Language tip of the week: tendency

Posted by on February 28, 2013

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

This week some advice about the noun tendency:

When a verb comes after tendency, use the pattern tendency to do something (not ‘tendency of doing something’):
✗ …the tendency of accepting anything written on a piece of paper
✓ …the tendency to accept anything written on a piece of paper
✗ …the tendency of treating the Holocaust as if it had never happened
✓ …the tendency to treat the Holocaust as if it had never happened

When another noun comes after tendency, the usual preposition is towards (not ‘of’):
✗ There is a tendency of isolation in modern society.
✓ There is a tendency towards isolation in modern society.

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