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Please tell me when should I say Of and when should I say In.

For example consider the sentence below.

I don't see the point of/in doing that.

  • 1
    The sentence works without prepositions as well. Also, I don't see any point doing that may also work I guess – Maulik V Apr 18 '14 at 7:33
  • @MaulikV Thank you very much :) So both prepositions are correct in this context and also we can drop the proposition. – user3214 Apr 18 '14 at 7:39
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    I think there's no point in doing that. is more common to express this scenario. There's a song as well ;) releaselyrics.com/13b7/aubrey-peeples-tell-me – Maulik V Apr 18 '14 at 7:47
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    @MaulikV Only case where I think "...point doing...." sounds correct is in the sentence "No point doing ...". But in other cases especially in the sentence in OP I think omitting "in/of" sounds incorrect. Also "no point doing ..." is more a conversation, than anything written. – Man_From_India Apr 18 '14 at 14:34
  • I agree with @Man_From_India. I don't see the point doing that. is ungrammatical. You can't say that. – starsplusplus Apr 18 '14 at 23:11
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In my native dialect, mid-Atlantic American English, here is how it works.

If you want to talk about "the point" and you're talking about an action, use "of" plus a verb.

If you are talking a noun rather than a verb, use "of". Using "in" or no preposition is not correct.

However: if you are saying "any point" or "no point", you can say "in" but not "of," whether you're talking about a noun or a verb, and in some cases you can drop the preposition entirely.

So the following are correct:

I don't see the point of Stack Exchange.

I don't see any point in Stack Exchange.

I see no point in Stack Exchange.

I don't see the point of posting on Stack Exchange.

I don't see any point in posting on Stack Exchange.

I see no point in posting on Stack Exchange.

There's no point posting on Stack Exchange.

There isn't any point posting on Stack Exchange.

  • From your explanation and examples I don't understand whether "I don't see the point in posting on SE" is correct. You have covered "the point of" + verb and "any point in" + verb, but "the point in" + verb is not clear. Could you please add this case? – Fabio says Reinstate Monica Feb 16 '16 at 14:40

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