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 riverolorena67 on Sun, 05/07/2020 - 00:38

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Hi! In the book "English file-pre intermediate", there is a text called "Gossip might be good for you." "We all enjoy gossiping about people we know, although sometimes we MIGHT feel guilty about it afterwards" In the exercise, true or false, the first sentence says"We sometimes feel bad when we gossip' the teacher book says it's TRUE. But in the text, the word "might" suggests a POSSIBILITY in the present but in the sentence of the exercise it doesn't appear. Is there a difference in meaning? The word MIGHT (possibility in the present),"We sometimes feel bad when we gossip" (A fact) I would appreciate your answer. Thank you in advance

Hello riverolorena67,

What the Teacher's book says sounds correct to me. 'might' does indeed mean possibility, and that seems to be the idea here -- that sometimes we do (or sometimes we might) feel guilty (bad) when we gossip.

Does that make sense?

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Rafaela1 on Fri, 03/07/2020 - 16:09

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I'm a little confused when to use 'concern about' and just 'concern'. Can anyone teach me?

Hello Rafaela1,

Concerned about is followed by a direct object:

I'm concerned about John's work. He's lazy and it's just not good enough.

I'm concerned about meeting him tomorrow. It's going to be an awkward conversation.

 

Concerned is followed by a clause, often beginning with that:

I'm concerned (that) John is not working hard enough.

I'm concerned (that) the meeting tomorrow will be awkward.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, Peter Thank you very much for your clear explanation. My talk always pauses when I try to use 'concern'....eh... but now I'm free from the stress! :)

Submitted by Anujd on Fri, 03/07/2020 - 06:00

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Can we use (-ing form of verb) after "addicted to" proposition?? Ex- I am addicted to watching web series.

Hello Anujd,

Yes, you can. You can use a noun or a gerund as the object of a preposition:

I'm addicted to web series. [a noun object]

I'm addicted to watching web series. [a noun object]

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish

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Submitted by muratt on Thu, 02/07/2020 - 14:27

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Good afternoon, I have seen the following examples in an article on a website. - Tom is waiting for his sister at the bank. Does this mean Tom is outside the bank in a close proximity e.g. in front of the bank? Is this why the preposition at is used instead of in? and for this sentence? - Tom spent the whole afternoon at the fair.

Hello muratt,

The first sentence could mean many things, but in general it means Tom is the one who is at the bank. I imagine him inside the bank, but I suppose he could be just outside. 'at' doesn't specify exactly what location, whereas 'in' makes it clear he's inside.

'at' is often used to speak about places where people do common activities (e.g. school, work, the dentist's, the bank). This is also the sense in which 'at' is used in the second sentence -- he was within the fairgrounds, presumably in many different locations.

You can read a bit more about all this in this explanation.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

In that case are the following correct: Tom is waiting at the bank. Tom is withdrawing money in the bank. Tom is at school with his friends. Tom is having a mathematics exam in the school. (e.g. in the classroom). thank you and enjoy your day.

Hello muratt,

With 'withdraw', I usually say 'from', but you could also say 'at' or 'in', though I probably wouldn't use 'in' because the precise location of time is probably not important.

For the second sentences, you could say he's taking the exam 'in the school', but again I'd probably say 'at' unless it were important to make it clear he was inside.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Tomiris.Askarova on Mon, 29/06/2020 - 11:16

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why I can't use the comment

Hello Tomiris.Askarova,

You are welcome to use the comments -- you can see all the ones you wrote earlier today now -- it's just that they don't get published immediately. This is because we read all comments before publishing them in order to keep LearnEnglish free from spam and inappropriate comments.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by muratt on Wed, 24/06/2020 - 15:04

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Hi. Good afternoon. Would you kindly confirm if the below sentences are correct? -I am in home cooking with my mother in the kitchen. -A friend of mine waiting for me at home. (E.g. outside home, somewhere close). -I am in house cooking with my mother in the kitchen. -A friend of mine waiting for me at house. (E.g. outside house, somewhere close).

Submitted by Peter M. on Thu, 25/06/2020 - 07:20

In reply to by muratt

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Hi muratt,

There are a number of things to correct there:

I am at home cooking with my mother in the kitchen.

A friend of mine is waiting for me at home.

I am in the house cooking with my mother in the kitchen.

A friend of mine is waiting for me at the house.

 

At home can describe a person inside the house or flat or nearby. At the house is similar, though it usually means nearby/outside.

In the house means inisde the building.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Last question? Would these be correct? --There are no dusts bins at my house. Assuming if I have no dust bins just in front of my house. --We need to install an alarm at your house. E.g. if we install an alarm around the house including the garden but not inside.

Submitted by Peter M. on Fri, 26/06/2020 - 06:39

In reply to by muratt

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Hi muratt,

Both sentences are fine. 

There's often a choice of preposition, depending on what the speaker wants to emphasise.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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