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Tutor Zach McLaughlin 's Column

Using preposition combinations in English

Montag, 26. April 2021, 07:08

In this week’s column topic, My country/town is actually famous for..., I used the preposition combinations (collocations) “famous for” and “known for”, but there are many other combinations, so for anyone studying English, here are some common preposition combinations with adjectives and verbs!

Note: The prepositions that we’re going to talk about are generally followed by a noun, pronoun, or gerund (-ing form). Watch out for combinations with the preposition “to” - don’t use a base form verb after them! For example, say “I’m accustomed to waking up early” and NOT “I’m accustomed to wake up early.” 

Adjective + preposition combinations

To be “accustomed to” something is the same as to be “used to” something. It is familiar, routine, or comfortable.

Ex. I’m not accustomed to studying online.

You can say that you are “angry at” or “angry with” someone, but you should say “angry about” something. 

Ex. I’m angry at myself for forgetting my keys.

Ex. I’m angry about losing my wallet. 

You can use “about” after “anxious”, “worried”, “concerned” or “nervous”. Words with similar meanings often (but not always) use the same preposition. “About” is also used after the verb form of “worry”.

Ex. I’m anxious about my driver’s test.

Ex. Many governments are concerned about overcrowding in hospitals.

To be “tired from” something means to be exhausted, but to be “tired of” something means to be “bored of” it or even “annoyed with” it.

Ex. We’re all tired from working overtime.

Ex. I’m tired of eating the same thing everyday! Let’s try something new.

Verb + preposition combinations

Many people say “depend of” by mistake, but you should say “depend on” (and also “rely on”).

Ex. It depends on my mood. (here “depend” means to be determined/controlled by)

Ex. I can depend on my co-workers. (here “depend” means to “rely”)

Believe in” can mean that you trust someone, that you have faith, or that you believe something exists.

Ex. I believe in myself - I know I can do it!

Ex. Do you believe in aliens?

If something “matters to” you, it’s important to you. If it doesn’t “matter to” you, you don’t care about it.

Ex. I try to eat well and exercise because my health matters to me.

Ex. A: What do you want to have for dinner?

      B: It doesn’t matter to me.

In some combinations, such as “dream about/of”, either “about” or “of” can be used. We usually “dream about” things when we’re sleeping and “dream of” goals and ambitions for the future.

Ex. I often dream about being chased by someone.

Ex. Many people dream of retiring in the countryside.

The list of combinations is long, and these are just a few examples. Prepositions take a long time to learn, so find a good list or grammar book and learn them slowly. Try to make examples that have a personal meaning to help you remember them. Also keep an eye out for them when you’re reading and listen for them, too. They’re everywhere!

I hope this will help you to start recognizing and using preposition combinations in English!



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