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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Profile picture for user dipakrgandhi

Submitted by dipakrgandhi on Mon, 04/12/2023 - 05:18

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This is the message my son sent me:
'He sent that Rupees 1,500 to mine account.'

Now I feel that it should be '...my account.', and not 'mine account.'

But how do I explain this to him! What are the reasons that only 'my' can be acceptable here - and not 'mine'?
And also, should it me '...that amount of Rupees 1,500...' in stead of '... that Rupees 1,500...'!

Will you please guide me!

Regards

Dipak R Gsmdhi

Hello Dipak,

I'd recommend you have a look at the Possessives section of our English grammar reference.

You are right -- in this case 'mine account' is not correct and it should be 'my account'. This is because the word needs to be an adjective that modifies the noun 'account'. 'mine' is a pronoun and 'my' is an adjective.

As for your other question, he should probably just say 'the 1,500 rupees' or 'those 1,500 rupees'; 'that' is not correct because it is singular and 1,500 rupees is plural.

Although we tend to write the symbols for currencies before numbers (i.e. we write $500 and not 500$), when we say this number, it's 'five hundred dollars'.

Best wishes,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Zinnwe on Thu, 30/11/2023 - 11:50

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In this sentence '' To a fly, a dog is old.'' I want to know the work of '' To'' in this sentence . I am not sure about that . Could you explain me please ?
With best wishes,
Zinnwe

Hi Zinnwe,

In this sentence, "to" means "considered by" (see the related part of this Cambridge Dictionary page for more examples), or "from the viewpoint of". This sentence is saying that from a fly's point of view, a dog is old (because a fly has a very short lifespan).

I hope that helps.

Jonathan

LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Ah.ibrahim on Sat, 25/11/2023 - 15:31

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Hi
I have to questions about this lesson:
1- (about) and (of) both of them used with feelings, how i can know the condition of uses each of them
2- what the rules for using (for) and (in) with adjectives

Thanks in advance

Hello Ah.ibrahim,

I wish I could give you a clear and unambiguous answer, but I'm afraid language doesn't always work like that! On this page we describe tendencies which can be useful guides but they are not fixed rules. Collocations like these (which prepositions follow certain adjectives, which follow certain verbs etc) are patterns which do not follow fixed and predictable rules, so the short answer is that you simply need to learn (memorise) them.

I can give you two pieces of advice. First, when you learn a new word pay attention to the words around it. If you make a list of new adjectives, include any collocating items which come after (like prepositions) or before (like adverbs) the adjective. Second, if you can try to read a little in English regularly. This will expose you to many examples and you will develop a feel for these kinds of patterns simply by seeing so many.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by yagmurkrcy on Sat, 25/11/2023 - 13:18

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Hello everyone,
I created a new account just now. so excited about to joined here. I keep going to study for learn English.
And this lesson was so helpful for me

Submitted by parshantgill55 on Thu, 16/11/2023 - 12:16

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Really helpful

Profile picture for user dipakrgandhi

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

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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
Regards

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,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team