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

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Hello muratt,

The construction using advise with an object is: advise sb to do sth.

I advised him to take the train.

The constuction without an object is: advise doign sth.

I advised taking the train.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Aysn on Thu, 04/02/2021 - 19:20

Dear team, I don't understand one thing in this sentence. "Officials in Japan issue Covid rules for the Tokyo games. I learnt some verbs have prepositions in their patterns such as- accuse of* doing something - Although the verb in sentence which I wrote (issue) has not verb pattern with preposition for, preposition for is used. Can you clean my confusing brain? Do I mix the grammar topics?

Hello Aysn,

Not all prepositions are used because of verb patterns. Some are tied to nouns, some to adjectives and some simply have their own meaning.

I think 'for' in this sentence is associated with the noun 'rules'. You can talk about rules for a game, rules for admittance to a programme etc. That's not to say that we always use 'for' with 'rules', of course, but it is quite a common occurrence.



The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks teacher, Teacher, I want to learn one more thing .For example when I look the a noun in the dictionary , I sometimes see a noun+a preposition. You said -for- associated with the noun 'rule'. And I am wondered and looked Longman dictionary. But it doesn't show rule -rule for something-. So does the dictionary make a mistake?or Can we use preposition even if dictionary doesn't show us?
Hello Aysn, Can I comment on your question? ★;:*GOOD}(‘v’)9゙ For your reference, from Cambridge Dictionary. ;) "A newspaper headline is a very short summary of a news report. The grammar of headlines is often non-standard and they can be difficult to read. The main features of the grammar of headlines are the use of a series of nouns and the use of ellipsis (leaving out words which are not necessary). We often leave out articles (a/an, the) and verbs (especially the verb to be): Headlines often use the present simple, even where the report refers to a past event. This is done to make the news seem more dramatic and immediate."

Hello Aysn,

Dictionaries show the most common patterns but not all patterns. A word like rule can be followed by a large number of prepositions, depending on the meaning required: a rule of, a rule for, a rule in, a rule about, a rule against, a rule from etc.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Layria on Thu, 21/01/2021 - 09:51

Hi all, I´m a bit confused between "agree with" and "agree on". I don´t know how to use them. Is it more accurate to use "agree with "when you talk to someone?. Do you use "agree on" when you have coincidence with someone?. Thanks
Profile picture for user Kirk Moore

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Thu, 21/01/2021 - 11:40

In reply to by Layria


Hello Layria,

In general, you agree with a person and you agree on an issue or topic -- for example, 'I agree with you on the importance of regular practice'.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by muratt on Fri, 15/01/2021 - 17:49

Good evening. I would like to describe the position of an object. Are the below correct? - I have a butcher/supermarket in/on my street/road? - I am currently driving a car in/on a street/road. I've heard 'in' is used in British English. Am I correct? Thank you and Have a good weekend.

Helo muratt,

I would say that 'on' is the most likely choice here, though dialects may vary. I am a British English speaker, by the way.


I think in the street has quite limited usage. It tends to mean that someone is standing or walking not on the pavement but in the part of the street where the cars go. This is why a parent might shout to a child 'Don't stand in the street. A car might come along.'



The LearnEnglish Team