London is the oldest town of / in England.

Which is the correct preposition to use here ? My book says In but why of is wrong here ? Reading the sentence both sound correct.

  • To a native speaker, only in will sound correct. Technically speaking, it's not ungrammatical to use of, but nobody really uses it and it sounds strange to use in that context. – Robusto Jun 3 '17 at 13:09

London is the oldest town in England.

is correct since the town's location is within England.

town of England.

might be understood to mean a town full of England, which is not possible since England is much bigger than a town, or they might think you are saying "town of English" in the same way that

a bucket of water

is a bucket full of water.

The other error in your sentence is factual

Colchester is the oldest town in England.

| improve this answer | |
  • No one would hear "town of England" by analogy with "bucket of water". – Ben Kovitz Jun 5 '17 at 18:55

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