Verbs followed by Prepositions

Prepositions are sometimes positioned after Verbs and act as necessary connectors between Verbs and Nouns. There are certain Verbs which require preposition sin order to connect them to their sentence Objects. In such cases, the Prepositions are called Dependent Prepositions

Some of the most commonly used Prepositions in such cases are:

for, to, about, with, of, in, at, on, from

Salient Points to Note:

1. Prepositional Verbs must immediately be followed by a Direct Object which can either be a Noun or a Gerund and cannot be separated from it.

·         He listens to the radio every night.

2. There is a subtle difference between Prepositional Verb and a Phrasal Verb though both employ verbs and Prepositions.

The difference lies that in case of Prepositional Verb, the actual meaning of the Verb is brought in use whereas in case of Phrasal Verb, it is more idiomatic in nature.


·   I asked for a glass of water. (asked = enquired) –Prepositional Verb

·   I asked out Setu after mustering a lot of courage.  (Asked out = asking for a date) – Phrasal Verb

3. The word order also helps to determine whether it is a Phrasal Verb or Prepositional Verb

In case of Prepositional Verb, the Direct Object must immediately follow the Preposition, whereas in case of Phrasal Verb the Prepositions and objects can be placed elsewhere.


·         I asked for a glass of milk. (Prepositional Verb)

·         I asked Setu out after gathering a lot of courage. (Phrasal Verb)


Some of the most common Preposition and Verb pairings are:

A. Verb + for (apologize, ask, beg, care, fight, hope, long, pay, provide, search, wait, wish, work) in order to emphasize purpose or reason.


·         I sincerely apologize for my rude demeanour.

·         I long for the day when you shall be completely mine.

·         I hope for the best in this case.


B.  Verb + to (adjust, admit, belong, travel, listen, go, relate, respond, talk, turn) while referring to directions (literal or metaphorical) or connections between people or things.


·         You will soon adjust to your new surroundings.

·         I shall respond to his allegations in the Court.

·         I can talk to him on this issue.


C. Verb + about (ask,care,complain, forget, hear, joke, know, laugh, learn, talk, think, worry, write)when referring to things, events or gerunds.


·         I care about you much more.

·         I shall complain about his behaviour to the highest management.

·         I worry about you all the time.


D.  Verb + with (agree, argue, begin, collide, compare, compete, cope, disagree, interfere, meet) in order to point to connections between people and things.


·         The shooting start is expected to collide with the planet Earth tonight.

·         I should have started with the tough sums first.

·         I only compete with myself.



E.   Verb + of (approve, consist, dream, hear, take care, think,).


·         I do not approve of your taste in men

·         I dream of owning a boutique one day.

·         I can only think of you at this point f time.


F. Verb + in (believe, engage, invest, live, participate, result, specialize, succeed)referring to involvement between people and things


·         I believe inhumanity first.

·         I specialize in human resources.


G.  Verb + at (arrive, balk, excel, laugh, look,nod, shout, smile, stare) to indicate places, skills and reactions


·         We arrive at the destination on time

·         My son excels at extra-curricular activities


H. Verb + On (agree, bet, comment, concentrate, focus, decide, depend, elaborate, experiment, insist, operate, plan).


·         The party finally decided ona consensus.

·         He eventually decided on his career trail.

·         Do you plan on attending the meeting tomorrow?


I.  Verb + from (benefit, come, hails, differ, escape, recover, refrain, resign, retire, suffer) to identify a point of origin or connection or disconnection between people or things.


·         She comes from a land of aborigines.

·         He retired from his post last month.

·         How is this case different from the rest?

English Grammar and Composition

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