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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Submitted by tryyourbest on Fri, 20/05/2022 - 09:58

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I think it is basic and easy to understand. I take note all of these sentences and try to practice them more often when I speak to foreigners.

Thanks so much!

Submitted by Waleed kasem on Wed, 18/05/2022 - 20:02

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I really appreciate your exercises

Submitted by Pann Nilar Htun on Fri, 13/05/2022 - 09:37

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I really hate grammar.
But when I take a look to this lesson, It is amazing and interesting.
I am trying to familiar with all of those sentences.
Now grammar is the friend of mine.
Many thanks all of the teachers and BC.

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Submitted by Marce-English on Mon, 25/04/2022 - 19:21

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This exercise are good for me. I'm appreciate.

Submitted by SetarehS on Wed, 20/04/2022 - 17:01

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these grammar are very good for me.

Submitted by takayashu on Fri, 18/03/2022 - 17:19

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Please, where are the answers? Thank you.

Hello takayashu,

After you have entered your answers click 'Finish'. Next, choose 'Show feedback' too see your score and 'Show answers' to see the correct answers.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by SergeyPD on Fri, 18/03/2022 - 07:14

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thx for simple and understandable explanation

Submitted by nadyanightingale on Fri, 11/03/2022 - 20:06

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Great! I've done all these tests correctly. But it's still a little bit uneasy to tell the prepositions apart. So I think that the practice will help to memorise them.

Submitted by zubeir on Wed, 02/03/2022 - 17:54

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Wow! I got all the answers correct. I'm proud of myself and I believe that I can be good at English grammar.

Submitted by Yasmit_DUsuga on Fri, 04/02/2022 - 19:38

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I can say that the uses with About and Of are very similar and confusing to me.

Hello Yasmit
I think you can solve this confusing by saying that ( of ) is with ( feelings of fear and one feeling of pride )
I hope this help you

Submitted by jyoti Chaudhary on Fri, 04/02/2022 - 07:55

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I'm excited about learning the English language. I'm proud of myself. Well, today I learned about the correct uses of adjectives. And I'm trying to improve it. Dramatically I do a lot of grammar mistakes. I'll be learning about it.

Submitted by Ella on Tue, 01/02/2022 - 06:35

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I got all answers . I think I improve more and more in my English because I learn English from British Council steadily.

Submitted by jwkei on Tue, 18/01/2022 - 01:29

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So confuse to use prepositions because of my grammer skill is very low. But it is pleasure to study english.

Submitted by Huesh Long on Mon, 03/01/2022 - 13:35

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i always get one or two answers wrong on some questions but that is because when i read the sentence, there is almost like the sentence is missing a word that should be in the sentence before you pick your answer.

why is it like this?

Hello Huesh Long,

I'm afraid I don't understand exactly what you mean. Could you please give an example from one of the exercises on this page?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by kanzy on Thu, 02/12/2021 - 10:47

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thank you
but now i'm confused between feeling +at, feeling + about & feeling + with
ex: angry at, angry about and angry with

Hello kanzy,

Each adjective collocates with specific prepositions in different ways. In other words, while we can say 'angry at', we can't necessarily say 'happy at', 'sad at', etc.

Speaking specifically of 'angry', generally we are angry with a person, and we are angry at or about a situation.

It can be quite difficult to choose a preposition sometimes! The best thing to do is check the example sentences in a dictionary to discover how different prepositions are used. For example: https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/angry

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Overnight on Tue, 02/11/2021 - 13:23

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thank for the content, I am exited about this lesson

Submitted by Bhanu on Wed, 27/10/2021 - 06:19

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Really! Very interesting to learn English with test because it evaluating easily.

Submitted by abuahmad999 on Mon, 25/10/2021 - 15:15

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Hi
Are the grammar in this website and skills enough if I want to pass academic IELTS with high score

Hi abuahmad999,

It will definitely help you! But by themselves, the grammar and skills are not enough, because to get a high score it's important to know how the exam works, what the questions are like, and what kind of answers score highly (especially for the speaking and writing parts - the marking criteria are not just about grammar). It helps if you can study some example answers too.

A preparation course will help you to do that - these links might be useful to you.
1. Understanding IELTS course - https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/ielts/online-courses-understand…
2. English Online IELTS Coach - https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/ielts/english-online-ielts-coach

Good luck with your studies!

Jonathan
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by mima11 on Fri, 15/10/2021 - 11:15

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good exercise to learn English

Submitted by momomartin on Sat, 09/10/2021 - 07:45

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Hello
I have a relevant question.
what's the grammatical role of "are of" in this sentence and how can I use it? actually, I didn't find a relavent topic for "be of noun", so I asked you.

Children are of high chance to be vulnerable to numerous serious diseases such as diabetes.

Hello momomartin,

I don't think there is a general rule for this kind of structure. We use it in certain phrases, generally with an adjective as well as a noun:

~ be of good/questionable character
~ be of sound mind
~ be of good breeding

We can also say 'of an age' with a plural subject, meaning two or more people are equally old: They were of an age.

All of these uses are quite formal or literary in terms of style.

However, the use in your sentence does not seem correct to me, both in terms of the choice of noun phrase and the lack of an article in the phrase.

Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Unnivr on Fri, 01/10/2021 - 18:41

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Greetings for the Day!!!,

It was a good lesson . It helps me to brush up on grammar.

Submitted by Shun on Wed, 08/09/2021 - 19:34

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Thanks. It was a nice lesson.

Submitted by Walter Guidotti on Tue, 07/09/2021 - 19:53

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Can you please explain why in test 2 "for" is not correct? She's angry ___ not being invited to the dinner. - about (correct) - for (not correct) I wrongly choose "for" as it sounds like the reason why she is angry. Would it be a grammar mistake? or is this still acceptable?

Hello Walter Guidotti,

I'm not sure I can explain why as this is a collocation rather than a grammar rule, but it is correct to use 'about' and not 'for' when describing the thing that makes a person angry.

 

We only use 'angry for' in certain phrases such as angry for no reason, angry for this reason, and angry for a long time.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by leyskun on Sat, 31/07/2021 - 16:37

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Thanks, it was a nice lesson. I've learned pretty well, from the position of preposition after the adjective.

Submitted by Risa warysha on Fri, 18/06/2021 - 03:02

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Hello,sir. Could you pls explain why there is "of ..." after "is" "the safety of all tourists is of paramount importance to us." What does it mean? n is it the same as "very important to us"? Thanks in advance
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Submitted by Kirk on Fri, 18/06/2021 - 10:11

In reply to by Risa warysha

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Hello Risa warysha,

Yes, it means the same thing as 'very important to us'. When 'importance' is the complement of the verb 'be', we put 'of' before the noun phrase because we're not saying the subject is the same as 'importance', we're saying it's important. I know this may seem a bit odd, but it's the way people speak and write.

By the way, it's unusual to say just 'of importance' -- usually some kind of adjective is used, e.g. 'of critical importance', 'of paramount importance', etc.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Samin on Mon, 03/05/2021 - 09:58

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Hello pls clarify the right preposition here and why He went to shop at the supermarket/in the supermarket He's popular with his classmates /among his classmates

Hello Samin,

I'd say 'at' for the first sentence, but I wouldn't say 'in' is wrong. In the second, I'd say 'with' is best, but I wouldn't say 'among' is wrong.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Kapil Kabir on Sun, 02/05/2021 - 06:12

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Hello Sir, I have two sentences regards the use of Adjective "prior" but I didn't get the meaning of them. 1) He will reach home prior to school. 2) He knows all the player prior to you. Which one is correct sir. Plz elaborate these.
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Submitted by Peter M. on Mon, 03/05/2021 - 07:05

In reply to by Kapil Kabir

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Hello Kapil Kabir,

Prior means 'before', but it is a very formal way to say this and suitable only in certain contexts. We tend to use it in the phrase prior to when we are talking about changes in systems (legal, environmental, political etc) rather than individual acts:

Prior to the 2008 change in the law, it was illegal to...

Your sentences do not have this kind of context, so although they are not incorrect grammatically, I don't think the context really suits the use of the phrase.

 

Prior can also be used as an adjective pre-modifying a noun. In this case it has the meaning 'previous':

In our prior meeting we agreed to...

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Felipe Santos on Mon, 05/04/2021 - 14:37

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Hi guys! Does anyone know any interesting website with more questions about it? I'll be glad with any help
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Submitted by SaraZaber on Sat, 03/04/2021 - 02:25

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Which of the two sentences are correct? (Here xyz is any topic) 1. Learn two lines to speak on xyz 2.Learn to speak two lines on xyz

Hello SaraZaber,

Both are grammatically possible. I'm not sure what the context is or what you want to express, so I wouldn't like to say which would be preferable.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

It is written and said in a commanding tone to primary level students. If it is written as - Note - Learn two lines to speak on " My Friend" Which of the sentences (mentioned earlier )will be preferable?