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 wendy on Fri, 10/04/2020 - 12:37

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Thank you i think i need to work more on my grammar.

Submitted by Zakaria1978 on Wed, 08/04/2020 - 19:52

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That grenat. Thank you so much

Submitted by Pravinsingh on Wed, 08/04/2020 - 10:36

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I am glad to attend this class thank you British council need to learn entire grammar

Submitted by Arwa_Bayashoot on Tue, 07/04/2020 - 17:08

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Submitted by Shelly Monar on Sun, 05/04/2020 - 06:14

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Submitted by zabiullah on Thu, 02/04/2020 - 17:47

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the grammar piont is very usefull and helpful...it can help us to write better things...

Submitted by Puilorans on Thu, 02/04/2020 - 11:30

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My first step into a big ocean named ‘grammar’. Thank you!

Submitted by hafizhniwarda on Thu, 02/04/2020 - 09:09

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Submitted by Khrystyna on Wed, 01/04/2020 - 15:20

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Thank you for the good grammar explanation.

Submitted by muratt on Wed, 01/04/2020 - 14:26

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Good afternoon, I am learning prepositions for place of location and struggling to understand the difference below. Can you please clarify. A boy is swimming in the water. All known forms of life depend on water. ---- And if we refer to a location, which of these should be correct and what is the difference? A boy is being treated at hospital. A boy is being treated in hospital.

Hello muratt,

When we are describing something which is floating or swimming then we use in the water (in the river, in the sea, in the ocean, in the swimming pool etc.).

The verb depend is followed by on + object:

It depends on the cost.

It depends on you.

Life depends on water.

 

It's possible to say either at the hospital or in the hospital. Generally, in tells us the precise location (inside the building) while at tells us the more general location. Both are possible in your context as the listener will understand where treatment occurs.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

This means a preposition depends in the context being used and there are no strict rules. Am I correct? Thank you for the clarification Peter.

Hello muratt,

It's not the case that there are no rules, but rather that there is often a choice of preposition when we are talking about location or movement, and the speaker can choose according to the meaning they want to express.

With dependent prepositions like on in depend on, the preposition is generally fixed and required. There is no other preposition you can use after depend; it is the only correct option.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Good afternoon. Thank you for the clarification Peter.

Submitted by Lal on Tue, 31/03/2020 - 12:38

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Hello Sir Re: Home/House e.g. I was at Sue's house last night. Can't one use 'home' instead of 'house' e.g. A. Where are you now? (on the phone) B. I am at home. We don't say 'house' Please tell me the difference between home and house. I referred to dictionary also but I would like if you helped me to understand the difference. Thank you. Regards Lal

Hello Lal

We don't normally use a possessive before 'home'. It's not necessarily wrong to use it, but we tend to use 'house' instead. This is because if we're talking about whose place it is, we're generally talking about the physical location we're in rather than our feelings about it.

For the second example, B could say 'at my house', but people generally say 'at home' since it's a little shorter and the idea of a personal feeling about where they live is generally appropriate in a response like this. But if B wanted to insist that she was at her home (and not at the different house where A think she is), she could say 'at my house' as a kind of contrast to, for example, 'at Indira's house'.

I hope this helps you make sense of it.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by stiliannk on Mon, 06/04/2020 - 21:31

In reply to by Lal

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You may have many houses, but one home. Home sweat home :)

Submitted by AYAZ SIDDIQUI on Mon, 30/03/2020 - 20:16

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It is really a helpful example, thank for helping us

Submitted by LeoHFZ20 on Mon, 30/03/2020 - 11:13

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Thank you. It was very helpful. I need a bit more of practice.

Submitted by Antonyu19 on Fri, 27/03/2020 - 02:08

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These are the most commonly adjectives and prepositions. Thank you for the explanation... I'll see more information about it..

Submitted by ISAACKWAKUOFOSU on Fri, 27/03/2020 - 00:52

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am very proud of my selfe

Submitted by Lal on Thu, 26/03/2020 - 13:42

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Hello Sir .1. He is taller than me. 2. He is taller than I. Please let me know which one is correct. I think we do not use an object pronoun after 'than' Thank you. Regards Lal

Hello Lal

There are many different opinions about this, but in my opinion, 'than me' is the correct form here. But many people say 'I' is better here.

If you put a verb after 'I', then only 'I' is correct -- 'than I am' is correct, and not 'than me am'. On this point, there is wide agreement.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Tapiwa Mupanguri on Thu, 26/03/2020 - 13:01

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Amizing, Thank you

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Submitted by rpikeri on Tue, 17/03/2020 - 20:51

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it was a difficult task. I need to memorize some of the given rules.

Submitted by Aye Thuzar on Tue, 17/03/2020 - 04:43

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Thanks,I am interested in about the lessons.

Submitted by lucia helena a… on Fri, 13/03/2020 - 22:54

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I found it interesting to study around here.

Submitted by Renan Miranda on Tue, 10/03/2020 - 20:53

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For me It’s no fully understandable difference between bad for and bad at

Hello Renan Miranda

We use 'bad at' to talk about a skill or ability. For example, 'I am bad at football' or 'bad at writing'. 'bad for', on the other hand, usually communicates the idea of an effect: 'Smoking is bad for you' or 'The disease is especially bad for older people'.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Axggdamer on Sun, 08/03/2020 - 17:12

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This is the thing that I have been expected for

Submitted by math_coder on Mon, 02/03/2020 - 06:30

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I`m brilliant at maths.

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Submitted by Ayzhan on Sun, 16/02/2020 - 18:16

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It was not easy for me, especially Test 1. I was doing mistake every time in the some sentences.

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Submitted by Superlottie on Thu, 06/02/2020 - 14:11

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I need to try again and again :)

Submitted by oristo on Tue, 28/01/2020 - 23:21

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Good information. The grammar tests were very interesting.

Submitted by DHARMVEER on Sun, 19/01/2020 - 03:29

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Good insight and good examples. Only thing I wish to get here is more explanation of each proposition
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