Prepositions after Nouns, Verbs and Adjectives

Learn how to avoid grammar errors with prepositions after nouns, verbs and adjectives.

Example errors

Look at the example errors below. Can you fix them?

Incorrect
– Climate change has resulted rising global temperatures.
– The students participated to the study.
– Canada is similar from the USA.

What are the grammar rules?

1.  A preposition is a word or group of words that are sometimes used after nouns, verbs and adjectives.

Here are some common prepositions.

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

2.  Many nouns, verbs and adjectives have a particular preposition that is used after them.

the reason for
– lead to
be interested in

3.  There’s no easy way to know which prepositions will be used after different nouns, verbs and adjectives; you need to check in a good learner’s dictionary.

Here’s a short list to get you started.

Noun + prep. Verb + prep. Adjective + prep.
discussion about sb. / sth. apologise to sb. for sth. afraid of sb. / sth.
difficulty with sb. / sth. depend on sb. / sth. good at sth.
proof of sth. insist on sth. interested in sb. / sth.
lack of sth. search for sb. / sth. polite to sb.

4.  When you learn a new noun, verb or adjective, write down any prepositions that are used with it. Also write down an example sentence. This will teach you how to actually use the word in a sentence. You can find the correct preposition as well as example sentences in a good learner’s dictionary.

apologise to sb. for sth.
e.g. He apologised to his teacher for having forgotten to do his homework.

5.  Be careful! After a preposition, you must use a noun or pronoun. If you want to use a verb, it must be the -ing form.

– The researcher was interested in frogs.
– The researcher was interested in them.
– The researcher was interested in studying frogs.

Corrected errors

Here are the corrected errors from the start of the lesson.

Incorrect Correct
– Climate change has resulted rising global temperatures. – Climate change has resulted in rising global temperatures.
– The students participated to the study. – The students participated in the study.
– Canada is similar from the USA. – Canada is similar to the USA.

Quiz

Try the questions below to test what you’ve learnt about prepositions after nouns, verbs and adjectives.

Remember: If you’re not sure what preposition you need to use after a specific noun, verb or adjective, you can check in a learner’s dictionary.

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Complete the text with the correct prepositions.

Animal evolution began in the ocean over 600 million years ago with tiny creatures that probably bore no resemblance any living organism today. Since then, animals have evolved into a highly diverse kingdom. Although over one million extant (currently living) species of animals have been identified, scientists are continually discovering more species as they explore ecosystems around the world. The number of extant species is estimated between 3 and 30 million.

But what is an animal? While we can easily identify dogs, birds, fish, spiders and worms as animals, other organisms, such as corals and sponges, are not as easy to classify. Animals vary complexity – from sea sponges to crickets to chimpanzees – and scientists are faced the difficult task of classifying them within a unified system. They must identify traits that are common all animals as well as traits that can be used to distinguish among related groups of animals. The animal classification system characterises animals based their anatomy, morphology, evolutionary history, features of embryological development and genetic makeup. This classification scheme is constantly developing as new information about species arises. Understanding and classifying the great variety of living species help us better understand how to conserve the diversity of life on earth.

__________

“Biology 2e” by OpenStax is licensed under CC BY 4.0. A small excerpt was extracted from Chapter 27 and edited. This textbook can be downloaded free from https://openstax.org/details/books/biology-2e.

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Feedback

Click below for the answers.

Animal evolution began in the ocean over 600 million years ago with tiny creatures that probably bore no resemblance to any living organism today. Since then, animals have evolved into a highly diverse kingdom. Although over one million extant (currently living) species of animals have been identified, scientists are continually discovering more species as they explore ecosystems around the world. The number of extant species is estimated at between 3 and 30 million.

But what is an animal? While we can easily identify dogs, birds, fish, spiders and worms as animals, other organisms, such as corals and sponges, are not as easy to classify. Animals vary in complexity – from sea sponges to crickets to chimpanzees – and scientists are faced with the difficult task of classifying them within a unified system. They must identify traits that are common to all animals as well as traits that can be used to distinguish among related groups of animals. The animal classification system characterises animals based on their anatomy, morphology, evolutionary history, features of embryological development and genetic makeup. This classification scheme is constantly developing as new information about species arises. Understanding and classifying the great variety of living species help us better understand how to conserve the diversity of life on earth.