8 Verb and Preposition Combinations

Prepositions are troublesome for a lot of English language students. While there are many uses of prepositions in English, this lesson focuses on verb and preposition combinations. Unlike phrasal verbs, which have an idiomatic usage, the verb and preposition combinations presented here are just collocations. This means that they are, as I like to call them, just “set phrases.” For example, the verb listen generally takes the preposition to, as in “I like to listen to jazz.”  I hope you find this lesson helpful for studying them!

Account for
Grammar Pattern: account for [something]
Preposition Focus: We use for to indicate the purpose of accounting.
Usage: A person can account for money, or other valuable items such as the inventory of a store or warehouse.
Examples:

  • We need to account for all of the money.
  • The boss said that after the trade show, we  were unable to account for all of the laptops.

Accuse of
Grammar Pattern: accuse [someone] of
Preposition Focus: We use of to show the reason of accusing.
Usage: A person can accuse another person of doing something wrong.
Examples:

  • The boss accused Bob of missing the deadline
  • I can’t believe that Danny accused me of being rude in the meeting. I was just trying to answer his question.

Adapt to
Grammar Pattern: adapt to [something]
Preposition Focus:  We use to when we show the object of adapting.
Usage: A person can adapt to a new job, a new home, or a new living place.
Examples:

  • We can adapt this software to any environment.
  • I’m looking forward to my new assignment in New York. I think I can easily adapt to living there.

Add to
Grammar Pattern: add [something] to [something]
Preposition Focus: We use to when we show the object of adding.
Usage: A person can add something to another thing.
Examples:

  • The chef added chili to the curry.
  • Adding this modification to the software will add two weeks to the project.

Adjust to
Grammar Pattern: adjust to [something]
Preposition Focus:  We use to when we show the object of adjusting.
Usage: A person can adjust to a new job, a new home, or a new living place.
Examples:

  • Chris finally adjusted to life in New York.
  • I think it is not going to be easy for everyone to adjust to this new work schedule.

Admire for
Grammar Pattern:  admire [someone] for
Preposition Focus: We use for to indicate the purpose of admiring.
Usage: A person can admire another person for their achievement, or their special ability. Children often admire their parents and/or heroes.
Examples:

  • I admire my grandfather for his hard work.
  • Everyone admires David for his talent.

Admit to
Grammar Pattern: admit [something] to [something]
Preposition Focus: We use to when we show the object of admitting.
Usage: A person can admit to making a mistake, or failing to do something.
Examples:

  • Doug admitted his mistake to the boss.
  • I admitted that I was wrong to Jane. I think she can forgive me.

Agree on
Grammar Pattern: agree on [something]
Preposition Focus: We use on to show the target of agreeing.
Usage: A person can agree  on an idea, a proposal a time schedule, etc.
Examples:

  • We can not agree on this contract unless you change the terms.
  • I agreed on some of the proposed changes in the plan, but not all of them.

If you would like to learn over 200 more verb and preposition combinations, check out my book, now available in paperback and eBook:

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Using the Prepositions “By” & “With” – English Grammar Lesson

Using the Prepositions-By-With- English Grammar Lesson

I like to make my own pizza by hand. I make it with homemade crust and sauce. The crust is made with flour and I make the sauce with fresh tomatoes. In my neighborhood, the pizza is made by an old Italian guy who opened the pizzeria about 40 years ago. He makes all of the food there by hand, except the pasta. That is probably made in a factory by machine.

For today’s free English Lesson, we are going to look at two prepositions that are often confused, by and with. Have a look at the paragraph above once more and then check the lesson.

We use by to show how someone does something, or how something is done. When we use by + a noun, we don’t use “a” or “the” before the noun:

  • This bread was made by hand. Not, …made by a hand.
  • I found a great little café near my office by accident. Not,…by the accident.
  • You can pay* by check or credit card.

*Note that with the verb pay, we say pay by check and pay by credit card, but pay in cash.

We use by to show how someone does something but we use with to show the tool or object used to do something:

  • I made this cake by hand.
  • I made this cake with the oven.
  • I found this café by accident.
  • I found this café with the map in my smartphone.

In a passive sentence as well, we generally prefer to use by to show the actor (the person doing the action) and with to show the tool or object used to do something:

  • This bread was made by hand.
  • This bread was made with the finest organic flour available.
  • The window was repaired by Yalcin, our best repairman.
  • The window was repaired with wood and silicone glue.

Now it’s your turn. How about writing a few sentences using by or with in the comment box below? I’ll review them for you!

 



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Prepositions of Time – At, In, & On – Basic English Grammar Lesson

Prepositions of Time - At, In, & On - Basic English Grammar LessonI’ve got a busy day today. I got up at 6:30 and took my dog for a walk. I need to get up early on Monday’s because I have early classes that day. Actually, I have early classes all week this week, except for Friday. That’s because it’s my friend Jack’s birthday. It’s on March 21st, the same day as the first day of spring. Usually in spring, you can see the trees and flowers starting to turn green. We’ve had a cold winter this year so I’m not sure if the green will be starting in March at all.

Today, let’s have a look at the prepositions at, in, and on and see how we use those in English to talk about time.

We use at to talk about clock time. Keep in mind that noon means exactly 12:00pm and midnight means exactly 12:00am (0:00):

  • I got up at 6:30 and took my dog for a walk. *Use at for clock time.
  • We usually eat lunch at noon.
  • I went to bed at midnight last night, so I’m a little tired today.

We use on to talk about the day or date:

  • I get up early on Monday’s because I have early classes that day. *Use on for day or date.
  • My friend Jack’s birthday is on March 21st.

We use in for months, so look at the difference in these two sentences:

  • Nick’s birthday is in June. *Use in for months.
  • Nick’s birthday is on June 3rd. *Use on for day or date.

We use in for all other large units of time:

  • Christmas is in December. *Use in for months.
  • Tomoko came to the USA in 2011. *Use in for years.
  • The Beatles were popular in the 1960’s. *Use in for decades.
  • There were many new electronic inventions in the twentieth century. *Use in for centuries.
  • The artifacts in that museum exhibition were made in the middle ages. *Use in for long time periods.
  • In the Stone Age, early humans used tools made from stone. *Use in for very long time periods.

There are also some fixed expressions that use at, in, and on. We say in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening BUT at night:

  • I have a meeting in the morning.
  • Why don’t we go to the café in the afternoon.
  • Many people drive on the highway in the evening.
  • I like to relax at night.

Now, it’s your turn. How about writing a few sentences using these time phrases & prepositions in the comment box below? I’ll review them for you!

Learn 225 Verb & Preposition Combinations ►►  Free Sample

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!



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