“Perspective Of” or “Perspective On”? Easy Preposition Guide

When you’re talking about “perspective,” it can be confusing to know what preposition you need to use to best communicate your ideas. Should you say “perspective on” or “perspective of?” How do you know which to use? This article will tell you what you need to know so you’ll be able to work it out.

Is It “Perspective Of” Or “Perspective On”?

Both “perspective of” and “perspective on” can be correct depending on context. Generally, you use “perspective of” when you’re talking about the way someone literally sees something and “perspective on” when you’re talking about someone’s thoughts or opinions about something. “Perspective of” can also occasionally be used in this context.

perspective of or on

Let’s break this down.

“Perspective” is a noun that describes a viewpoint or outlook.

It can be used to describe a literal view, such as the angle someone is looking at something from. It also describes a mental view, such as an opinion someone has.

“Of” is a preposition with many uses. In “perspective of,” of is being used to indicate direction or distance. So saying perspective of is similar to saying “view of.”

  • I need a top-down view of the venue.
  • I need a top-down perspective of the venue.

“Of” can also be used to indicate possession. When used in this way, “perspective of” describes the thoughts and opinions belonging to a particular person or group.

“Perspective of” usually only carries this meaning when used in the passive voice. Take a look at the following sentence:

  • What is the perspective of the people?

In this sentence, we’re asking what thoughts the people have about an aforementioned subject. It’s similar to asking, “What is the people’s perspective?”

“On” is also a preposition, and can also be used to indicate relative position. However, in “perspective on” it’s being used similar to the word “about.” So saying “perspective on” is similar to saying “thoughts about”

  • What are your thoughts on the new council?
  • What’s your perspective on the new council?

Is “Perspective Of” Or “Perspective On” Used The Most?

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “perspective of,” is more commonly used than “perspective on.” But both phrases are very common.

perspective on vs perspective of

The graph shows that “perspective of” has been in use longer than “perspective on.” Although “perspective of” has been used since before the 19th century, it didn’t start to become common until the 20th century.

“Perspective of” and “perspective on” have steadily been becoming more and more common at a similar rate since the early 20th century.

Examples Of How To Use “Perspective Of” In A Sentence

Here are some examples of how to use “perspective of” when talking about relative position.

  • The stage was set up so that different sections of the audience would have different perspectives of the stage.
  • The photographer liked to set up her cameras in multiple positions so she could capture multiple perspectives of her subjects.

Here’s how you can use “perspective of” when talking about thoughts and opinions.

  • It is the Hobbesian perspective of the state of nature that drives most of his thinking.
  • I cared more about the perspective of the farmers than the nobility.

Examples Of How To Use “Perspective On” In A Sentence

Here are some ways you can use “perspective on.”

  • He has a unique perspective on the topic.
  • I’m working on a literature review discussing the global perspective on climate change.
  • Her perspective on dog training is considered a bit unorthodox.

Is It Ever Correct To Use “Perspective Towards” Or “Perspective Into”?

“Perspective towards” and “perspective into” are both correct.

You can use “perspective towards” when you’re talking about shifting into a particular perspective, especially when the shift is aspirational or incomplete. For example:

  • We need to extend our grammatical perspective towards something more inclusive of non-standard dialect.

“Towards” can also mean “with regards to.” So “perspective towards” can also be used when you’re talking about a perspective on something specific.

  • His perspective towards Sarah had dramatically shifted.

You can use “perspective into” when you’re talking about a physical perspective inside of something.

  • Shift the perspective into the house.

Is It “Perspective Of Life” Or “Perspective On Life”?

“Perspective of life” and “perspective on life” can both describe someone’s thoughts and opinions about life. “Perspective of life” is used in the passive voice and “perspective on life” is used in the active voice.

“Perspective of life” and “perspective on life” follow the same guidelines as “perspective of” and “perspective on.” Here are some examples:

  • I’m interested in hearing an astronaut’s perspective on life.
  • The humanist perspective of life is at the core of her work.