Attribute and Attributable

How to use "attribute" and "atrributable" correctly

This is an entry on my list of Common Errors in English Usage. Visit the main page for direct links to additional entries.

As a verb, to attribute is used to indicate the cause or the source of something. It should be used with the preposition to, not with other prepositions like on:

attributed the problem to neglect
problems attributable to neglect
a saying traditionally attributed to Socrates

Related Resources

Common Errors in English Usage: Errors in diction and idiom commonly made by native speakers of English

List of Common Errors in English Usage (PDF): Printable version of the complete list

Common Grammar Errors: A list of common errors in grammar (topics like subject-verb agreement and parallelism) as distinct from usage

List of Common Errors in English Usage: PDF version

© 2006, 2008, and 2019 C. Brantley Collins, Jr.