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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Hello dipakrgandhi,

The game here, so to speak, relies on there being two verbs - enjoy and have. Putting the comma before or after the adverb rarely is an attempt to change to which of these verbs the adverb applies. However, it's not really the way we would do this in standard English. Instead, we would change the word order:

People who rarely enjoy life have a flat stomach. [a flat stomach means you don't get much fun out of life]

People who enjoy life rarely have a flat stomach. [a non-flat stomach is what you get when you have a fun life]

 

The sentence contains a defining relative clause and so should not have a comma at all, or a pair of commas for that matter. I don't think dashes work either. What you could do is use an ellipsis to show where a dramatic pause would come in speech:

People who enjoy life... rarely have a flat stomach. [a non-flat stomach is what you get when you have a fun life]

People who enjoy life rarely... have a flat stomach. [a flat stomach means you don't get much fun out of life]

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you sir!

But isnt the conclusion senseless: Those who have a flat stomach - ie those who are slim should be enjoying the life more than the those who don't have a flat stomach - ie who are obese.

 

Thank you

Regards

 

Dipak R Gandhi 

Hello again Dipak,

I think the implication is that enjoying life means eating a lot, drinking a lot and relaxing a lot, which means you are rather unhealthy and probably overweight. It's an argument for a hedonistic lifestyle rather than a healthy one. It's not hard to argue against it - exercise is fun, in my experience, and healthy food is also tasty food - but that's the implication here.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by MarioMarioMario on Thu, 01/02/2024 - 09:25

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Hi, I was doing the second test and I didn't understand the preposition choice in the seconds sentence. Why "I'm a bit nervous about going somewhere so different" is correct, but "I'm a bit nervous of going somewhere so different" is not.

Hi MarioMarioMario,

It's because the adjective "nervous" is generally followed by the preposition "about".

"Nervous of" is less common, although it is used when the object is a person, e.g. He's a bit nervous of strangers or I was nervous of her

I hope that helps.

Jonathan

LearnEnglish team

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Submitted by maria130 on Thu, 01/02/2024 - 01:49

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My sentences of grammar prepositions

My father is very goos at working in new proyect
I¨m scared of driving
I like to swiming with my friends

Submitted by Zg Imane on Thu, 11/01/2024 - 06:02

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I'm excited at your dancing.
she's scared of the dragon.
We are Worries about the exams

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Submitted by Hannalara on Thu, 04/01/2024 - 18:53

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my sentences on grammar prepositions:
My husband is very good at oratória.
I'm excited about my first exchange program.
My son is scared of sleeping alone.
I'm trying to protect you.
Adriano is married to Lays.
Learning a new language is great for you.
Peter is interested in buying a new house.
I hope my sentences are correct.
Magda Lara

Submitted by cgfcabral on Tue, 02/01/2024 - 20:31

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I'm not very good at English therefore I'm interested in learning it.
I am so excited about studying this language and at the same time I'm afraid of speaking wrong but it's good for me because people are friendly to me in that process.