EN: Good luck with/on/for/in/at - preposition

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by livy83, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. livy83

    livy83 Senior Member

    Amherst / Paris
    France, French
    Hi everyone,
    Could anyone finally tell me what preposition to use in what context, when you say good luck? I currently live in the USA, I have lived in the UK before, and I can't seem to figure it out on my own. For instance, I have heard the three following sentences:
    - Good luck on you paper!
    - Good luck for your paper!
    - Good luck with your paper!

    Is there any difference in meaning between them?
    Thank you for your help!

    Moderator note: multiple threads merged to create this one
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2010
  2. Musical Chairs Senior Member

    Japan & US, Japanese & English
    - Good luck on your paper! : acceptable.
    - Good luck for your paper! : we don't say this.
    - Good luck with your paper! : equally acceptable as the first. However, this is said more often in more contexts. "good luck with swimming," "good luck with him," etc.
  3. clmntbn Member

    Geneva (Switzerland)
    French - Switzerland
    Peut-on utiliser indifféremment Good luck in / with / for ?


    Best of luck in your exams
    Best of luck for your exams
    Best of luck with your exams

    A friend of mine also regularly says : "Best of luck on your exam".

  4. Abbrevs Senior Member

    Virginia-- USA
    English- America
    Usually, you would say "with"

    Good luck/Best of luck with your future endeavors/ work/ etc.

    But on works well most of the time, too

    the two are not interchangeable, unfortunately I don't think there's a rule to know when to use which :(

    Both "with" and "on" work with "exams"
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2009
  5. Tim~!

    Tim~! Senior Member

    Leicester, UK
    UK — English
    Maybe in Am-Eng, but I've never heard of "on" in any form of Br-Eng.
  6. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    In order of personal preference from this American English speaker:

    Good luck...
    ... with your exams
    ... on your exams
    ... for your exams
    ... in your exam

    I think I use "with" and "on" with nearly equal frequency: "with" is better for projects, exam period as a whole, and other things that take a long time, whereas "on" is better for a one-time thing like a single test. I might use "in" if the person is about to walk into the room to take the exam, especially if it's an oral exam.

    As far as I am concerned, none are incorrect. :)
  7. Forodio Member

    Florida - United States
    I would have to disagree. I have never heard "for" used with "Good luck", and it just sounds awkward to my ears.

    I also rarely use "in", unless I'm saying something like "Good luck in the future", which means it would not fit with what you're trying to say.

    Finally, in referring to "Good luck with" or "Good luck on", I agree with jann's description on the difference between them. Though, you're more likely to hear "Good luck on" in this context (i.e. "Good luck on your exams"), but that could also be a regionalism down here in Florida.
  8. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada
    Ditto! :thumbsup:
  9. duggy2710 New Member

    I would like to send someone my best wishes for their new job they've just got
    Would you rather say :
    good luck on your job?
    good luck for your new job?
    good luck at your new job ?
    Is there only one proposition correct or they just don't mean the same things?

    Thanks in advance
  10. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    "At" doesn't bother in me at all in this context: we commonly use "at work" or "at your job," and adding "good luck" in front doesn't affect that.

    I probably wouldn't say "good luck on your job" because "on" tends to imply a single event that will be over in a relatively short amount of time (e.g., an exam), whereas a new job is hopefully a long-term affair.

    "For" and "with" would also both be fine in this context.

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