My Top 15 Prepositions to make sure you get right in Business English

Below are the correct versions of the most common mistakes that I find Business English learners make with prepositions. I find that these mistakes are also often made by speakers at advanced level. There are some examples below the image:


Some of these prepositions can be followed not only by nouns, but also by -ing forms as well.  I have also included some examples of this below: 

spend money on

"We need to spend more money on advertising"

"The company is spending a lot of money on building brand exposure"

invest in

"We have recently invested in a bigger office space for our employees"

"Our company has invested in upgrading our IT systems"

it depends on

"Our success depends on hard work"


"We plan to discuss the problem in the meeting next week"

focus on

"This presentation will focus on the strategy for the next quarter"

"We are currently focusing on building brand awareness in South-East Asia

explain to

"I tried to explain to him that the system would not work"

listen to

"I was listening to an excellent Podcast yesterday"

on + [social media]  (we use 'on' for the name of any website or pretty much anything relating to the internet, or in fact anything with a screen)

"We are currently running an advertising campaign on Instagram"

"I have put together a presentation on PowerPoint"



I was responsible for

"I am responsible for a team of 20 developers"

"I am responsible for organising company events"

I am in charge of

"I am in charge of the marketing department"

"I am in charge of setting budgets for big projects"

it depends on

"Our success depends on hard work"

I worked at / for [+ company name]

"I worked at Coca-Cola for 3 years"

I work in [+ department name]

"I work in the payroll department"

work on [+ name of the project]

"We are currently working on a major construction project"

"The company is working on building brand awareness"

at work (not 'in my job' or 'in my work')

"I am currently at work at the moment"

play an important role in

"That project played an important role in our success"

"I played an important role in re-branding the company"

participated in

"The company participates in many community projects"

to have experience in

"I have extensive experience in retail"

"I have a lot of experience in dealing with difficult customers"