Common mistake Collocation: come in/by car

Common Grammar Mistakes: Correcting Collocation Usage

Good grammar is essential for effective communication, but sometimes even experienced English speakers make common mistakes. One such mistake is incorrect collocation usage. Collocation refers to the way that some words naturally go together in the English language. In this article, we will focus on the collocation mistake involving the use of prepositions with vehicles.

Mistake: Using "in" instead of "by" when referring to modes of transportation

Many people mistakenly use the preposition "in" when talking about the mode of transportation they use. However, the correct preposition to use in this context is "by." For example:

  • I usually go to work in car.
  • We traveled to the beach in train.

The correct sentences would be:

  • I usually go to work by car.
  • We traveled to the beach by train.

Why is "by" the correct preposition?

The preposition "by" is used to indicate the method or means of transportation. It emphasizes the vehicle or mode used. On the other hand, "in" is used to describe the physical location or position within a confined space.

For example, when we say "by car," we are emphasizing that the car is the means or method of transportation. However, when we say "in the car," we are referring to being inside the physical space of the car.

Similarly, we use "by train" because the train is the method of transportation, but we use "on the train" when we want to emphasize being physically on board the train.


Using the correct collocations, such as the prepositions "by" and "in" when referring to modes of transportation, can significantly improve your English grammar skills and avoid common mistakes. Remember to use "by" when emphasizing the means of transportation and "in" when referring to being inside the physical space of the vehicle.

Linguix Grammar Checker can help you identify and correct common collocation mistakes quickly and effectively, ensuring that your writing is clear and error-free.

Collocation: come in/by car mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    She comes in car.

    She comes by car.

  • Incorrect:
    She comes to work in car.

    She comes to work by car.

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