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Verbs and prepositions

Do you know how to use the prepositions for, from, in, of, on, to and with after verbs?

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

Intermediate: B1


I fail to understand what word is the subject in this sentence

Is this the same jacket you gifted me?

Since 'Is' is the helping verb here so is 'this' the subject of this sentence?

Please help

Hello Tim,

The subject is this.

This is a yes/no question with the verb be, so the subject and verb are inverted. If you make the sentence a statement rather than a question then the subject becomes obvious:

This is the same jacket...



The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you so much Peter

Good evening.

I am a bit confused whether if I can use a noun before the gerund 'taking' in the below example.

• I advised him taking the train.
• I advised him to take the train.

Are the above correct?

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

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,

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

Hello Aysn,

Can I comment on your question?
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."