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IELTS common mistakes - the preposition 'of'

English Grammar | How to use the preposition 'of'

Our standard of living is much better than in the past. [correct]
Our standard for living is much better than in the past. [incorrect]

Write a letter complaint to the manager. [incorrect]
Write a letter of complaint to the manager. [correct]

The preposition of is used in some common expressions: cost of living, letter of apology / complaint, etc., period of time, quality of life, standard of living:
My father is always complaining about the high cost of living nowadays.
For the period of time you are here - you will be expected to observe the rules.
The quality of life in most countries has not really improved much in recent years.

Of is also used after some nouns: government, group, importance, lack, leader, type:
People often underestimate the importance of friends and family.
During the government of the democratic party the economy improved dramatically.
The group of dissidents protested all day.
There is a distinct lack of leadership from the government at the moment.
The leader of the union presented their demands.
The type of food we eat in the future will be different from what we eat nowadays.

Of is used to talk about quantities with some words: amount, number, a lot, lots, plenty:
The government is hoping to persuade a large number of people to walk to work.

Of is used in some prepositions: in front of, instead of
He parked the car in front of the supermarket.
I decided to take the bus instead of the train.

Also after because and as a result when they are followed by a noun or gerund:
My cousin couldn't swim with us because of his bad leg.
The outdoor music concert was cancelled as a result of the weather being bad.

See more common grammar mistakes

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