Common English Grammar Mistakes with Prepositions | Using ‘to’

If you are a beginner in English you tend to make these common English grammar mistakes especially, with prepositions. Prepositions are important to study as they show us the time and plane of something. In today’s English practice lesson with Michelle you are learning such common mistakes with the preposition ‘to’. If you are appearing for a competitive exam such as IELTS, Bank PO, SSC, cgl this lesson would turn quite useful to you to correct the common mistakes you make.

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Complete Lesson Transcript : –

Hi guys, welcome to the lesson and today we are going to learn about the preposition ‘to’. Yes, this is one of the most common prepositions in English and I have seen that my students face a lot of problem with this preposition. So I decided to do this lesson for all of you so that you can get rid of all your confusion about where to use ‘to’ and where not to use ‘to’. So watch this complete lesson my name is Michelle and let’s get started. So here we are guys, we have a couple of sentences with us on the board and we are going to find out which sentences are correct and which sentences are incorrect and for all the incorrect sentences we’ll try to make them correct. So let’s start with the first one, what do you think is wrong in the sentence? “I’m going the party.” I’m sure for those of you who have been in speaking English for some time you may have already made the correct guess. So the thing is the main verb here is ‘go’ and with ‘go’ we mostly use ‘to’. So we will be saying “I’m going to the party”, okay? What about if you’re going to New York? You can you will also add ‘to’ there. You’ll say, “Going to New York”, okay? And how about work? Okay, if you ‘went’ as in if you went to work which means you went there in the past, so there also we have added ‘to’. “Went to work.” So as you can see that we have used ‘to’ with ‘go’ alright, with ‘going’ and also with ‘went’, so this means with all the forms of ‘go’ we have used ‘to’. Now let’s look at the next sentence and find out if there are some exceptions to this rule, okay? Read this one, “I’m going to home.” What do you think, is this correct or incorrect? Well if you are just a person who has started speaking English, to you, this might seem right. You might think it’s okay to say that. But that is the problem. Most of my students say, “I am going to home” which is wrong because we do not use ‘to’ with ‘home’. So what we are going to do is, we are going to cut ‘to’ here. Now let’s read it, “I’m going home.” This is a correct and a complete sentence you do not need ‘to’ here. Now other than home there are some more words with which you don’t need to add ‘to’, okay? So although we have ‘go’ here but we do not use ‘to’. The same way if you take for example the word ‘somewhere’, okay? Can you make a sentence with ‘go’ and ‘somewhere’? Okay, let’s try this, “I need to go ‘to’ somewhere” or “I need to go somewhere”? You need to go somewhere. So the same way we have not used ‘to’ with ‘somewhere’. Now think of another word, think of ‘inside’. Please make a sentence with go and inside, “I have to go inside.” So just like ‘home’ and ‘somewhere’ we have not used ‘to’ with ‘inside’ or ‘outside’. Now we have another word in English with which we do not use ‘to’ and that is ‘there’. So if you are saying that you need to go there you will not say I will need to go to there you’ll say I will I need to go there. So unlike the first one I’m going to the party or I need to go to the party you will say I need to go there and not I need to go to there. So other than these we have another word with which we don’t use ‘to’ and that is ‘there’. How about downstairs or upstairs as in when you are taking the staircase or when you’re going upwards you, you, you always use the stairs. So do you say that I need to go to upstairs no you say I need to go upstairs or I need to go downstairs. Okay so now I hope you have understood the first rule that we mostly use ‘to’ with the verb ‘go’ like this one but there are some exceptions to this rule. So with words like home and somewhere, inside, outside, there or upstairs or downstairs with all of these words we do not use ‘to’ even though we use ‘go’, okay? So I hope this rule has been clear to you.

Now with this we move to the next rule about using ‘to’. Let’s read the sentence, “we arrived to the airport.” What do you think, is there something wrong with it? Well yes what is wrong here is that we always use ‘to’ with ‘go’ but we don’t use ‘to’ with ‘arrive’, okay? We never use to with arrive. Arrive means to reach somewhere, okay? Arrive means to reach somewhere. Now let’s read the sentence like this, “We arrived the airport.” Oh there’s something still wrong with it, right? It looks kind of missing and incomplete. We arrived… We need a preposition in this sentence, okay? And for airport because we are using the word arrived we will use ‘at’, okay? Now think about it like this if you had ‘go instead of arrived, how will you make the sentence? You will say we went at the airport or we need to go to the airport yes it’s okay to use ‘to’ with airport when we have ‘go’ but it’s wrong to use ‘to’ with ‘arrive’, okay? So here we will replace ‘to’ with ‘at’. Okay now let’s look at the next sentence, “When will you arrive to London?” So like the previous sentence we will not use ‘to’ with ‘arrive’. So let’s remove this how will you complete the sentence “When will you arrive in London?” Yes that’s the appropriate preposition here instead of ‘to’ okay? Great! So this is how we use this.

Now let’s look at the next one, “You should to read more books.” What do you think is wrong in the sentence? Do we need ‘to” hear or do we not need ‘to’ hear, think about it? Well we don’t need ‘to’ in this sentence. “You should read more books.” So basically should is a form of modals, okay? And with modals we don’t use ‘to’. For example, “She will read more books.” Okay, you don’t need to add ‘to’ there as well because we already have a modal which is will or should so that’s why you don’t need to add ‘to’.

Now let’s look at the next one, “I must to take this medicine.” So the same rule applies here okay you will see I must take this medicine and not I must to take this medicine. But do you know we can change the sentence still if you want to not change the meaning if you want to keep the meaning same and add ‘to’ then what you will do is I, you could say I need to take this medicine. So you have added ‘to’ but you have changed the modal verb. So with ‘must’ you never say ‘to’ but with ‘need’ you can say ‘to’, okay?

Now with this we look at the next one, “She can to buy a car.” Again since you have understood the rule you will know that we don’t need to add ‘to’ here because can is a modal verb, which talks about ability. So you should say, “She can buy a car.” Which means that she has the ability to buy a car, okay? Means she may have that much money, that she can buy a car. Now we can add ‘to’ to this sentence also but for that we need to change the modal verb ‘can’, how will we do that? You could say, “she is able to buy a car.” Yes so here we have changed the modal verb from ‘can’ to ‘is able’ and that’s why we can add ‘to’. But otherwise when you write can or when you write must or when you write should or when you write will you should not use ‘to’ because we don’t use to with modal verbs. So I hope that rule was clear to you.

Now with this we look at the next rule about using ‘to’. “The locked door stops people to enter.” So what do you think is that a correct statement? Let’s read it again, “The locked door stops people to enter.” Well no there is a mistake in this sentence, let me help you. The locked door, stops people. We will not use ‘to’ with ‘stop’. We never use ‘to’ with the word ‘stop’ or ‘prevent’. So what do we do, the sentence is still incomplete? “The log door stops people enter.” We are going to add another word to this sentence to make it correct, okay? Now this is a correct sentence the locked door stops people from entering. Yes so the rule here is that we cannot use ‘to’ with the word ‘stop’ or ‘prevent’ instead of that we have an object which is the locked door and the word we are talking about which is stops then we have from and the main verb is in ‘ing’ so you say the locked door stops people from entering and not enter, okay?

So I hope you understood this rule as well and with this we move to the next one, “The boss lets us to leave work early.” So do we use ‘to’ with the word ‘let’? Mm-hmm no, we never use the word ‘to’ with ‘let’. So if you see the boss lets us leave work early this is a complete sentence and there is no mistake in this, okay? It’s a complete sentence but if you think of adding the word ‘allow’ in the sentence so let’s replace ‘lets’ with ‘allow’, “The boss, sorry… the boss allows us leave work early.” What do you think about the sentence now, “The boss allows us leave work early.” Do you think it’s a complete sentence? No here we will add ‘to’. So ‘allows’ and ‘lets’ has the same meaning just like ‘must’ and ‘need’, okay? But the catch here is that with allows we always use to the boss allows us to leave work early which means he lets you leave work early and in the first sentence we do not use ‘to’ because we are using ‘let’. So do remember that with ‘let’ we never use ‘to’ but we can always use ‘to’ with ‘allows’ or ‘able’ or ‘need’.

Okay, now with this we look at the last sentence for the day which is, “I like to hear to music.” So of course if you’re a beginner level speaker or if you just started speaking English then you might think this is okay. But the catch here is that we don’t use ‘to’ with ‘hear’, okay? So the correct sentence would be, “I like to hear music”, okay? Now what do you think is another word for ‘hear’? Another word for ‘hear’ is ‘listen’. So let’s try to make the sentence with ‘listen’. “I like to listen music” okay, now is this correct? “I like to listen music.” Well now we need to know that with listen we always add ‘to’, okay? You will say “I like to listen to music.” But when you use ‘hear’ you will say, “I like to hear music” without a ‘to’. So this is a little bit confusing and these are certain exceptions that you need to learn and memorize.

Rewind the video if you’ve not completely memorized the rules and watch it again so that you can remember the rules properly. So do remember that with the modal verbs like, must, should, can, you cannot use ‘to’ but if you want to replace them with need or is able you can use ‘to’ there. You never use to with arrive okay and the same way with go sometimes you can use it but there are exceptions when you cannot use it for words like home, somewhere, inside, outside. And towards the end we learned that we cannot use ‘to’ with let or hear but at the same time we can use ‘to’ with allow or listen. So this is the end of the lesson guys and I hope today you have understood when to use ‘to’ and when not to use ‘to’. So I hope you will not make a mistake with this preposition anymore I’ll see you guys very soon in another lesson till then you take care and have fun, bye-bye.v

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