This question came in the Dhaka University admission test 2008-09

Q) He was arrested ________ a charge of murder.

(a) on

(b) for

(c) with

(d) about

Question bank says that the answer is (b). I think that "arrested on charges of..." is a common phrase. That's why I think that (a) is correct. Am I right?


I request answers/comments that reflect common practices of American and British English.

  • 3
    You recently edited a question to add this clarification: I request answers/comments that reflect common practices of American and British English. I recommend adding it to every question about this lousy test. May 25 at 16:02
  • @JeffreyCarney Only someone familiar with English as used natively in Bangladesh would be able to say if the test is lousy.
    – gotube
    May 25 at 22:18
  • 1
    I suspect that the test is fine, but the answer bank is lousy. Such tests are intended to assess standard English for international communication, and not the local dialect. So if the answers are only correct when interpreted in the local dialect, then the test is not doing what it claims to do - and is lousy. But I don't think the test is lousy. I think the test questions have been retyped for the answerbank and a non-native speaker (and not the writer of the test) has provided solutions. Some of these solutions are wrong.@gotube
    – James K
    May 27 at 21:33
  • @JamesK Yes. The Question bank has been provided by a third party not affiliated with the University. May 28 at 5:22

1 Answer 1


Your belief is correct. Google Ngrams shows that instances of arrested for a charge are vanishingly small, many fractions of a percent less common than arrested on a charge.

One is arrested on a charge of murder.

One is charged with murder.

One is arrested for the crime of murder — or, more simply, arrested for murder.

Admittedly, I normally encounter such phrases in fiction. It's entirely possible that real law enforcement agents use them differently.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .