Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I Will Think Of That

I came across this a couple of days ago: "I will think for that". I'm sure many of you will spot the mistake right away.

A word about the preposition for. I think I wrote about this a couple of posts ago. For has many meanings but it is commonly used to refer to talking about direction of all forms. For example, we use it to say "I'm taking the cake for her," "would you like to go for a hotdog?" In the case of the error above, we don't think for something (thinking is something we do, not a direction); therefore, for is the incorrect preposition to use.

To correct the error, there are two ways. The first is to use the preposition of: I will think of that. As a preposition, of also has many meanings but in this case, it means "to focus on something." When we think of something, we are focusing on it; hence, of is the preposition of choice.

The second way of correcting this is to use the preposition on: I will think on that. I've mentioned before that on describes location but it is also used to talk about the focus of a non-physical action like thought or thinking. When we say "I will think on that," we are talking about the focus of our thinking.

I notice that many Filipinos mistake for and of. That is something to think on.

1 comment:

Ahoy! said...

Hi there! Just so you know I've been checking my grammar twice, thrice and four times since you told me you visited my blog. Haha! :-)

But now I have a question. I wanted to write "on the month of May" in my last entry but I didn't know if "on" is the right preposition. I tried to surf some for the answer but I really wouldn't know if other bloggers are using "on / in the month of X" in the right ways either.

So, have I taken pictures in or on the month of May? Do I want to show you guys how Sweden looks like in or on the month of May? In short -- when do you use in or on?