Use ‘by’ with the following nouns:
- to pay by check (credit card)
Example: I paid the bill by check.
- to do something by accident
Example: I broke the vase by mist
- to do something by mistake
Example: I’m afraid I brought the wrong book by mistake.
- to do something by chance
Example: I saw Jack at the supermarket by chance.
- a play, song, book, etc. by someone
Example: The opera ‘Otello’ is by Giuseppe Verdi.
Use ‘for’ with the following nouns:
- (to go / come) for a walk
Example: Let’s go for a walk.
- (to go / come) for a swim
Example: We went for a swim as soon as we arrived.
- (to go / come) for a drink
Example: Would you like to come over for a drink?
- (to go / come) for a visit
Example: I’d love to come for a visit sometime.
- (to have something) for breakfast / lunch / dinner / supper (US English)
Example: I had bacon and eggs for breakfast.
Use ‘in’ with the following nouns:
- to be OR to fall in love with someone
Example: I fell in love with my wife at first sight.
- in my opinion
Example: In my opinion, we need to invest in some development.
- a need for something
Use ‘on’ with the following nouns:
- (to be) on fire
Example: Help! The house is on fire!
- (to be) on the telephone / phone
Example: I think Tom is on the phone at the moment.
- on television
Example: There is a good film on television tonight.
- on the radio
Example: Mahler’s fifth was on the radio last night.
- (to be / go) on a diet
Example: I really need to go on a diet.
- (to be / go) on strike
Example: The sanitary engineers have gone on strike agin.
- (to be / go) on holiday (UK English) / vacation (American English)
Example: I really need to go on vacation soon.
- (to be / go) business
Example: He went away this weekend on business.
- (to be / go) on a trip
Example: We were on a trip this past weekend.
- (to be / go) a tour
Example: Have you ever been on a tour of the French countryside?
- (to be / go) on an excursion
Example: We went on an excursion to Versailles when we were in Paris.