Adjectives and prepositions

Do you know how to use adjectives with prepositions like interested in or similar to?

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 English Learning on Thu, 30/04/2020 - 09:05

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Hi, this is excellent for adjective but not enough for preposition.

Submitted by narcisa on Tue, 28/04/2020 - 11:16

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well explained , I would like more exercise to practice

Submitted by Tun Yee on Tue, 28/04/2020 - 10:39

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It's note wealthy. Thanks

Submitted by wocarvalho on Sun, 26/04/2020 - 16:23

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Great explanation! It was very useful for me.

Submitted by Ravinder on Sat, 25/04/2020 - 18:06

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Very well explained but I need more practice to understand better.

Submitted by Masas on Sat, 25/04/2020 - 02:27

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It's good enough to understand prepositions ! Thank you !

Submitted by Fares on Wed, 22/04/2020 - 20:16

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I do like to thank you all the staff on this web site. I hope that I will improve my English skills .

Submitted by Bolanle Olaitan on Mon, 20/04/2020 - 15:53

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Thank you for this opportunity. My English background is very poor that sometimes, I find it difficult to express my feelings among my colleagues, as such I have missed so many opportunities to represent my organization in a conference. I'm sure after this course, I will regain my confident.

Submitted by Alexandre Goh on Mon, 20/04/2020 - 08:43

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Good way to brush up my rusty grammar, thank you!

Submitted by Sawsana237 on Thu, 16/04/2020 - 22:25

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thank you , but i think you should clarify the mistakes in the test

Hello Sawsana237,

I'm not sure what you mean here. If you mean that there are errors in the test then please let us know. If you mean that you would like to have your answers corrected then you can check your answers by clicking 'Finish' and then 'Show answers' at the bottom of the tast.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Ahmed shady on Thu, 16/04/2020 - 20:40

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Very good activities However, i have a question . at which level may i start the Ielts 4 parts practice .

Hello Ahmed shady,

There is no level requirement. I suggest you try the material we have in our IELTS section and see how accessible and helpful it is for you.

Please also vist the British Council's dedicated IELTS site, which has practice materials (in the section on preparation) and advice. I'm sure you'll find it useful.

https://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Phyu Phyu San on Wed, 15/04/2020 - 07:28

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After finished this lesson I recognize I need to study more regarding grammar..Thank you.

Submitted by Tvisha Shukla on Wed, 15/04/2020 - 02:58

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Are you a beginner (CEFR A1) or pre-intermediate (CEFR A2) learner of English? My question is why ''a'' is used infront of beginner and not infront of pre-intermediate. Thank you.

Hello Tvisha Shukla,

The article is missed out to avoid repetition:

Are you a beginner or a pre-intermediate student of English?

 

In fact, if you think about that sentence you'll see that more words are omitted to avoid repetition:

Are you a beginner student of English or a pre-intermediate student of English?

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Osama Mohamed on Mon, 13/04/2020 - 12:09

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Thank you so much

Submitted by Qurbanov Elbrus on Sun, 12/04/2020 - 10:50

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Thank you for everythink.Do you want learn english?-Here is everythink for you!

Submitted by wendy on Fri, 10/04/2020 - 12:37

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Thank you i think i need to work more on my grammar.

Submitted by Zakaria1978 on Wed, 08/04/2020 - 19:52

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That grenat. Thank you so much

Submitted by Pravinsingh on Wed, 08/04/2020 - 10:36

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I am glad to attend this class thank you British council need to learn entire grammar

Submitted by Arwa_Bayashoot on Tue, 07/04/2020 - 17:08

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Thank you so much

Submitted by Shelly Monar on Sun, 05/04/2020 - 06:14

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This lessons really helpful for me. Thank you.
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Submitted by zabiullah on Thu, 02/04/2020 - 17:47

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the grammar piont is very usefull and helpful...it can help us to write better things...

Submitted by Puilorans on Thu, 02/04/2020 - 11:30

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My first step into a big ocean named ‘grammar’. Thank you!

Submitted by hafizhniwarda on Thu, 02/04/2020 - 09:09

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thankyou for the explanation. learn english from this website is very interesting. its also very helpful and more easier for me.

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

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Thank you for the good grammar explanation.

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

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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.

 

Peter

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.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Good afternoon. Thank you for the clarification Peter.

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

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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

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

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

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

In reply to by Lal

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

Submitted by AYAZ SIDDIQUI on Mon, 30/03/2020 - 20:16

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It is really a helpful example, thank for helping us

Submitted by LeoHFZ20 on Mon, 30/03/2020 - 11:13

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Thank you. It was very helpful. I need a bit more of practice.