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 (60 votes)
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Profile picture for user Rafaela1

Submitted by Rafaela1 on Fri, 14/08/2020 - 14:23

This spray should have protected me from mosquitoes... ;)

Submitted by gopakumarac on Fri, 31/07/2020 - 13:22

Which of the following is the correct usage? 1. He asked us to closely observe her changes. 2. He asked us to observe closely her changes. Thank you.

Hello gopakumarac,

What you will see or hear in most writing or speaking is 1. Some people, however, avoid what they call 'split infinitives' (such as 'to closely observe') and so would choose 2 and call 1 incorrect.

I am not one such person; in other words, I would recommend 1.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Sandeep Gupta on Sat, 18/07/2020 - 20:29

Hi Sir, I have a doubt in these two sentences and in similar to like these, i.e., “I need to talk to the principal.” “I need to talk with the principal.” Are these two sentences correct?; Is there any difference in these two sentences?; Can I use "talk to" and "talk with" interchangeably in every sentence?; and If Yes, Can you please suggest me from where can I find list of these types of words? Thank You
Profile picture for user Peter M.

Submitted by Peter M. on Sun, 19/07/2020 - 09:18

In reply to by Sandeep Gupta


Hello Sandeep Gupta,

I think these are used interchangeably in modern English. Talk to may have implied a more one-sided conversation in the past, but I think the distinction no longer applies.

I'm not sure what kind of list you mean. If you mean a list of synonyms or alternatives for a given word or phrase then any thesaurus will provide this. Most computers have a thesaurus built in to the system dictionary.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Sandeep Gupta on Sat, 18/07/2020 - 01:03

Can any sentence have more than one preposition after verb as a prepositional verb without any difference in the meaning of the sentence?

Hello Sandeep Gupta,

I'm not quite sure what you mean here. Could you provide an example?



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Zekjg on Mon, 15/06/2020 - 19:37

Hi, when do I have to use ''it's or ''is'' in the beginning of a sentence? Is it correct if I say ''to be a good doctor is to understand, IS to go beyond a consultation, IS not to receive a patient and follow the protocol...'' Or I should put ''it is'' in place of ''is'' If you can reply me I'll be gratful. Thank you so much.

Hello Zekjg,

There are several possibilities and the difference is really only one of style.


  • [using it is] be a good doctor is to understand, it is to go beyond a consultation, it is not to receive a patient and follow the protocol...


  • [using it's] be a good doctor is to understand, it's to go beyond a consultation, it's not to receive a patient and follow the protocol...


  • [not repeating it] be a good doctor is to understand, is to go beyond a consultation, is not to receive a patient and follow the protocol...


  • [not repeating it is] be a good doctor is to understand, to go beyond a consultation, not to receive a patient and follow the protocol...


The last is the most natural phrasing in most contexts, but the others are all possible if your goal is to add rhetorical emphasis. For example, if you were giving a speech to a large audience then using a repetitive structure could be effective.



The LearnEnglish Team

Oh it was very useful! Thanks for helping me.