Confused With/On/About? Which Is The Correct Preposition?

Prepositions are one of those grammatical rules that can be, well, confusing. When you are talking about being confused, the correct preposition to use is about, though you may see people incorrectly use on or with. 

One of the best ways to try and understand why the correct preposition is about can make it much easier for you to use these words correctly in the future.

Why Is It Confused About?

The preposition about is used when you are discussing that you feel a certain way due to something specific that will follow after the preposition. Since confused is a feeling or a state of being, the sentence should follow with an explanation for the cause of confusion.

To see what this means clearly, here are a couple of examples of sentences using the proper preposition:

Farrah was confused about whether or not John actually wanted to go on a date with her. 

I am confused about what time we should meet at the party. 

You seem to be confused about what preposition you should be using. 

Why Don’t On Or With Work?

To say that you are confused on something would be saying that you are feeling confused at a certain location or area. Since on is used when you are discussing the time or place of something, this wouldn’t make any logical sense.

With is also not the correct preposition because with is used to describe possession of something or being accompanied by something or someone. Confusion is not a companion; so again, this would not make sense.

We can however use the preposition “with” when we are confusing someone with someone else.

I confused you with your twin sister. 

Why Are Prepositions Needed?

Prepositions help connect the first part of a sentence, usually the subject, with the second part of a sentence, which can either be an explanation or the rest of a thought. Without prepositions, sentences just wouldn’t make sense.

Why Are Prepositions So Confusing?

Prepositions, in regular speech and even in writing, are like afterthoughts because they are just such a common part of our vocabulary. The best way to learn is through being an active writer or reader and catching patterns through editing or taking your time while reading.


Knowing how to use prepositions properly takes some time to learn, and mistakes are bound to happen. Since there are so many prepositions and prepositional phrases, it is very easy to get confused. A good rule of thumb to remember with adjectives that describe a feeling, “about” is usually the proper preposition.