Verbs and prepositions

Do you know how to use the prepositions for, from, in, of, on, to and with after verbs? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

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

Do you need to improve your English grammar?
Join thousands of learners from around the world who are improving their English grammar with our online courses.
No votes yet

Submitted by disconzi on Mon, 07/11/2022 - 12:51

Permalink

Hello Team,

Which of the sentences below is correct:
"To me it´s a matter of understanding."
"For me it´s a matter of understanding."

Thank you in advance,

Mara

Hi Mara,

Both of them are correct. I think there is little or no difference in their meaning.

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Naafiya. AMS on Mon, 31/10/2022 - 02:38

Permalink

Sir,different between over and above?

Submitted by Annavictor on Tue, 18/10/2022 - 18:56

Permalink

Hello! Could you please kindly consult which way is correct and if there is any difference between these two sentences: 1) With whom do you have lunch? 2) Who do you have lunch with?

Hello Annavictor,

Both of these sentences are correct and mean the same thing. People say 2 much more commonly than 1. 1 would normally be used only in quite formal situations.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user dipakrgandhi

Submitted by dipakrgandhi on Mon, 26/09/2022 - 10:38

Permalink

Sir, can we say 'you was'

Hi dipakrgandhi,

People do say that sometimes! However, it's not considered correct in standard English.

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Bo Bo Kyaw on Sat, 20/08/2022 - 16:22

Permalink

Hello sir,
In these two sentences, what is the difference between on to and onto?
Can we use both?

1.This window looks out onto the lake.
2.The living room, the biggest room in the house, looks out on to a beautiful garden.