Verbs and prepositions

Verbs and prepositions

Do you know how to use the prepositions for, from, in, of, on, to and with after verbs? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

Look at these examples to see how prepositions are used after verbs.

Can you wait for me to finish my lunch?
I'm relying on my co-worker to answer all my emails while I'm on holiday.
Sun cream protects you from getting burnt.

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

Verbs and prepositions: Grammar test 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

When a verb is part of a longer sentence, it is often followed by a specific preposition. 

I agree with Mike.
She listens to the radio a lot.
He thanked me for the flowers.

There are no grammatical rules to help you know which preposition is used with which verb, 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. Here are some common verbs for each preposition.

Verbs with for

They're waiting for a bus.
He apologised for being late. 
I applied for the job but I didn't get it.
How do you ask for a coffee in Polish?
I can't go out tonight because I have to prepare for my interview tomorrow.

Verbs with from

This spray should protect you from mosquitoes.
Has he recovered from the accident yet?
She won an award because she saved someone from drowning.
I suffer from allergies.

Verbs with in

She doesn't believe in coincidences.
Our company specialises in computer software.
You have to work hard if you want to succeed in life.

Verbs with of

I don't approve of hunting animals for their fur.
Our dog died of old age.
This shampoo smells of bananas.

Verbs with on

Their decision will depend on the test results.
The film is based on the novel by Boris Pasternak.
If you make so much noise, I can't concentrate on my work.
Come on! We're relying on you!
We don't agree on anything but we're still good friends.

Verbs with to

What kind of music do you like listening to?
Can I introduce you to my grandfather?
Please refer to the notes at the end for more information.
Nobody responded to my complaint.
She apologised to me the next day.

Verbs with with

I agree with everything you've said.
My assistant will provide you with more information if you need it.
We're finding it difficult to deal with the stress.

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

Verbs and prepositions: Grammar test 2

Language level

Average: 4.1 (64 votes)

Submitted by muratt on Thu, 04/06/2020 - 15:01

Good afternoon. I am trying to learning the differences between in and on prepositions. Would it be possible if you can check if the below sentences are grammatically correct? 1.My grandchildren are playing in the garden. (area garden). 2.Do not ride a motorbike on the garden before we collect the evidence. (surface of the garden). 3. Barbecue is not allowed in the park. (area of the park). 4. A group of children are playing football on the park. (surface of the park). When we say a 'surface' I am assuming it has to a flat surface only e.g. like a table? Thank you in advance and have a good day.

Hello muratt

1 and 3 are correct. For 2 and 4, we'd normally just say 'in' instead of 'on', since the only place you can ride a motorbike or play football is the surface of the park.

There's a good summary of the basic uses of 'in', 'at' and 'on' on this Cambridge Dictionary page -- have a look and see if that helps you make more sense of it.

We're also happy to help you with other specific questions if you have any.

There are many irregular uses of prepositions, so keep up the good work!

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Kirk. Could you kindly check to see if these are correct? 1. There is a hole in the wood. 2. There is something in my hair that I need to remove. 3. Children are playing basketball in the court. 4. After the accident, I have gained scars in my face. Thank you.
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Sat, 06/06/2020 - 15:06

In reply to by muratt


Hello muratt

I would say 'in the courtyard' (if that's what you mean). We usually say 'on a basketball court', but if you're already saying that they are playing basketball, people will assume you mean they are playing on a basketball court unless you say something different.

I would say 'I got some scars on my face' in number 4. 1 and 2 are good.

Well done!

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Fri, 29/05/2020 - 07:00

It's really amazing.

Submitted by muratt on Tue, 19/05/2020 - 15:27

Hi. Would it be correct to use 'at' before morning, afternoon and night, if I speak generally? For example, I drink coffee at mornings or I drink coffee in the mornings. I eat cake at the afternoons or I eat cake in the afternoons. I play football at nights or I play football in the nights. Can I use preposition 'at' If I do these activities e.g. every day? Thank you.
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Submitted by Peter M. on Wed, 20/05/2020 - 07:44

In reply to by muratt


Hi muratt,

No, you can't use at in that way.

We say at night, but in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening. We don't use at before these.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by resh on Fri, 01/05/2020 - 18:09

Hi, which one is correct 1.Mr James has requested for a therapeutic counseling. 2.Mr James has requested therapeutic counseling.

Hi resh,

I think the most likely construction would be this:

Mr. James has requested theraputic counselling.

I can't be completely sure without knowing the full context, but the article is unlikely to be needed here.



The LearnEnglish Team