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PREPOSITIONS FOLLOWING VERBS 1

Some verbs may, and some must, be followed by prepositional phrases. When they are, the prepositions are often fixed, although there are verbs that can go with more than one preposition. Here is a list of some prepositions and the verbs which usually precede them:

+ about

argue, boast, complain, decide, dream, hear, laugh, learn, lecture, preach, protest, quarrel, read, speak, think

Have you thought about my proposal at all?

+ against

protest

They are protesting against the government.

+ at

aim, arrive, glance, guess, hint, laugh, look, marvel, shout, smile

They were very rude and laughed at him.

+ for

account, aim, allow, apply, apologize, arrange, ask, blame, care, call, cater, count, hope, long, pay, pray, provide, search, wish

How did they account for the missing money?

+ from

benefit, differ, die, refrain, resign, result, stem, suffer

They died from exhaustion.

+ in

arrive, believe, belong, confide, dress, interest, result, specialize, succeed

This chair belongs in that room.

+ of

conceive, die, dream, hear, think

You can only dream of a house like that!

+ on

agree, call, comment, concentrate, decide, depend, elaborate, impose, insist, lecture, live, operate, preach, rely

They agreed on a new treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

+ out

phase

The current system will be phased out over the next two years.

+ to

add, adjust, admit, agree, answer, apologize, apply, attend, belong, confess, conform, consent, contribute, object, react, refer, resort, speak

They’ve agreed to the terms of the new contract.

+ with

agree, coincide, collide, comply, deal, fight, meet (with an accident), interfere, quarrel, speak, struggle, tamper

He agreed with her.

Remember!

Some verbs can be followed by more than one preposition without a change in meaning:

He lectures on Italian literature at Columbia University.

He lectures about Italian literature at Columbia University.

Learning tip

If you are unsure which prepositions follow certain verbs, then look the verb up in a dictionary.

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