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

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Hello again Swan Htet Myint,

Yes, it is an adverbial prepositional phrase -- that is, a prepositional phrase used as an adverbial.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Mussorie on Thu, 09/09/2021 - 09:35

Could you please explain whether the "as" here used to introduce a contrasting is acting as a preposition or conjunction? Can conjunction be followed by a preposition? 1. He earns $80,000 a year, as against my $40,000. In this subordinate clause, what is the subject and what here "as" is referring to? 2. As is often the case with children, Amy was completely better by the time the doctor arrived. Could you please explain to me the construction of the subordinate clause? Why in this case "angry" is succeeded by "as he was"? Otherwise, it should be " as he was angry"? What is the reason why the sentence is constructed like this and explain the pattern (like adjective is placed before subordinate clause) that would be useful for me in future usage? 3. Angry as he was, he couldn't help smiling.

Hello Mussorie,

I'm afraid this kind of question goes beyond what we can provide in the comments section. The comments section is intended for short anwers to questions relating to the tasks or explanations on the page, not to provide in-depth analysis of examples from elsewhere.


We're all teachers here and we try to provide as much help as we can, but what you're asking for here is really almost an individual lesson and as a small team offering a free service to many thousands of users every day it's just not possible for us to provide this. There are forums on the internet which are devoted to discussing these kinds of questions, however, which you might find helpful, such as the relevant Stack Exchange forums:



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Mussorie on Tue, 03/08/2021 - 08:58

Could you please explain to me the meanings of the two sentences and which one is correct? 1.I have lots of experience in cooking and cleaning. 2.I have lots of experience of cooking and cleaning. What is the difference between experience in and experience of? When should we use them? Please provide some examples.

Hello Mussorie,

We use experience in when we are talking about experience gained consciously as part of our professional or personal development. You can have experience of working in a certain field, for example, or participating in certain activities, but you can cannot have experience in things that simply happen to you like an accident or a natural disaster.

Experience of is more general. It simply means something is a part of your lived experience. This could be something you've chosen to do, as above, or something which has happened to you.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Mussorie on Sun, 25/07/2021 - 07:29

Could you please explain to me the functionality and meaning of the following structures? 1. Verb + direct object Eg: He dreamed a story. 2. Verb + preposition + noun Eg: He dreamed of a story. What is the difference in meaning between the sentences? Explain the relationship of the two structures in general (applicable to all examples).

Hello Mussorie,

1 implies more of an action of creation, though please note this use is far less common than the way it's used in 2. If you consult the example sentences in the dictionary, you can see that 1 is unusual (or maybe not even there).

I'm afraid we're not generally able to provide extended explanations of grammar and vocabulary such as what you're requesting here.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Tim on Sun, 04/07/2021 - 11:51

Hi in the following sentences could someone guide me if the verb is transitive or intransitive. 1) The crow was flying high in the sky. 2) He was still thinking about his problem. 3) He was jumping on the floor. I think they are intransitive but I'm not sure about them either.

Hello Tim,

That's right -- these are intransitive verbs. They don't have a direct or indirect object; the phrases after them are prepositional or adverbial phrases.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team