A lot of my students have told me that the preposition of gives them a lot of trouble. I agree that of can be tricky to use and I’ve been thinking about how we use it. For this English lesson, I am going to show you how we use of in an English sentence. Are you ready?
Of is used to show the relationship between a verb or adjective that shows a mental state and its object.
[Examples: aware of - know of - sure of - think of]
- I think of you every day. You are the object in my thinking.
- We know of many good restaurants in NYC. Many good restaurants in NYC are the objects of our knowledge.
Of is also used to show the relationship between verbs of change and their objects:
[Examples: become of - cure of]
- Nothing became of the meeting we had about marketing. The meeting we had about marketing didn’t change anything.
- That medicine cured Rob of his cold. That medicine changed Rob’s medical condition.
Of is also used to show the relationship between two things which indicates belonging or the origin:
- The symphonies of Beethoven are quite dramatic. The origin of the symphonies is Beethoven.
- The president of the country is a powerful person in that country. The president belongs to the country, in other words, the country’s president.
Of is also used to show the relationship between one part of a whole thing:
- The staff of IBM receive intensive training before starting work.
- The people of New York City are often willing to help others who are in need.
Of is also used to show the relationship between people:
[Examples: a colleague of / a friend of / a neighbor of ]
- A friend of mine is getting married next week.
- A neighbor of mine has a big dog.
Of is also used to show the material or contents that something is created with:
[Examples: composed of - consist of - made of]
- My guitar is made of Brazilian rosewood and teak.
- This pasta is made of the finest ingredients.
Of is also used to show the quantity of something.
[Examples: a glass of ~ / a container of ~ / a pound of ~ / 10 kilograms of ~/]
- I brought a bottle of wine to the party.
- I have a special pair of shoes for golf.
Of is also used to show physical location:
[Examples: in back of / in front of / on the side of]
- Jack was sitting in front of us at the theater.
- Put that table on the right side of the sofa.
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If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!