common errors in English improve your English Learn English

Language tip of the week: attend

Learn English with Macmillan DictionaryIn this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are usually based on areas of English which learners find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc.

This week’s language tip helps with using the patterns that follow the verb attend. When attend means ‘to be present at an event or activity’, it is not used with the prepositions to or at. It is simply followed by a direct object:



✗ You go to university, attend to classes, but learn nothing about the real world.
✓ You go to university, attend classes, but learn nothing about the real world.
✗ They are able to attend at important meetings.
✓ They are able to attend important meetings.

In the same way, when attend means ‘to go regularly to school, church etc’, use a direct object (not attend to or attend at):

✗ In some parts of our country, people still don’t let girls attend to school.
✓ In some parts of our country, people still don’t let girls attend school.
✗ …a peak in the number of students attending at universities in Sweden.
✓ …a peak in the number of students attending universities in Sweden.

Don’t confuse these meanings with the phrasal verb attend to something, which means ‘to deal with something’:

My assistant will attend to all your travel arrangements.

More language tips

Browse the list under the ‘language tips‘ tag here on the blog for more useful language tips.

Would you like to improve your vocabulary? Follow our daily tweets @MacLearnEnglish or visit our Learn English Facebook Page.

Email this Post Email this Post

About the author

Liz Potter

Leave a Comment