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Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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