Which one of the following prepositions in my self-made sentences sounds more natural to you: Group 1

- 1 - He is really a bad-tempered man. He got used to finding fault with everything.

- 2 - He is really a bad-tempered man. He got used to finding fault in everything.

Group 2

- 1 - Why are you finding fault with everybody this much / so much.

- 2 - Why are you finding fault in everybody this much / so much.

For me, both sentences work properly in both groups.


According to Google Ngram Viewer, finding fault is most commonly used with with and not in. The following graph makes the difference particularly clear:

NGram of 'finding fault with' vs. 'finding fault in'

If you experiment a little bit, you will see that it doesn't matter if the object (of the preposition) is a person or a thing.

You can visit the links below the graph to see some sample usages. As @DavidK mentions, in is almost never used in the manner you intend it to.

  • 1
    In fact, following the links to where "finding fault in" is used, I observed that it almost never was intended that the word after "in" was the person or thing that was found to be at fault. Instead, "in" refers to the context in which fault-finding occurs (for example, law), or is part of a punning use of "fault" (a geologist "finding fault in California"), or is one of those "accidental" combinations one sometimes sees in ngrams, such as when one sentence ends with the word "fault" and the next begins with the word "In". – David K Dec 24 '16 at 15:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.