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English Grammar  

When to use 'of' and 'from' in English.

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’ 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’ 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 am to 5 pm 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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