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 Luisalcaza on Tue, 10/11/2020 - 00:03

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It's really difficult for me, or maybe :It's really difficult to me?

Hi Luisalcaza,

Good question!

After difficult, use for with a person: It's really difficult for me.

The phrase to me also shows your opinion about something, e.g. To me, $10 is a lot of money or To me, this is very important. But because your sentence has difficult, the usual preposition to use is for.

Does that make sense?

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Rafaela1 on Mon, 09/11/2020 - 14:09

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I'm terrible at directions.... ;|

Submitted by Khin Khin Htet on Mon, 09/11/2020 - 12:58

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Firstly , I learn the grammar pattern and then I write down my own sentences. This way is really useful for me ! Thanks a lot !

Submitted by saulymarquez on Mon, 09/11/2020 - 03:49

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in this lesson miss the explain for the preposition in and for

Submitted by Ijeomalucina on Mon, 02/11/2020 - 14:17

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This is very helpful. Thank you.

Submitted by June Pann Phyu on Sat, 24/10/2020 - 03:31

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This is very useful for me and really proud of me to learn in BC

Submitted by Karim.Karim on Thu, 22/10/2020 - 20:50

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Adjectives and prepositions are important to know how could we use them in right way, I thing reading and lustering make it easily.

Submitted by Tvisha Shukla on Thu, 15/10/2020 - 05:23

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Good afternoon, I had a question about "at" and "in". For example: (1)I am good at math (2) I am good in math I read here "at" is used with good/ bad etc to talk about skills and abilities. In the second sentence I mean the subject math. Which one is correct? Thank you

Hello Tvisha Shukla,

We use 'at' when we are talking about skills and abilities, including academic subjects, so we would say 'at math' rather than 'in math'.

 

You can use 'in' if you are talking about 'math lessons', but then we would not say 'good' but rather something more specific like 'I work hard' or 'I get good grades' etc.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Wai Myo Aung on Tue, 13/10/2020 - 05:27

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Thanks, a lot BC.

Submitted by Sheikh MD Sazi… on Mon, 12/10/2020 - 15:25

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May I get any pdf file for this lesson?

Hi Sheikh MD Sazidul Islam,

Sorry :( We don't have a pdf of this page at the moment. 

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Aung Ko Latt on Thu, 08/10/2020 - 15:52

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Hello BC! I'm new here from Myanmar. BC website is very useful for me. I'm really interested in English. I want to learn with 5.99 $ / mth payment. But, I don't have any credit/payment card to pay. How can I pay any other methods?

Hello Aung Ko Latt,

Welcome and thanks for getting in touch with us. I believe that a credit card is required to subscribe to LearnEnglish, but could you please ask this question on our Contact page? The team that will get your message might be able to help you more than I can.

Best wishes,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Thu San on Sun, 11/10/2020 - 15:13

In reply to by Aung Ko Latt

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Hi Ko AKL, You can use KBZ / Aya / CB visa card. They accept it.

Submitted by Nurieta on Wed, 07/10/2020 - 21:27

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Hi! I want to say thanks! I´m so happy to learn English with you. It´s really enjoy. Thanks for all this information :)

Submitted by saeidehabdolvand on Mon, 05/10/2020 - 13:39

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Hello I'm new here, Thank you(LearnEnglish Team). You are the best

Hi saeidehabdolvand,

Thanks for your nice comment. Welcome to the site :)

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Babydoll on Sat, 03/10/2020 - 17:16

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Hello Everyone!! Hope everyone doing great and enjoying learning here. Finally, I found the best site for learning English. I am very excited and confident. Wish all the best to everyone.

Thanks for your kind comment :) We hope you enjoy your English learning here.

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by mohamed imara on Sun, 27/09/2020 - 17:52

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this was very useful to me. thank you (learn English team).

Submitted by Sonia Carla on Sat, 26/09/2020 - 20:56

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Hi everyone! This page is very useful. Thank you!!! I am enjoying very much to learn English hear. This page is very good at support people to learn English. :)

Submitted by SHAILESH TIPNIS on Sat, 26/09/2020 - 19:06

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Hi Everybody! I am new here, and very much excited about the same. Where I will get detailed information about various tenses and examples as how and when to use them.

Submitted by liliana_khom on Thu, 24/09/2020 - 19:58

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hi i'm new here. when we use "with of" "with in" "with to" "with for"

Hello liliana_khom,

Could you please ask a more specific question? If you could provide some sentences with these combinations of prepositions, that would be helpful, for example.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Viviana Alexandru (not verified) on Mon, 21/09/2020 - 21:43

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Hello everyone, I didn't know that I am so bad at grammar...Very good these courses.

Submitted by lima9795 on Tue, 15/09/2020 - 22:19

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Dear BC, what is the difference b/w afraid of and afraid for ..particularly in afraid for life phrase??

Submitted by Jonathan R on Wed, 16/09/2020 - 04:10

In reply to by lima9795

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Hi lima9795,

Good question. Here are the options:

  1. afraid of + the thing that makes you feel afraid (e.g. I'm afraid of spiders.)
  2. afraid for + a person or thing who you worry about (e.g. Her job is very dangerous. I'm afraid for her.)
  3. afraid for + a time period (e.g. I was afraid for a moment.)

 

About afraid for life, it could be number 3, meaning afraid for the rest of his/her life. Or, it could be number 2, but we need to add the possessive adjective, e.g. He was afraid for his life. / They were afraid for their lives.

 

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by SergeySSSS on Sun, 13/09/2020 - 06:37

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I think that preposition often used in a sentence.

Submitted by Elhamshojaei on Thu, 10/09/2020 - 09:50

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Hi everybody. I'm new here and excited about it.

Hi Elhamshojaei,

Welcome :) We hope you enjoy your English learning here.

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Rafaela1 on Sun, 06/09/2020 - 12:41

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This page is useful, thank you!

Submitted by wahbi on Sun, 06/09/2020 - 06:31

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It is good for me when i read hardly

Submitted by R.SYC on Tue, 25/08/2020 - 18:54

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Hello, Is it correct to say someone is "good in" something or doing something? If it is correct, when should I use "in" or "at"? Cheers.

Submitted by Peter M. on Wed, 26/08/2020 - 08:12

In reply to by R.SYC

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Hello R.SYC,

The normal preposition when describing an activity is at, not in: good at sport, good at drawing etc.

 

There are some fixed expressions using good in, but these refer to places were activities take place: good in class, good in meetings etc.

 

You can also say good with when talking about people or  items: good with computers, good with animals, good with children etc.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by English Pro on Mon, 24/08/2020 - 12:35

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Good job everyone who crated the test

Submitted by English Pro on Mon, 24/08/2020 - 12:34

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it is very easy I got full marks , no problems

Submitted by mowangchuk on Mon, 17/08/2020 - 09:57

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I am interested in learning grammar

Submitted by mowangchuk on Mon, 17/08/2020 - 09:53

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I know I am very poor in grammar, but through this course I can learn more and I hope to improve good grammar.

Submitted by hannahbeigi on Fri, 14/08/2020 - 08:03

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I am not very good at english grammer. This lesson is very simple and useful. Thank you verymuch.

Submitted by ShathaAli on Sat, 08/08/2020 - 00:36

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Wonderful lesson. Thanks

Submitted by ewa hart on Sun, 02/08/2020 - 13:16

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I took 75% on grammar test-1 and 75% on grammar test too!!!!!!!!! Oh, I have to learn and practice more.