An Error Analysis of The Use of Prepositions In The
First Year Students of UIN Ar-Raniry
Ar-Raniry Banda Aceh
Many of Indonesian students face
difficulties and make errors in using English preposition . They often
encounter difficulties in transleting Indonesian preposition into English. So
because of that case, the researcher want to seek the Error use in English
preposition. The aim of this study is to describe the ability of the students
on the use of preposition in the first year students of UIN Ar-Raniry. This
study was also intended to give some contributions concerning the factors that
influence the grammatical errors on the use of preposition and how to overcome
the errors. This study is descriptive qualitative. The writer had chosen the
first year Of English Department Students at UIN Ar-Raniry in the academic year
of 2017/2018 and the participant were 5 students. The factors that influenced
the errors were found out from the result of the test. According to the result
of the study, 1 of 5 students got average achievement, and 2 students got below
average achievement and 2 students got insufficient or fail. Then, factors that
influenced the errors were they still confuse which preposition is use and
suitable for the sentence. The solution from the writer were the students
should understand deeply and study about the function of preposition more and
more and for the teacher or lecturer, they have to give the students
explanation and exercise more than before.
Language is a very important thing in
a human life for communication today. Khurriyati (2013) said that, Language is
a means to make self-expression, integration, social adaptation, and social
control. It means that language is mean of human effort to carrying out their
activities although human being process of speak language, unfortunately, it
has not been particularly easy for them to say what it is. Each language has
its own rule. This is the problem, which often faced by Indonesian students to
learn English, and they often make some errors. For an English teachers, they
should help them to solve their problem. Karunia (2008) said that there are
many differences between Indonesian and English systems. One of the differences
is structural system, and one of the difficulties in learning English structure
is using English preposition. English preposition is different from Indonesian
ones. It causes the Indonesian students face difficulties and make errors in
using English preposition. In order to succeed in the process of teaching and
learning English, it is important for English teachers to help the students solve
the problems. They must make an effort to improve English teaching process
easily for their students.
In order to be able to decide weather it is error or
not it is needed to understand fully the source of errors. An error is
different from mistake, so it is crucial to differentiate both of them. Mistakes
are caused by the learners not putting into practice something they have
learned while errors are caused by the learner trying out something completely
new and getting it wrong (Bartram and Walton,1991). Mistakes, reflect
occasional lapses in performance because the learner is unable to perform what
she knows. Practically, error analysis can be a very useful device of a foreign
language teaching program. Errors provides feedback, they tell the lecturers
something about the effectiveness of their teaching materials and their
teaching techniques (khurriyati, 2013).
In other words, a mistake is a slip that the learner
can self correct whereas an error is what a learner can not self correct. From
those definitions above, the writer can also conclude that a mistake is just a
slip that the learner forgets the right form. While, an error is a deviation
made by the learner because he/she does not know the rule and will make it
repetitively. A Preposition is a word placed before a noun or a pronoun to show
in what relation the person or thing denoted by it stands in regard to
something else (Wren & Martin, 1995).
Karunia (2008) said that, the learners often make
mistakes in the process of foreign language learning. Thus, it is still not a
big deal when the learners commit the mistake either in speaking or writing
since they are capable to correct the mistake. However, learning other language
becomes difficult since the target language has different system from the
native language. This difference sometimes makes the learners make errors
especially in applying grammar. This is why analyzing learner’s errors in
learning other language would be interesting instead of mistake analysis.
The aims of the study
In accordance with the problem above, the objectives
or the aims of the study can be stated as follows:
To find out the cause of the
students’ errors in using preposition in English Department Students of UIN
To find out the solution for
the errors in using preposition in English Department students of UIN Ar-raniry.
In this research, the writer conducts the test to collect the data
to find a descriptive study about the student’s error of using Prepositions.
First, the writer conducts test to the first year students of English
Department in UIN Ar-raniry. It has 5 students, the result of the test are use
as the primary data of this research. The test will be data
collection. When the data are collected, they are classified based on its
errors. From those data the writer will do the analysis, and there will be data
analysis to come to conclusion.
subject of the study
In this study
the writer take the students of English Department at UIN Ar-raniry in the
first year in unit 03 as a population. There are consist of 32 students.
The writer took
10 students as her sample, but after the first test the researcher choose 5
students from 10 who make fatally Error in using preposition.
In this research the writer uses purposive sampling. Arikunto
(1996) said, Purposive sampling is a technique of sampling based on some
Some consideration to take the sample that the researcher used are
The subject which taken as
the sample in this research should be the English Department Students. The
researcher chooses this qualification because those students had been taught
about preposition in the first semester.
The writer took 10 students
in one unit which are taught by one teacher because this factor helps to make
sure that the teaching and learning condition are likely similar.
Data collecting technique
In this research, the writer takes a test about
Preposition to collect the data. She needs instruments to find the students
errors in using Preposition. An instrument plays an important role to collect
data. Suharsimi Arikunto (1996) states that an instrument is a mean, which
plays an important role to collect data in a research. The researcher provide
two test, for the first test is given to 10 students and after that the
researcher choose 5 from those 10 students that make fatally error in using
preposition and they are given the second test.
To analyzed the students’ error in using
preposition, the writer uses qualitative descriptive analysis (non-statistical
writer classifies the student’s achievement using factor analysis by the use of
five lettes: A, B, C, D, E, which expressed various level of achievement. In
addition, it was relatively easy to translate from letter grading to percentage
grading (wilmar Tinambunan, 1998).
Percentage of correct answer
Level of achievement
93–100 percent correct
85-92 percent correct
B. Very good
Above average achievement
75-84 percent correct
60-74 percent correct
D. Very weak
Below average achievement
Below 60 percent correct
order to find out the caused of errors, again the writer also analyze by using
non-statistical analysis based on the performance data. That the real errors
made by the students.
the data collection the writer explains that the result of the analysis of all
students shows that the average of the errors made by students are in using
preposition “of and in”. The greatest number of errors are in using preposition
of and the smallest number of errors are in using preposition on.
the data collection and the analysis of the instrument, the writer will
analysis about how are the achievement of English department students mastery in using
preposition and the dominant that cause the student’s errors in using
The Mastery of Using Preposition in
English department students of UIN Ar-raniry.
To know the students mastery of using preposition, the writer used
the five levels of student’s achievements as follow:
Percentage of correct answer
Sum of student
Level of achievement
93–100 % (in, of, on all correct)
85-92 % (in, of
B. Very good
Above average achievement
75-84 % (of correct)
60-74 % (in correct)
D. Very week
Below average achievement
Below 60 % (on correct)
of the analysis shows that many students still gave the wrong answer. There is
no one who answered 100% correctly or get an outstanding achievement.Unfortunately
almost a half of the sample get the percentage of correct answer below average
so they are included in the level below average achievement.
The Dominant preposition that Cause The
student’s Errors of Using it
order to find out the dominant sources that cause the student’s errors of using
preposition, the writer presents some dominant errors causes of errors made by
There are many students who made wrong in answering the test in
the question of using preposition of. Only
one student that has the correct answer in using preposition of. Two students answer the preposition in correctly. And two students answer
preposition on correctly.
The Solution of The Errors
to the data are collected the writer thinks that there were many mistakes that
the students made in using preposition. It is caused by:
1. Preposition between Indonesia and English is different.
2. In this test there are three kinds of preposition that has
different rule and using.
3. They lack of knowledge about preposition of place.
Karunia (2008) said that Preposition
between Indonesia and English is different. To cover this problem the students
should know that preposition in English could not be used interchangeably. They
should be used in their own rule (enclosed space, surface or specific place).
Preposition in Indonesia is just has only one meaning, but preposition in
English there are can be two or three
meaning (Helling, 2016). The students are still influenced by their
mother tongue. They do not think about the form, just think about the meaning.
For this case the students should understand deeply the different of using
preposition in English. And also the students should understand deeply about
the function of preposition.The students lack of knowledge about preposition.
There are many rules in using preposition. To cover it the students should
study about it more and more, and they should gave an attention to master it. The
teachers should help their students to overcome those problem above. They can
give more explanations and exercises than before in the future learning
After finishing her research which is entitled “An
Error Analysis of The Use of Prepositions in the First Year Students of UIN
Ar-raniry”, the writer can draw some conclusions. The conclusion are based on
the result of the test about the student’s errors of using preposition as
The achievement of the student’s mastery
of using preposition still fail, because there are 4 students that are almost
all of the sample did error in using preposition It can be concluded that the
teaching learning process of preposition at the first year students of UIN
Ar-raniry should be increased.
In this study
the researcher choose only three preposition (in, on, of) from so many others
because of some reasons. The reason why I selected only those 3 preposition is
because many students are confuse which one will they use between those 3. And
also those 3 preposition seems like same and I think that is very easy for
student who are understand well those 3 prepositions, so it will make me easy
to know how error the students in using prepositions, if they are given the
simple prepositions and they make it error, it’s mean when they are given some
others prepositions which is more difficult for them, I am confuse that they
can do it. As richard (2018) state that There are many occasions where you
might confuse prepositions. For example, sometimes it is difficult to know when you should use in,
into, on, or at. This is
because their meanings are very similar, so you have to look at the context of
The purpose of this study is to
know how error the students in using preposition and how to solve it. The
teachers should motivate their students in learning English especially in using
The teacher must focus on the
student’s motivation in using preposition by explaining the characteristics of
preposition. The teachers should give some exercises and examples of English
sentences especially in using preposition. The teacher should give the way to
identify English especially preposition, so they know how to use English and
how to motivate the students in order to improve their skill in using sentences
In the teaching learning process,
the students must be active and they must ask something about using preposition.The
students must study hard and serious in learning English especially in using
preposition. The students pay attention to characteristics preposition. The
students must try to increase their abilities especially in using preposition.
this study the writer takes one previous
studies. The first study that had been done by Saliha CHELLI entitled “Interlingual or Intralingual
Errors in the Use of Prepositions and Articles The case of first-year students of English at Biskra University”.
In her study, she described the kind of Error that happen in using preposition,
the dominant of errors made by the students in using english preposition and
the efforts to evercome the errors.
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