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

Language level

Beginner: A1
Pre-intermediate: A2

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

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.

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

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?

Hello again SaraZaber,

I think the first version is preferable, but unless the lines are already written (meaning the task is simply to memorise them) we'd probably say something like this:

Prepare two lines to say/speak on the topic of 'My Friend'

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

The task is not given. The student will prepare it and learn the lines. In this circumstance which of the two sentences (mentioned earliar ) will be appropriate and preferable? My second question is if the lines are just ti memorise then why would we write - "prepare two lines.....'' what do you mean by "prepare two lines....." ?

Hello again SaraZaber,

You're asking us to help you with instructions for a task which we don't know, so it's difficult for us to answer you. We don't know if the task is to memorise something which is already written or to write something original. We don't know if the lines are to be read or to be memorised and recited.

 

To be honest, this is not the kind of help we provide on this site. We try to help with the learning process by explaining how language is used, what the rules of grammar and patterns of communication are. We don't provide a checking service or act as a phrasebook precisely because that kind of help needs a detailed understanding of the context and the intention. I understand that might be frustrating when you need specific language for a specific situation, but that's not the focus of this site.


As I already said, I think the first option is probably the best, but it really does depend on the context and the intention of the speaker.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you for all your help. I was trying to understand how to use preposition "to" if the task was to write , memorise and then recite. Thank you once again

Submitted by maryamalmuslimah on Tue, 30/03/2021 - 16:49

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thanks so much

Submitted by moonflower on Wed, 24/03/2021 - 08:54

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These exercises in free lessons here are very useful and good for me. Thank you, British Council.

Hi moonflower,

We're glad to hear that :) Thank you for visiting our site.

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Sifat on Wed, 24/03/2021 - 00:53

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hello everybody. Whats upp

Submitted by Rafaela1 on Thu, 11/03/2021 - 12:23

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Too much stress is bad for everyone. I want to experience in some exercise which s good for health. ;)

Submitted by Saurabh Ajay K… on Thu, 11/03/2021 - 10:50

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nice1...!! I'm quite confused about how to make practice for each and every word...!!!

Submitted by Amrik Singh on Wed, 10/03/2021 - 12:22

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This is really helpful.

Submitted by Maahir on Tue, 09/03/2021 - 20:38

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Hi British Council, This is really helpful and I appreciated your amazing free lessons. I am looking forward to boost my English skills with your help.

Submitted by Ashiq Sourov on Tue, 09/03/2021 - 06:32

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It's a great experience to exercise on this website. Thanks to the British council for the nice free contents.

Submitted by Ahmed Yahia on Thu, 18/02/2021 - 12:15

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hello every one why I can't print the explanation of the lesson and tests

Hi Ahmed Yahia,

We don't have pdfs of the grammar section available, at the moment. You can still print them, though, using the 'print' option in your web browser.

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by camiloj18 on Thu, 11/02/2021 - 04:00

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Thank you for great content, I like learn every day my improve english My facebook account is ***************** to make friends and learn more this amazing language

Hi camiloj18,

Unfortunately, sharing personal contact details is not allowed in our House Rules. But you can practise conversation by writing comments and replies here on this site :)

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by geofreymwagike on Fri, 05/02/2021 - 23:44

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Hi. Teacher I have completed level 1 for beginner. Where can i get the certificate of comletion for level 1

Hello geofreymwagike,

I'm afraid that we don't offer certificates for completion of our content.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello learnEnglish Team Thank you for your feedback, though i saw this offer in your syllabus summary for all level that you offer a self printable certificate of completion after the end of each level.

Hello geofreymwagike,

I'm sorry for the confusion.

Do you mean that you completed an English Online course? These are courses led by a teacher. If that's what you mean, your teacher can help you get the certificate.

If you are referring to a different course, could you please tell me where you saw the syllabus summary you are referring to? It will just help me better understand what course you have done with us.

Thanks in advance!

Best wishes,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello LearnEnglish Team YES as i mean that I 've completed Online English course for level 1 for beginner through learnEnglish Select. This syllabus i found it on learn english select with a lot of offers and one of the offer in to provide a self-printable certificate of completion at the end of each level.

Hello geofreymwagike,

I'm sorry for all the confusion. Please look for an email from us -- that will make it easier for us to help you with this.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Viviana Rincón Lopez on Wed, 03/02/2021 - 23:04

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