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Writing Style – Prepositions: useless

Prepositions are important words in a sentence. They link words or phrases to other words in terms of time, space or relationship. Some common prepositions are in, of, at, on, for, with, to, between and by.

However, some writers tend to overuse them. Your sentences will become stronger if you omit prepositions that add nothing to the meaning.

Examples of useless prepositions

Where are we at?
Where did he go to?
Please continue on with what you were saying.
Don’t forget to fill up the gas tank.
Return the form on or by May 3.
We should be finished at about 4 p.m.

Revised

Where are we?
Where did he go?
Please continue with what you were saying.
Don’t forget to fill the gas tank.
Return the form by May 3.
We should be finished about 4 p.m.

Remember in business writing: Don’t waste your reader’s time with useless, irrelevant information. On the other hand, you must not omit essential prepositions.