When I want to talk about enhancing something, which is the correct preposition to use?

To me, as a non-native speaker, all of the following options sound acceptable, but I would probably use the first one:

  1. enhancements of sth.
  2. enhancements to sth.
  3. enhancements for sth.

To give some context: I'm writing about an algorithm that can be enhanced in many ways by changing or adding instructions. Depending on the domain, these enhancements may but need not improve the results.

  • Related: english.stackexchange.com/q/57998/14666
    – Kris
    Jun 9, 2016 at 8:05
  • Any preposition is acceptable depending on what follows it and also very much on the context.
    – Kris
    Jun 9, 2016 at 8:07
  • Please visit English Language Learners
    – Kris
    Jun 9, 2016 at 8:07
  • 3
    Okay, so first of all: your first four comments could just have been combined into one (especially the 3rd and 4th ...). As for the ELL community: I didn't know about it, but there are plenty of questions like mine on the english community, so I thought it would fit in. And regarding your linked post: yes, it is related, but the accepted answer doesn't apply here, in my opinion.
    – Griddo
    Jun 9, 2016 at 8:48
  • 1
    ... cont'd Lastly, Kris's first comment stated that the answer depends "on what follows" - that is confirmed in the Answer below from HerbCaudill. If you can't be bothered to answer relevant Qs from those seeking to help you, then ...!
    – TrevorD
    Jun 9, 2016 at 10:30

1 Answer 1


All options listed are correct in this context. I'd be more likely to use option (3) when the object is the purpose of the enhancements...

This version of the algorithm includes enhancements for faster searching.

... or the context of the enhancements.

This version of the software includes enhancements for Android and iOS.

The first option, e.g. enhancements to the algorithm, is much more common. (And it's only the word that fits 'enhancements * the algorithm' on Ngram.)

  • Note that if you choose the "English (2019)" corpus for the Google n-gram query, you do get both "to" and "of", and, interestingly, "of" - while historically less frequent - seems to be gaining ground: n-gram link
    – mklement0
    Jul 17, 2020 at 15:49

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