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A. (in, on) this matter
B. applies (in, on, to) this example
C. (in, on) the report
D. (in, on) the list
E. results (in, to) increased profit
F. your thoughts (in, on)
G. updates (in, on) the subject
H. your inputs (in, on)

1. Which preposition is correct in each of the phrases above?

2. I'm bit confused about the usage of prepositions especially between in and on because, to me, using either in the examples above sounds okay. Also, I hear people more often say "in this matter" and "your thoughts on", but the problem is when we combine these phrases, should we say "your thoughts in this matter" or "your thoughts on this matter"?

3. Is it the verb/noun before the preposition that determines the correct preposition or the verb/noun after the preposition?

I would really appreciate your inputs.
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Question 1 is hard to answer without seeing full sentences. Most combinations are possible in some context. Below I've illustrated what seem, to me, to be the most typical usages. Just because a combination is missing does not mean it's impossible.

A. "We need a decision on this matter. / "I have no say in this matter."

B. "I'm not sure if it applies to this example."

C. "It's all written in the report."

D. "Your name is on the list."

E. "Extra investment results in increased profit."

F. "Give me your thoughts on this."

G. "We will provide regular updates on the subject."

H. "Let's have your input on this idea."
Anonymous
2. I'm bit confused about the usage of prepositions especially between in and on because, to me, using either in the examples above sounds okay. Also, I hear people more often say "in this matter" and "your thoughts on", but the problem is when we combine these phrases, should we say "your thoughts in this matter" or "your thoughts on this matter"?

I would say "your thoughts on this matter".
Anonymous
3. Is it the verb/noun before the preposition that determines the correct preposition or the verb/noun after the preposition?

Can be either, depending on context and intended meaning. For example,

"Give me your thoughts in the report." -- write them down in the report

"Give me your thoughts on the report." -- tell me what you think about the report
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Mr WordyJust because a combination is missing does not mean it's impossible.
Thank you for your explanation and examples. I'm sorry, but I don't completely understand what you mean by the quote above. Could you please explain or give an example?
Mr WordyC. "It's all written in the report."

D. "Your name is on the list."
In C, if I change in to on the report , will it change the meaning? Will it be completely wrong or uncommon?
Likewise in D, if I change on to in the list, will it change the meaning? Will it be completely wrong or uncommon?
Anonymous
Mr WordyJust because a combination is missing does not mean it's impossible.

Thank you for your explanation and examples. I'm sorry, but I don't completely understand what you mean by the quote above. Could you please explain or give an example?


What I mean is that certain combinations of words that you asked about may be possible, even though I did not give an example sentence. For example, you asked about "in/on the list". In my usage, the most typical sentence would use "on the list", as in the example I gave. However, "in the list" is also perfectly possible, as in this randomly Googled example: "Tea is often included in the list of tannin-containing foods."
Anonymous
Mr WordyC. "It's all written in the report."

D. "Your name is on the list."

In C, if I change in to on the report , will it change the meaning? Will it be completely wrong or uncommon?

Likewise in D, if I change on to in the list, will it change the meaning? Will it be completely wrong or uncommon?

"It's all written on the report" is possible, but it seems to be referring to something handwritten on the report's cover (or across the report's pages) not to the main printed text of the report.

"Your name is in the list" doesn't sound natural to me. (Though, as I mentioned above, "in the list" is not always wrong.)

In case you hadn't realised(!), the use of prepositions in English is very complicated...
I agree it is very complicated especially for non-native speakers like me because it's difficult for us to figure out whether a combination sounds natural or not.

Thanks so much for your help. This is clearer to me now after what you've explained. Emotion: smile
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