These guidelines are not rigid. Winston Churchill once remarked. “This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.”

Obviously, there will be exceptions to the rule, particularly when prepositions are used with verbs. In the quote above, the verb-preposition form is to put up with. In writing, however, it is best to recast the sentence to read “I will not put up with this sort of English.”

Prepositions are used with verbs to change the meaning slightly or to distinguish between people and objects.

1. Accompany by and Accompany with


- The president was accompanied by his wife. (accompany by is used with a person)

- The president was accompanied with a postage-due notice. (accompany by is used with an object)

2. Agree with and Agree to

Agree with—occur in opinion. (agree with a person)

Agree to—give assent. (agree to an idea or thing)


- I agree with Carl that we should operate tomorrow.

- I agree to an operation for my ulcer.

3) Answer to and Answer for

Answer to—be accountable to a person; respond to

Answer for—be accountable for actions


- You’ll have to answer to the commission for your sales record. He’s 4 years old and answers to the name “Fred.”

- You’ll have to answer for you decision to abort the mission.

4) Belong to and Belong with

Belong to—be a member of

Belong with—be classified or placed among


- They belong to the Secret Order of the Koala.

- These flowers belong with the plants classified as grasses.

5) Compare to and Compare with

Compare to—liken

Compare with—contrast for similarities and differences


- She compared my singing to a summer’s day?

- He compared the Russian military strength with the United States armed forces.

6) Concur in and Concur with

Concur in—agree (in an opinion)

Concur with—agree (with another person)


- The three judges concurred in their settlement of the case.

- I must concur with Jim that the settlement is fair.

7) Connect to and Connect with

Connect to—join (one object to another)

Connect with—make contact with (a person, group, idea)


- The first step is to connect the positive wire to the positive pole.

- If we drive overnight, we can connect with the first group by dawn.

8) Correspond to and Correspond with

Correspond to—match

Correspond with—exchange messages


- The handwriting on this letter corresponds to the handwriting on the earlier document.

- Janet has corresponded with a friend in Costa Rica for three years.

9) Differ from and Differ with

Differ from—be unlike

Differ with—disagree with


- The movie differed from the book in several ways.

- The figures in the government report differ with those in our study.

10) Promote and Promote to

Promote (with title, no preposition)—to increase in rank or status

Promote to—to raise to a higher rank or status


- She was promoted Lieutenant Commander.

- She was promoted to executive level for her work in computer sales.

11) Wait for, Wait on, and Wait out

Wait for—to be ready or at hand for

Wait on—to serve

Wait out—colloquial expression meaning to remain inactive during the course of


- The general waited for the signal to attack.

- When my father was in school, he earned money waiting on tables.

- The fans waited out the rainstorm by taking shelter under the bleachers.