Usage and Grammar

Q. Good morning. What is the right preposition after the noun “change”? I thought it was always “in.” However, gives the following examples:

Let me know if there’s any change in the situation.

They’ve made a lot of changes to the house.

Now, I’m confused. Please enlighten me. Thanks.

A. The difficult thing about English is that there is almost never a single right preposition for any noun:

a change to the house

a change in the situation

a change of heart

a change for the better

a change since yesterday

A linguist might be able to explain why these usages have become conventional and are not interchangeable, but most native speakers of English learn them intuitively, without being able to articulate the reasons. If English isn’t your first language, lots of practice reading and listening to English is probably the best way to train your instincts.