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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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

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

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

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

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

Firstly , I learn the grammar pattern and then I write down my own sentences. This way is really useful for me ! Thanks a lot !
Adjectives and prepositions are important to know how could we use them in right way, I thing reading and lustering make it easily.
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

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?

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

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Hello Everyone!! Hope everyone doing great and enjoying learning here. Finally, I found the best site for learning English. I am very excited and confident. Wish all the best to everyone.

Thanks for your kind comment :) We hope you enjoy your English learning here.

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

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