... before the exchange or intervention of/on the engine.

It comes from "exchange of the engine" and "intervention on the engine".

Which one should I use?

Additional example with lack of preposition:

Do not move or stay close (x)/to the engine.


The appropriate preposition for a given verb is really just a matter of custom, and there is no real way to escape learning them with the verb. Many verbs have more than one suitable preposition, with different meanings: sometimes the meanings are very different indeed.

For your examples the prepositions are:

  • exchange of the engine
  • intervention of the engine (ie, when the engine starts doing something)
  • intervention on the engine (ie, doing something to the engine)
  • close to the engine

If you have two verbs (for example joined with "and" or "or") which require different prepositions, formal English includes both and less formal usage often just uses the preposition closer to the noun. In practice it is guided more by sense than any rule.

Here's a list of matching pairs from the British Council https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/intermediate-grammar/verbs-and-prepositions

And another of phrasal verbs: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/english-grammar-reference/multi-word-verbs

  • What I mean is that in a sentence with an "or" or an "and" between two verbs that apply to the same noun, should I use the preposition of the verb that is the closest to the noun? – AdrienNK Aug 8 '19 at 10:04
  • Edited answer to cover this: yes, in general that will sound fine. – jonathanjo Aug 8 '19 at 10:16

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