Adjectives and prepositions

Adjectives and prepositions

Do you know how to use adjectives with prepositions like interested in or similar to? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

Look at these examples to see how adjectives are used with prepositions.

I'm interested in the idea.
My jacket is similar to yours.
She's brilliant at maths.
My neighbour is angry about the party.

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

Grammar test 1: Adjectives and prepositions

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

Some adjectives go with certain prepositions. There are no grammatical rules for which preposition is used with which adjective, so it's a good idea to try to learn them together. To help you do this, write new vocabulary in your notebook in a sentence or phrase.

However, there are some patterns that can help you. Let's look at them first. Remember that a preposition is followed by a noun or a gerund (-ing form).

With at

We use at with adjectives like good/bad/amazing/brilliant/terrible, etc. to talk about skills and abilities.

He's really good at English.
She's amazing at the piano.
They're terrible at organising anything.
I'm not very good at drawing.

With about

We often use about with adjectives of feelings like angry/excited/happy/nervous/sad/stressed/worried, etc. to explain what is causing that feeling.

I'm angry about the decision.
He's nervous about the presentation.
She's excited about the new job.
They were worried about the exam.

With of

However, sometimes we use of with feelings.

She was afraid of telling her mum.
I'm frightened of having an accident.
He's scared of flying.
You should be proud of your progress.

With to

We can use to to show the connection between people or things.

He's married to the director.
I'm addicted to my phone.
I'm allergic to nuts.
It's similar to the old one.

We can also use to to talk about someone's behaviour towards someone else.

They were really friendly to me.
Was he nice to you?
He is always polite to everyone.
She was very rude to the waitress.

Here are some other useful adjectives with prepositions.

With for

Exercise is good for you.
Stress is bad for you.
The town is famous for its cheese.
I'm responsible for the financial side of the business.

With in

She's interested in the project.
They want someone who's experienced in design.
I didn't want to get involved in the argument.

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

Grammar test 2: Adjectives and prepositions

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Submitted by Khrystyna on Wed, 01/04/2020 - 15:20

Thank you for the good grammar explanation.

Submitted by muratt on Wed, 01/04/2020 - 14:26

Good afternoon, I am learning prepositions for place of location and struggling to understand the difference below. Can you please clarify. A boy is swimming in the water. All known forms of life depend on water. ---- And if we refer to a location, which of these should be correct and what is the difference? A boy is being treated at hospital. A boy is being treated in hospital.

Hello muratt,

When we are describing something which is floating or swimming then we use in the water (in the river, in the sea, in the ocean, in the swimming pool etc.).

The verb depend is followed by on + object:

It depends on the cost.

It depends on you.

Life depends on water.


It's possible to say either at the hospital or in the hospital. Generally, in tells us the precise location (inside the building) while at tells us the more general location. Both are possible in your context as the listener will understand where treatment occurs.



The LearnEnglish Team

This means a preposition depends in the context being used and there are no strict rules. Am I correct? Thank you for the clarification Peter.

Hello muratt,

It's not the case that there are no rules, but rather that there is often a choice of preposition when we are talking about location or movement, and the speaker can choose according to the meaning they want to express.

With dependent prepositions like on in depend on, the preposition is generally fixed and required. There is no other preposition you can use after depend; it is the only correct option.



The LearnEnglish Team

Good afternoon. Thank you for the clarification Peter.

Submitted by Lal on Tue, 31/03/2020 - 12:38

Hello Sir Re: Home/House e.g. I was at Sue's house last night. Can't one use 'home' instead of 'house' e.g. A. Where are you now? (on the phone) B. I am at home. We don't say 'house' Please tell me the difference between home and house. I referred to dictionary also but I would like if you helped me to understand the difference. Thank you. Regards Lal
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Tue, 31/03/2020 - 13:24

In reply to by Lal


Hello Lal

We don't normally use a possessive before 'home'. It's not necessarily wrong to use it, but we tend to use 'house' instead. This is because if we're talking about whose place it is, we're generally talking about the physical location we're in rather than our feelings about it.

For the second example, B could say 'at my house', but people generally say 'at home' since it's a little shorter and the idea of a personal feeling about where they live is generally appropriate in a response like this. But if B wanted to insist that she was at her home (and not at the different house where A think she is), she could say 'at my house' as a kind of contrast to, for example, 'at Indira's house'.

I hope this helps you make sense of it.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by stiliannk on Mon, 06/04/2020 - 21:31

In reply to by Lal

You may have many houses, but one home. Home sweat home :)