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English Prepositional Verbs List (100 Common Verb + Preposition Combinations, 200 Examples)

Updated: Mar 28, 2023


This is a list of 100 prepositional verbs. A prepositional verb is a verb which is followed by a preposition. Prepositional verbs are important to learn when you are studying English because the verb and preposition combinations might be different than the ones in your first language. Also, some languages do not use prepositions at all after some of the verbs on this list.


To illustrate, note these common mistakes and their correct English forms:


I listen music. (Incorrect)

I listen to music. (Correct)


It depends the person. (Incorrect)

It depends of the person. (Incorrect)

It depends on the person. (Correct)


In short, the majority of the verbs on this list need a preposition if you want to follow them with an object. Here are two more examples to illustrate this point.


She asked an increase in her salary. (Incorrect)

She asked for an increase in her salary. (Correct)


I need to think it. (Possible, but has a different meaning)

I need to think about it. (Correct)


Finally, it is important to note that some verbs can also stand by themselves (example: ask), and that more than one preposition is possible with many of the verbs below. With that in mind, the purpose of this list is not to teach every possible combination, but to teach some of the most common combinations that English learners ask about.


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abstain from

"I'm trying to abstain from drinking alcohol."

"It's easy to abstain from something if you don't feel you're actually missing something."


accuse [someone] of [something]

"He was accused of shoplifting." (Shoplifting is stealing merchandise from a store.)

"She accused me of lying. Can you believe it?"


adapt to

"I'm still trying to adapt to living here."

"Don't quit your job. It takes time to adapt to a new situation."


add to

"Do you have anything you'd like to add to what has been said?"

"Did you remember to add salt to the soup?"


agree on

"We want to go out for dinner, but we haven't agreed on a restaurant yet."

"They always fight and they never agree on anything."


agree with

opposite, see also: disagree with

"I agree with you."

"Patricia, did you agree with the manager's decision?"


apologize for [something]

"I apologized for taking my brother's stapler without his permission."

"You should apologize for that."


apologize to [someone]

"Have you apologized to your sister?"

"I don't want to apologize to you!"


apply for [something]

"You should apply for this job."

"I applied for the manager position."


apply to [somewhere]

"Which universities did you apply to?"

"I've applied to over twenty companies, but I haven't had an interview yet."


approve of

"My dad didn't approve of my husband at first."

"Do you approve of Jim's actions?"


argue about

"My parents argue about everything."

"He's arguing with the waiter about the bill."


arrest [someone] for [something]

"He was arrested for stealing."

"Have you ever been arrested for anything?


arrive at

"We arrived at the store ten minutes before it closed."

"How long is it going to take to arrive at the restaurant?"


arrive in

"What time did you arrive in Montreal?"

"My family arrived in Portugal in 1998. We've been living here ever since."


ask about

"I'd like to ask about your evening classes."

"I saw Karina at the mall. She asked about you."


ask for

"I asked my boss for a raise."

"Have you asked for this before?"


attend to

"I'll attend to the customer. You attend to the emergency in the marketing department."

"I apologize for leaving so early, but I have something important I need to attend to."


believe in

"Do you believe in destiny?"

"You have to believe in yourself if you want other people to believe in you."


belong to

"Does this scarf belong to you?"

"Don't take things that don't belong to you.


care about

"Why do you care about this so much?" "Why don't you care about it?!"

"I don't care about sports."


care for

to be responsible for someone or something; to take care of someone or something

"If we got a dog, who would care for it?"

"My mom always cared for us."


charge [someone] with [a crime]

"She was charged with attempted murder."

"They charged him with reckless driving."


complain about

"Deborah's complaining about her work hours."

"If you want to change something, you can't just complain about it."


concentrate on

similar, see also: focus on

"I can't concentrate on my work. There are too many distractions."

"I'm trying to concentrate on reading more these days."


confide in [someone]

to tell someone personal information because you feel you can trust them

"He confided in me about his mental health struggles."

"I know there are things you don't want to share with me, but you should really find someone you can confide in."


connect to

"What's the password to connect to the wi-fi?"

"Sorry for the delay. The system is taking awhile to connect to your file."


consent to

"I reluctantly consented to the terms of the contract."

"The police can't force you to let them search your car. You have to consent to it."


consist of

"Her arguments usually consist of angry moral judgments."

"My breakfast usually consists of eggs, toast, and beans."


contribute to

"Social media has contributed to an increase in depression."

"What do you do that contributes to your happiness?"


count on

similar, see also: depend on, rely on

"Can I count on you to do this, or should I ask someone else?"

"You can count on me, boss!"


come from

"Whoa! Where did you come from?" (You are surprised to see someone appear with no warning.)

"A letter came for you from Viet Nam."


convert to

"Brent is thinking about converting to another religion."

"Do you know where I can convert pesos to dollars?"


deal with

"I don't know how to deal with aggressive people."

"How are you going to deal with this?"


dedicate to

"The movie was dedicated to an actor who had passed away."

"I've decided to dedicate myself to a new fitness routine."


depend on

similar: count on, rely on

"You can always depend on me."

"She depends on her parents for money."


disagree with

"The chicken we ate last night really disagreed with my stomach." (idiomatic use)

"Do you think you can still be friends with someone whom you disagree with politically?"


discuss [something] with [someone]

"I'd like to discuss something important with you. Do you have some time tomorrow?"

"I'm the wrong person to ask about this. You should discuss this with Emily."


dream about

typically refers to actual dreams people have while sleeping

"What do you normally dream about?"

"Hey, I dreamt about you last night." "O...kay."


dream of

typically refers to ambitions and wishes

"Martin Luther King Jr. dreamt of a better world for his children."

"I dream of a time when people will speak less and listen more."


elaborate on

"Could you elaborate on your last point a little bit?"

"I wish he had elaborated more on his plan. I'm still not sure how this is all going to work."


excel at

"She's not that great at chemistry, but she excels at math."

"I think you would really excel at comic book art."


fear for

similar: be scared of

"I fear for what might happen if we aren't successful."

"I never feared for you. I always knew you were going to be okay."


focus on

similar, see also: concentrate on

"Don't judge other people's lives. Focus on your own."

"I've been trying to focus on writing this email, but I keep getting distracted."


forget about

"I'm so sorry! I completely forgot about your birthday!"

"Did you forget about our lunch plans?"


forgive [someone] for [something]

"He forgave me for lying to him."

"I'll never forgive you for this!"


get sick with [a viral illness]

"She got sick with the flu."

"Wear a mask if you don't want to get sick with Covid."


get tired of

"I got tired of my boss always disagreeing with me, and I decided to quit."

"Do you ever get tired of talking to customers all day?"


go to [a public place or event]

"Sheryl's not home. She went to the library."

"We're going to a basketball game tomorrow night."


graduate from

"She graduated from Stanford University in 2018."

"He graduated from U of T with a Master's degree in Engineering."


happen to

"It was the best things that ever happened to me."

"What happened to you? You used to be so full of life."


hear about

"Did you hear about Ted and Sandra? They're going to have a baby!"

"Hey, I heard about your job. Sorry to hear that." (Meaning, "I heard about you losing your job" or "I heard that you lost your job.")


hear of

to have prior knowledge or awareness of the existence of someone or something

"I've never heard of that book."

"Have you ever heard of Reiki? It's a Japanese form of energy healing."


help [someone] with [something]

"Could you help me with my homework?"

"He wants to help me with my science project."


hint at

"The CEO has hinted at layoffs."

"What are you hinting at? Just say what you mean to say."


hope for

"They've been hoping for rain for the past two months."

"I'm hoping for some good news soon."


insist on

"Our company insists on transparency with our clients."

"I wanted to pain the walls green, but my roommate insisted on painting them yellow."


interfere with

"They always interfered with my plans."

"I'm sorry, but I can't work more hours. It would interfere with time with my family."


laugh at

to direct one's laughter at a particular source

"Don't laugh at me."

"What are you laughing at? Is that a funny video or something?"


laugh about

"We laughed about our high school years."

"I know this seems like a horrible situation now, but I promise you we'll laugh about it many years from now."


lead to

"Your decision will lead to major financial problems for your department."

"I thought it was a good idea at the time, but it actually led to many problems."


look at

"Look at this!"

"The guy who's sitting at the table in the corner keeps looking at us."


listen to

"What kind of music do you listen to?"

"Most kids don't listen to their parents the first time."


look for

"She's been looking for a job for the past three months."

"Are you looking for anything in particular today, or are you just window shopping?" (To window shop means to look at products without the intention of buying anything.)


object to

"Over 90 percent of people objected to this proposal."

"Why didn't you object to this? Why did you say you were okay with it when you weren't?"


pay for

"How did you afford to pay for this?"

"My parents helped me pay for university."


point at

"Don't point at people. It's rude."

"Are you pointing at this one? Is this the ring you want?" (Context: at a jewelry store)


pray for

"Good luck with your surgery. I'll pray for you."

"Let us pray for peace and understanding among all nations."


prepare for

"Have you prepared for the exam?"

"We need to be prepared for anything."


prevent [someone] from [something]

"He prevented me from making a huge mistake."

"We were prevented from leaving the arena because of a public emergency."


prohibit [someone] from [something]

"The police prohibited us from entering the building."

"I have been prohibited from eating at that restaurant ever again."


react to

"He reacted poorly to the score he got on his biology test."

"How did you react to the news?"


recover from

"My grandma's still recovering from pneumonia."

"Do you think they'll ever recover from this shame?"


refer to

"Could you refer me to someone who can help me? Thank you."

"I'm sorry, but I don't know what you're referring to right now." (Meaning, "I don't know what you're talking about right now.")


rely on

similar, see also: count on, depend on

"I rely on my maps app any time I drive somewhere I've never been."

"She relies on government assistance to help her pay for her apartment."


remind of

"You remind me of my sister."

"Every time I walk into a coffee shop, I am reminded of the day we met."


reply to

"Thank you for replying to my email."

"I'll reply (to you) as soon as I can."


respond to

"Did you respond to your aunt's text message?"

"How are you going to respond to such an angry email?"


resign from

to quit a job, company, etc.

"I'm thinking about resigning from my job."

"He resigned from his duties at that company years ago."


smile at

"She always smile at you when she sees you."

"Who are you smiling at?"


specialize in

"Which field did you specialize in?"

"Let me call my sister for advice. She specializes in this kind of thing."


stare at

see also: look at (to stare is to look at something or someone for an extended period of time)

"Why are you staring at me like that?"

"It's not polite to stare at people."


stem from

to originate from / to come from [something]

"Brigitte's self-confidence issues stem from her childhood and her critical parents."

"The movie's popularity stemmed from the fact that it was the first really good comedy in several years."


subscribe to

"Have you subscribed to Alex's YouTube channel?"

"I don't subscribe to that school of thought." (A school of thought is a way of thinking or a system of belief.)


suffer from

"He suffers from partial blindness."

"It sounds like you're suffering from depression."


talk about

"We need to talk about your school grades."

"He always talks about other people behind their backs."


talk to

"Do you have a minute? I want to talk to you about something."

"Has Mom talked to you yet? You're in big trouble."


tell [someone] about

"Did you tell your parents about us?"

"She had never told us about her time overseas."


thank [someone] for

"Thank you for your help." (Or, "Thanks for your help.")

"Tim thanked me for giving him a ride to school."


think about

to consider a thought for a longer period of time

"I thought about what you said last night, and I think you have a really good point."

"I think about you all the time."


think of

to have something enter one's mind; to have an idea or a quick thought

"Joanna has thought of a great idea for your birthday party."

"I can't think of any reason why we shouldn't do this."


travel to

"We've traveled to many places in South America."

"They're traveling to Dubai next month."


vote for

"Who are you going to vote for in the election?"

"If you vote for their party, you're voting for tyranny."


wait for

"The restaurant is really busy today. We've been waiting for a table for over twenty minutes."

"I'm still waiting for the government to make a final decision."


wish for

"We couldn't have wished for a better friend. Thank you for always being by my side."

"What did you wish for?" "I can't tell you or it won't come true."


work for

"She works for a non-profit organization."

"I can't believe your dad is your boss. I could never work for one of my parents."


work on

"Hey. What are you working on?"

"She's been working on a secret project for the past two months."


worry about

"I don't know what you're so worried about."

"I was really worried about you. I'm glad everything worked out." (If things work out, they end well.)


write about

"She usually writes about things that actually happened to her."

"Hey. I heard you started working on your next book. What are you writing about?"


yell at

"Stop yelling at me. I'm not a child."

"He yells at his kids in front of other people. It's really uncomfortable."


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4 Comments


Taki Godobedza
Taki Godobedza
Mar 31

Many thanks for sharing daily useful phrases

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minettebotha87
Feb 28

Thanks Alex! Very helpful

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thaithai89
Apr 11, 2023

It's not easy to use all the prepositions correctly; I believe that even the natives also make mistakes. However, we will get used to using these prepositions over time and minimize the errors. Please accept my deepest gratitude.

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Alex
Alex
Apr 21, 2023
Replying to

It's a matter of regular exposure. This is meant as a reference for people who want to double check these phrases if they have doubts. You can use it to learn these phrases proactively, but the best way is to just continue reading and listening to a variety of English materials and seeing these phrases in a variety of scenarios...without expecting to see them!

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