GRAMMAR

Prepositions with verbs

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Many verbs are followed by prepositions. You’ll need to memorize which prepositions go with which verbs. Many verbs can be matched with more than one preposition.

Depending on the preposition, the meaning often changes.

Example:

  • The pen fell off the table.
  • Leaves fall from the trees in autumn.
  • The students fall into three groups.
  • She fell apart after the divorce.

In some cases, a verb may require a different preposition depending on the situation. For example, apply has the same meaning in these two cases, but a different preposition is required for each:

  • Brandon is applying to 12 colleges. (apply to a college, university)
  • Jennifer is applying for a job at the health club. (apply for a job)

Some verbs take no prepositions for some meanings and one or more prepositions for other meanings:

  • Jeff followed me home last night. (no preposition)
  • I’m not following what you’re saying. (no preposition)
  • Please follow up with me tomorrow on our conversation.

Here’s a list of common verb + preposition pairs:

Apologize for
Apologize to
Apply to
Apply for
Ask about
Ask for
Brag about
Confide in
Crash into
Depend on
Divide into
Divide up
Dressed in
Explain to
Fall apart
Fall into
Fall off
Follow up
Give into
Give out
Give up
Look for
Look out for
Look over
Look up
Pay for
Recover from
Remind of
Search for
Seek out
Send to
Suffer from
Take out
Take part in
Talk about
Talk into
Talk to
Think about
Translate into
Wonder if

   
 
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