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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Language level

A1 English level (elementary)
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Hi Mason2afm,

It's a good question! Actually, it is correct, because leisurely is an adjective, not an adverb. It looks like an adverb, as it has the -ly ending. But some adjectives end in -ly (others include elderly, lively and timely).

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Rose Lay on Tue, 12/01/2021 - 11:10

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I am not clear the usage of "to". It says that it connects people and things. He's married to the director. He is a person and the director is a person. So it seems like person and person. And the next one is "It's similar to the old one. It seems like thing and thing. Sorry for long questions. Please kindly explaine me if you are ok.

Hello Rose Lay,

We can use 'to' to connect people with other people, people with things, things with people, and things with things. Actually, 'to' can be used in many, many other ways as well. It's one of the most common words in the English language.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by hamza yaser ab… on Sat, 09/01/2021 - 20:36

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thank you very much for this lessons

Submitted by Joselyn15 on Tue, 05/01/2021 - 02:04

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Thank you so much!

Submitted by sonlenfq on Mon, 04/01/2021 - 13:12

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This content is useful. Thank you a lot!

Submitted by Madhushree on Tue, 22/12/2020 - 17:49

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Thank you so much for put this grammar section. I like this and I believe I can learn more in this section.

Submitted by Maria19 on Mon, 21/12/2020 - 08:36

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Thank you for this grammar part.
Profile picture for user Hlaingbobo Win

Submitted by Hlaingbobo Win on Wed, 16/12/2020 - 04:21

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It's very good exercise. Thack you! I need to more exercise how do i get it?

Hello Hlaingbobo Win,

We're glad you found it useful! If you do an internet search for 'adjectives and prepositions exercises', I'm sure you can find a lot more. There are also lots of exercises on other pages on our site that cover this, but I'm afraid it's difficult for me to point you to them because they are part of pages that don't just focus on this grammar.

As you explore our site, though, I'm sure you'll find them.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Su Yee Lwin on Mon, 14/12/2020 - 09:11

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I don't understand grammar test 2 Q no.2. I think the answer is of but the real answer is about . Somebody explain .

Hello Su Yee Lwin,

We use 'about' after 'nervous' to speak about the thing that makes us feel nervous. If you follow the link, you'll see some other examples and ways this word is used.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

About with adjectives that causing the feelings. For example, angry, excited, happy, nervous etc
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Submitted by Nader Eftekhari on Sun, 13/12/2020 - 19:44

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thank you for everything in this website.

Submitted by miftahsaadah08 on Sat, 12/12/2020 - 22:44

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Thanks you so much for this grammar,

Submitted by vanessa Rodri on Fri, 11/12/2020 - 02:09

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Thank you for this clear explanation .

Submitted by LUIZ ANTONIO on Sun, 06/12/2020 - 15:04

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Yes, I did. Before I writing my comments I've checked your page.

Submitted by LUIZ ANTONIO on Sun, 06/12/2020 - 14:49

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Thank you so much for this Grammar, it's very helpfull.

Submitted by AMIRKHON on Mon, 30/11/2020 - 20:20

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Hi to everyone i imroving my english can anyone practice with me pls

Submitted by ibtihalsafwan on Sun, 15/11/2020 - 07:35

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He was aggressive with me. or: He was aggressive to me?

Hello 

Both forms are possible and I don't think there is any difference in meaning. You could also use the preposition 'towards', again without any change in meaning.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Asif kamal on Sat, 14/11/2020 - 14:58

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Really very clear explaination

Submitted by S M Rezwanul Islam on Thu, 12/11/2020 - 09:57

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The use of a preposition is quite tricky sometimes. What should I do to avoid mistakes?

Hello S M Rezwanul Islam,

This is indeed one of the trickiest things to learn in English. I'd suggest that you make a note of the correct preposition when you find one that surprises you -- in other words, when a text or recording uses a preposition that is different from what you expected. If you write these down -- including the context, since the context can change the meaning -- and then revise them from time to time, this should help.

A good dictionary is also a valuable resource for this kind of learning. For example, if you look at this entry for 'good', in the example sentences under 2, you'll see 'good at' and 'good with'. Reading through these can really help you understand how prepositions are used with different words.

Hope this helps you.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Luisalcaza on Tue, 10/11/2020 - 00:03

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It's really difficult for me, or maybe :It's really difficult to me?

Hi Luisalcaza,

Good question!

After difficult, use for with a person: It's really difficult for me.

The phrase to me also shows your opinion about something, e.g. To me, $10 is a lot of money or To me, this is very important. But because your sentence has difficult, the usual preposition to use is for.

Does that make sense?

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Mon, 09/11/2020 - 14:09

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I'm terrible at directions.... ;|

Submitted by Khin Khin Htet on Mon, 09/11/2020 - 12:58

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Firstly , I learn the grammar pattern and then I write down my own sentences. This way is really useful for me ! Thanks a lot !

Submitted by saulymarquez on Mon, 09/11/2020 - 03:49

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in this lesson miss the explain for the preposition in and for

Submitted by Ijeomalucina on Mon, 02/11/2020 - 14:17

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This is very helpful. Thank you.

Submitted by June Pann Phyu on Sat, 24/10/2020 - 03:31

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This is very useful for me and really proud of me to learn in BC

Submitted by Karim.Karim on Thu, 22/10/2020 - 20:50

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Adjectives and prepositions are important to know how could we use them in right way, I thing reading and lustering make it easily.

Submitted by Tvisha Shukla on Thu, 15/10/2020 - 05:23

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Good afternoon, I had a question about "at" and "in". For example: (1)I am good at math (2) I am good in math I read here "at" is used with good/ bad etc to talk about skills and abilities. In the second sentence I mean the subject math. Which one is correct? Thank you

Hello Tvisha Shukla,

We use 'at' when we are talking about skills and abilities, including academic subjects, so we would say 'at math' rather than 'in math'.

 

You can use 'in' if you are talking about 'math lessons', but then we would not say 'good' but rather something more specific like 'I work hard' or 'I get good grades' etc.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Wai Myo Aung on Tue, 13/10/2020 - 05:27

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Thanks, a lot BC.

Submitted by Sheikh MD Sazi… on Mon, 12/10/2020 - 15:25

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May I get any pdf file for this lesson?

Hi Sheikh MD Sazidul Islam,

Sorry :( We don't have a pdf of this page at the moment. 

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Aung Ko Latt on Thu, 08/10/2020 - 15:52

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Hello BC! I'm new here from Myanmar. BC website is very useful for me. I'm really interested in English. I want to learn with 5.99 $ / mth payment. But, I don't have any credit/payment card to pay. How can I pay any other methods?
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Submitted by Kirk on Fri, 09/10/2020 - 08:41

In reply to by Aung Ko Latt

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Hello Aung Ko Latt,

Welcome and thanks for getting in touch with us. I believe that a credit card is required to subscribe to LearnEnglish, but could you please ask this question on our Contact page? The team that will get your message might be able to help you more than I can.

Best wishes,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Thu San on Sun, 11/10/2020 - 15:13

In reply to by Aung Ko Latt

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Hi Ko AKL, You can use KBZ / Aya / CB visa card. They accept it.

Submitted by Nurieta on Wed, 07/10/2020 - 21:27

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Hi! I want to say thanks! I´m so happy to learn English with you. It´s really enjoy. Thanks for all this information :)