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Of and From

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Many learners of English find it difficult to know when to use 'of' and when to use 'from' in English. This is probably because in their languages the same preposition is used for both.


'of' for possession

We use 's for living things, groups and institutions. For inanimate objects we use 'of'
's – Tom's cat.
Of – The title of the film – the name of the game.

'Of' is used in certain expressions:
It's (nice/good/kind/generous/stupid etc.) of (somebody) to do (something)
It was kind of Mark to help us with the luggage.

'Of' is used with certain adjectives however there is no real pattern and these must be learn as they are met.
Afraid of, ashamed of, aware of, capable of, fond of, sure of, tired of.
This is also true when 'of' is used with certain verbs:
accuse (somebody) of, dream of, hear of, remind (somebody) of, think of


'From' is used to indicate where something originates 'from'
Takashi is from Tokyo. This music is from the soundtrack of 'Gone with the Wind'.

From – to or from – until

'From' is used with 'to' and 'until' to show the beginning and ending point of an action in time:
I work from 8.30 am to 5.00pm every day.
We will be in Paris from Monday until Thursday.

'From' is used with certain verbs like:
borrow from, disappear from, discourage from, prevent from.

Lesson by Tristan, teacher at EC Malta English school

Now complete the following using 'of' or 'from':

  • 1. Sarah is really fond _ gardening.

  • 2. It was nice _ him to remember our anniversary.

  • 3. This quote is _ a play by Oscar Wilde

  • 4. Where is this wine _ ?

  • 5. The trees at the end of the garden protect us _ the wind.

  • 6. I smashed the side _ my car when I hit the tree.

  • 7. I was not aware _ the extra costs when I booked the cruise.

  • 8. He shouldn't have shouted at Sarah. He should be ashamed _ what he did.

  • 9. I bought this shirt _ the new shop round the corner.

  • 10. I have a meeting _ nine to eleven this morning. I can meet you after that.