A dependent preposition is a preposition that always follows the same
expression; for example, we say ‘interested in’ (and NOT X ‘interested
on‘ or ‘interested about‘X).
Apologise for – He apologised for being late. You can also ‘apologise to
Apply for – I applied for the job but I didn’t get it.
Ask for – How do you ask for a coffee in French?
Pay for (something consumed/something you shouldn’t have done) – Who’s
paying for the beers?
I’ll pay for you. = I’ll pay for what you’ve consumed. (NB. “I’ll pay
you” has a different meaning. My boss pays me 800 euros a month)
You’ve insulted me in public – you’ll pay for that! ( = I’ll make you
pay for what you shouldn’t have done).
Wait for – I’ll wait for you outside the cinema. When was the last time
you waited for someone?
Worry about – Don’t worry about it! – Don’t worry, be happy! Are you
worrying about anything?
Complain about – Have you complained about anything recently?
Argue about something – When was the last time you argued about
something? (to argue with someone)
Know about – Craig knows a lot about Mickey Mouse! (But he doesn’t know
Mickey Mouse personally. He hasn’t met him, though it is his dream…)
Reza knows a lot about music and English grammar.
Protect from – This spray should protect you from mosquitoes. Do you use
anything to protect your skin from the sun?
Recovered from – To recover from an illness / a hangover / a shock (to
get over = to recover from)
Suffer from – I suffer from a bad back. My brother-in-law suffers from a
Get in – It’s hard to get in the local golf club. They don’t accept many
Believe in – Do you believe in life after death?
Specialise in – Reza and Craig specialise in creating podcasts
Succeed in – You have to work hard if you want to succeed in life.
VERBS AFTER PREPOSITIONS ARE ALWAYS GERUNDS (verb + ing – “I apologize
for BEING late.”)
Approve of – My parents didn’t used to approve of my friends
Smell of – This T-shirt smells of sweat. What does the beach smell of?
What does Rusafa smell of? Answer – it smells of hipsters, bohemians,
tourists (and gunpowder in Fallas!)
Think of – I’m thinking of the good times we had in London. (think about
– what are you thinking about?)
Base on (often passive) – Can you think of any films that were based on
Concentrate on – If I have music playing in the background, I can’t
concentrate on any work.
Agree on/about – What don’t we agree on/about?
Congratulate someone on – I’d like to congratulate you on your promotion
Decide on – Have you decided on what you’re doing for Christmas?
Listen to + object – She listens to pop music. What kind of music do you
like to listen to?
Introduce someone to – I’d like to introduce you to my wife. Craig’s
going to introduce Reza to rap music.
Agree with – I agree with everything you’ve said. (NB.- NOT XI’m
Argue with someone – I often argue with my sister.
Laugh at – What was the last thing you laughed at?
Look at – What are you looking at? Are you looking at me? I’m looking at
Smile at – Try smiling at people in the street next time you go out.
Combining prepositions with one verb –
Reza apologised to Craig for arriving late again.
She didn’t agree with her friends on/about the choice of restaurant.
I complained about the faulty product to Customer Services.
They argued with their friends about where to go on holiday.
The student apologised to the teacher for not doing the homework.
Using more than one verb + dependent preposition –
I know about Tom congratulating Dick on getting the job.
She listened to me asking for forgiveness and said nothing.
Bill didn’t approve of us listening to our workmates’ private phone
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