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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


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


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.


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.



Here is a list of common adjectives followed by the prepositions in, of, to and with:

Adjective + in

disappointed in

experienced in

interested in

rich in

Adjective + of

afraid of

ahead of

ashamed of

capable of

certain of

frightened of

fond of

full of

incapable of

proud of

tired of

typical of

Adjective + to

friendly to

kind to

nice to

married to

polite to

rude to

similar to

Adjective + with

angry with

bored with

careful with

content with

delighted with

disappointed with

happy with

sick with

impressed with

pleased with

popular with

satisfied with

wrong with


Sometimes several prepositions are possible after certain adjectives, e.g. certain of/about. Some practice will help you to learn them.

Learning tips

Create an Adjective + preposition category in your Word List and transfer the adjectives from this unit to your Word List to learn.

Choose three adjectives from this section and write sentences about yourself or people you know, e.g. I’m pleased with my new bike.

Some prepositions of place and movement

Helen has moved to Barcelona.

Paula was standing on one foot.

There´s a small store at the end of the street.

Don´t walk in the road! It´s dangerous!

From the plane we could see the mountains below us.

When the horse came to a small stream it jumped over it. 

Julia´s house is on the other side of the street.

Lisa cut her foot on some broken glass.

Tim was sitting in an armchair.