Adjectives and prepositions

Adjectives and prepositions

Do you know how to use adjectives with prepositions like interested in or similar to? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

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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Submitted by dipakrgandhi on Thu, 16/11/2023 - 08:52


This is a sentence from a column written by a person well known for his English in the world:

'His impact on India is too great not to be re-examined periodically.'

How is above sentence different from this one:

'His impact on India is too great to be re-examined periodically.'

If both mean the same thing, can you explain when to use which style?

Thank you

Hello dipakrgandhi,

If I understand these correctly, the first sentence means that this person's impact was so great that we must re-examine it.

The second one means that this person's impact was so great that we don't need to re-examine it.

The first one makes more sense to me, but one could certainly believe in the idea behind the second one.

Best wishes,
LearnEnglish team

Thank you sir for your reply.
I fail to understand how the first sentence means 'His impact is so great that we should re-examine it periodically.'
Only if you could explain it to me at a very basic level. I have always been taught since my school days that '... too ...' means negative second clause in a synonymous 'so ... that ...' sentence. But I have never come across a '... too ...not to ...' sentence.

Thank you

Hi again dipakrgandhi,

It's possible that I've misunderstood, though I think I got them right. Sometimes it's hard to interpret statements outside of context.

I wouldn't say the sentence you're asking about is a common structure. Could you please give examples of the structures you were taught in school? 

Best wishes,
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by takao ayumi on Thu, 16/11/2023 - 08:38


I'm so satisfied about this lesson. /About

Submitted by iantar on Thu, 09/11/2023 - 13:34


I am excited about learning English, and I hope I will master it fast.

Submitted by Aona on Tue, 07/11/2023 - 14:45



Does this essay title sound correct?

"A trip I went to"

I am confused.

Thank you.

Hi Aona,

It should be --> "A trip I went on" (because the phrase is "go on a trip").

"To" is used with a place name (e.g. "I went on a trip to London"), so another title for your essay could be "My trip to London", or something similar.

I hope that helps.